We’re Too Old For This Crap

David Writes

One of our top priorities when becoming gypsy — as opposed to empty — nesters was to use our new found freedom to see family and friends that we hadn’t been able to visit in years.

While finishing up our child-rearing years on a Caribbean island a thousand miles from the mainland we were understandably limited in our opportunities to drop in on folks.

Now that we are unfettered, we have had the opportunity to reunite with quite a few of our old friends. In every case I’ve noticed that we picked up right where we left off. It was like ten days had past since our last visit, not ten years.

Is this a function of getting a little older? I think that’s a big part of it. After putting a few decades behind us we have learned not to manufacture troubles. We could look for a reason to be pissy, get all “Why haven’t you kept in touch better?” or we can be thrilled to see an old chum. Fortunately, everyone chose the latter.

One of these friends, whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade, really opened my eyes. Our last encounter was under less-than-stellar circumstances and I was a little anxious about seeing him again.

Driving the point home a little harder was the fact that we were seeing each other for the first time in years at the funeral of a mutual friend who had shared in some of the tribulations.

My fear melted away as soon as he reached out to greet me. It turned out that neither of us harbored any hard feelings and after a while he said “David, when we get to this age it’s just not worth worrying about crap like that.”

He was so right. We had years of friendship to look back on so why dwell on the rough patches?

All of our shared experiences, good and bad, bind friendships together. Now we can recall and retell these events, embellishing them into tall tales, at our reunions. These invariably end in guffaws of crazy laughter. “Remember that time we…?”

My musician friends and I predictably return to war stories from our years on the road. There is nearly a battlefield type camaraderie that touring days, weeks and months on end trapped together on a bus develops.

The band and crew become the entire known world in a crazy “us against them” roadshow. The names we would give these tours said it all. Humor is definitely your buddy deep in the throes of a “mud and dust,” “death march to Bataan” or “bring your helmet” tour.

At times the laughing jags would take the stage with us. I recall one night when it was a little hard to sing while doubled over, crying and drooling uncontrollably over something our lunatic keyboard player had whispered in my ear right before the second verse.

We literally ended up on our knees and couldn’t even play anymore. I always liked giving the audience their money’s worth.

For Veronica and her friends, the conversation tends to gravitate to zany antics involving kids and times they scared the living crap out of us.

Sure, NOW we can laugh about when one of our little ones destroyed her tibia in an accident at Veronica’s best friend’s house while we were attending a pre-cell-phone wedding — since she is perfectly ambulatory 20 years later — but at the time, not so much.

The kind of fear we all felt when dealing with a crisis like that — and the relief after it subsided — really cements a friendship. On the bright side, we got to watch a four-year-old crab scoot around on her butt in a radiation-green hip-to-toe cast for weeks. THAT’s entertainment.

Much more than our hairlines, waistlines or an offspring’s ability to walk has changed over years. Our friends’ children have grown in our absence — all of them looking nothing like the mental picture we had of them as ten-year-olds with missing front teeth. Most of them are adults now. Weird how that happens.

An added bonus to these renewed relationships is that technology has made it a whole lot easier to stay in touch. Now we can have much more contact than we ever did before the rise of social media.

Facebook is no doubt the king of old-friend-finding-and-keeping-in-touch-with, but Twitter, texting and email are all members of the royal court. With their help we can keep tabs on the antics of friends and family online with just a few clicks a day.

Speaking of family, in the best of worlds we should be able to put past grievances behind us but, for no apparent reason, no one seems to hold a grudge like kin.

Even though our new found freedom has granted us opportunities to visit family members we hadn’t seen in years, some of the get-togethers were still a bit strained.

How can kids who nearly killed each other on a regular basis back in childhood carry resentment over completely non-lethal misunderstandings as adults?

I don’t have an answer but I do have a suggestion…

When we get to this age it’s just not worth worrying about crap like that.

David, GypsyNester.com

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37 thoughts on “We’re Too Old For This Crap”

  1. Awesome Blog! It’s a great spot to find new information. Thank you so much for this wonderful article.

  2. Yes, we ARE all too old to hang on to the crap! Facebook has been a serious blessing in finding old friends I thought I’d lost- we’re all over the world, but late at night we can PM each other and laugh (and sometimes cry or buck each other up or pray for each other) and share funny and stupid stuff again, and it’s a great joy! 🙂 I will say that I have had to cut myself off- completely, 100%- from some toxic people- inc. family- in order to “leave the crap behind”. It is often much easier to say “cut the crap” than to actually do it!

    1. You are so right about Facebook Elisse. We have found so many folks that we would otherwise not have any contact with. Luckily, most feel the same way as we do about leaving the crap in the past.

  3. I spent last weekend with a college friend who I met when I was 17 in 1971. Same thing. We had some resentments that seemed unforgiveable back in the day. There has now been so much water over so many dams and so many bridges crossed since then, that the statute of limitations has run on the crap (figuratively) and we were able to reconnect based on the things that made us friends in the first place.

    Go to any family Thanksgiving gathering. It is virtually guaranteed that there will be some family pathology — right next to the cranberry sauce. Our son is getting married in May. His future mother-in-law and I look at this as a chance to merge our family pathologies. It’s only crap if you can’t take a step back and laugh about it.

  4. said…

    Nice post! Found you here after you started following me on Twitter… love your project, love the blog.


  5. I ‘try’ and usually succeed in finding the blessing of that friendship and then let it go – at times it is my ‘trying’ than others. ♥

  6. Holding a grudge is like feeling guilty: a complete and unproductive waste of time and energy. Deal with the issue (or realize it can’t be dealt with) and move on. Sometimes, sadly, that also means moving on from some people, too.

  7. No, never hold grudges, not worth the time or effort, life is far too short just concentrate on the good things in your life while you can :0)

  8. I have learned to forgive then forget, once I forget though; I move on, I am gone…there is no turning back, life is too short for wasted energy. My heart has felt free since I have practiced this.

  9. What a great posting. I’m glad that you and your friends were able to jump past all the drama and get back to the friendship. Too old for all that? I can relate!

  10. Thank you! Well said. I find the same thing – the older I get, the less I want conflict in my life. I run from it or reconcile it quickly.

  11. My sister and I hated each other when we were little. It was only as adults that our differences really made us appreciate each other. She has been there at times where even my parents were not. No worries! It will work itself out in the late teens/early 20s when they have to rely on each other more. 🙂

  12. You hit the nail on the head, David! Weirdly enough that kin vs. friends thing is regrettable, but so true. We are at the same point of rekindling old friendships in life, and we’ve experienced that same “pick up where you left off feeling.” Unfortunately for family I think, the “bad crap” runs deeper and it takes more effort to wipe it off.

  13. Crap stinks so it is better left behind you!
    You so eloquently describe where I am in my life and soon feel the need to hit the road and rekindle some old friendships that have found new life on Facebook and also stoke some New friendships made through cyberspace as well!
    Pass the potatoes and enjoy the banquets!

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