Sunday 3 October 2010

Adapting, again

The 'Coolth' post had me thinking, in a slightly aslant way, not just about what the young consider 'cool' versus what's 'boring', but also about simpler ways in which Now differs from Then. This sidewise- with- a- difference examination led me to register other ways, lacking in the fashion element of cool and boring, in which the elderly have to adapt. Telephones: how many times have I dialled a number and waited, and waited, and waited for a connection until I remembered you have to press a button before or after you dial in order to get the purr which, in my old life, used to be the automatic response of the lovely big instrument you could tuck between your ear and your neck. What's more, you got your purr the moment you picked the dear thing up. I know, I know, you can walk around with the non-purring kind. This is a good thing?

To-day, the Guru and I indulged in a little frozen yoghurt. It was quite delicious. However, I like to eat it seated in the local cafe which supplies it. He likes to eat and walk. He, of course, is not holding/using a stick - cane - and wouldn't need a third hand to deal with the tub and the plastic spoon that, of necessity, comes with it. Rather than put him through the boredom of sitting in the bright pink cafe, I did receive the deliciousness in an old-fashioned ice-cream cone. In principle, this should be manageable with one hand. In practice, it dribbles, the yoghurt disappears down the cone and the cone, itself, defeats one of life's rare guilt-free exercises by being inordinately sweet. Someone will have to adapt. Either someone will have to remain static in the cafe, against his/her inclination, or someone will have to come home seriously covered in chocolate frozen yoghurt.

Last time, talking about coolth, I did touch on changing manners. I see I find it quite hard to differentiate between current manners and current mores. I find it bad manners to have conversations with those not present, otherwise known as texting, when dining with those who are present. I am reliably informed, ( you will note that I often find myself reliably informed) that this is perfectly acceptable behaviour, therefore, mores not manners. As I recall, "Dear X" as opposed to "Hi" was another example from that post. Is that 'acceptable' form of address now mores or manners? I think there must be a whole blogpost possibility in this. When - and how - do manners become mores and, because of that, oblige the elderly to adapt to them? Discuss. Some things don't change. A friend who is almost three years old - the friend, not the friendship: well, both, actually - took me to the Circus last week. By far the most reveting item was the look on this little one's face as he took in the proceedings. What could his inner eye have pictured in advance when his Mother told him he and she and Liz were going to the Circus. What unlikely experience could he possibly have had to help him to anticipate it? It was utter joy to watch him, sideways on as I was. I was not distracted/attracted by what was going on in the Ring until my eye was caught by one man jumping over the head of another while both were standing on a rope about a mile high at the top of the Big Top. By which time, my friend was more entranced by his flashing butterfly than by the death-defying antics of the men in the air. What can you say... plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose; reassuringly, no need to adapt to anything new in the mores of little children. Nos da.

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