When we're in our teens, a two or three- year difference in ages yawns like a bottomless chasm.As we age, the distances blur and become more about where we are in the steps of life. Because of entering the parent world early, I was often at least five years younger than friends whose kids were the same age as mine, but we shared common concerns – getting them to soccer practice, that mean teacher in elementary school, co-leading the girl scout troop.
Then, because of entering the working world late, it all turned about and I was often several years older than my colleagues; but we all had similar job concerns, so again that leveled the field.
Now in retirement, children live in another state and careers are long past. The divisions of age not only blur, but are erased. Back in junior high (because that’s what it was called then) the boys were six feet tall with voices like Barry White or so short they could slip unnoticed into a third- grade class. The girls were so flat they were practically concave, or could fill a sweater as well as Jayne Mansfield.
Now you can see the same wild range with those of us collecting Social Security. We’re either hobbling around in corrective shoes and sensible haircuts or filling our leggings with style as we return from a five-mile morning run. The lucky ones are still playing tennis while others find getting out of bed just the beginning of a long day of physical challenges.
What brought all this to mind was my golf game this week. I played in a foursome of ladies I’ve been acquainted with for a while. It was a pleasant day, and we were all fairly well matched with the mx of lost balls, good drives, and erratic putting evenly distributed.
Afterwards, I stayed to have a drink with my cart partner. I knew she was somewhat older than me, but was fuzzy on how much. She has the figure and stride of a teenager and seems ready for whatever new adventure life may offer. We must have chatted for well over half an hour until we were joined by one of the men from the league who had just finished his round. I had to admire him for still playing golf as I watched him shuffle over and pull out a chair with difficulty.
As the conversation continued, I learned that he’s 88 and my partner is 90.