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Mind Over Matter

The times, they are a- … well, you know

Over this past Labor Day weekend my wife and I went shopping for a new DVD/VCR. While talking with one of the salesmen in the store, I jokingly asked him where the regular VCRs were kept. It was like I’d asked him to point me to the buggy whip aisle (it didn’t help that he looked to be about fourteen). That’s when he told me there aren’t any new VCR machines to be found. Anywhere. The technology has passed us by.

I nearly blinked back a tear. VHS … we hardly knew ye. I'll never forget those big, rectangular hunks o' plastic. That whirring sound they made when they loaded, the surrealistic effects when you'd put them on pause, all the little white gears and pulleys and mystery parts that would reveal themselves when the case was accidentally stepped-on while trying to snag a 2 AM ham sandwich … snif. The space those cassettes took up in my entertainment center is only matched by the place they held in my heart … I'm sorry … this is devastating news …

Anyway: getting older. I’ve tried to stay on top of things, I really have. I’m fifty-seven, but don’t feel it. Coolness factor, who knows? To me rap/hiphop/gangsta music sounds like someone dropped Tabby and a few spoons into a Mixmaster and hit "whip." I'm sure, like my own tunes from the 60s and 70s, such offerings are chockablock with teen angst, pain, and the-futility-of-it-all ("but only if I don't get laid tonight; then all bets are off"). I don't care. To me such "music" still sucks, and sucks large.

At any rate my grandsons think I'm a hoot (I've already shown them the "pull my finger" trick, thus initiating me fully into Grandpa-dom), my wife says I'm sexy (and vice-versa), and I'm still dancing on this side of the sod. Life's good.

For what it's worth, she and I are the same age. Not surprisingly, over the years both time and gravity have had their way with us (as they will with us all, sooner or later). Our hair is graying, our eyes aren't what they used to be, and our faces show some mileage. But that all comes with the territory (or it's supposed to). All I know is when I cup her lovely face in my hands, I see my wife, my boon companion, the mother of my children, a textbook grandma, the love of my life, and the completer of my soul. Together we've weathered times too hard to mention, and come out the other side scarred but alive. During this we've also seen both our sons grow into fine young men who love and honor their mom, as well as the birth of my fledgling writing career. My wife Barb has been there for me through it all. Oh yeah, on top of that she makes the best homemade vegetable soup in the known universe. Fine eatin' on cold winter nights. And anybody that don't like that, momma, don't like chicken on Sundays.

So you can take all the Pamela Andersons, the Paris Hiltons, the Britney Spears, or whoever is this week's sex kitten de jour (which I understand is quite tasty when covered with a nice Hollandaise sauce), and stack 'em up to Mars. They don't hold a patch to my sweetie.

See, here's the deal, as that old dealmaker Ross Perot used to say. Someday we'll all draw our last breath, and every man-jack (or woman-jill) of us will ask for just one more. And the Great Scorekeeper in the Sky will say, "Nope. You're done. C'mon home."

Until then, live life. That's all.
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