Some days I feel like I don't have to time to think at all, and other days I feel like ALL I do is think.
Well, today is one of those days I've been thinking a lot. I'm at a weird point in my life (ok maybe I'm getting old) but you know, I'm not the naive, spring chicken I used to be and I find myself feeling so much more self-aware and so much more aware of the world changing around me.
I saw this really handsome old guy today at lunch. When I say "old" I mean probably in his seventies. His silver hair was combed really nice and looking freshly cut, though I suspect that's how it ALWAYS looks. His face was clean-shaven. He wore a nice white button up shirt with a t-shirt underneath and his shirt was tucked in to his nice khaki slacks. Anyway, I noticed he was by himself and there was nothing really blocking my view so I just sat and watched. He ate well and seemed peaceful. I felt lonely watching him though. I wondered if he had a wife, or children or had ever been to war.
I realized about that time that when his generation is gone, so many things will be lost or forgotten. I am willing to bet when he was a boy, that man carried his lunch in a lunch pail - if and when he was lucky enough to have any lunch. My kids wouldn't even know what a pail is. He probably carried his books to school in a satchel. Again, my kids wouldn't know what that is. He probably wore britches with knee socks pulled up. And if he dared act up at school, he probably got a paddling for it from the teacher.
I also realized while watching him that when his generation is gone, so too, will be the definition of real men. Now this is sort of a rant here, but bear with me. You rarely see facial hair on old men, but you almost always see it on younger men. Old men were taught to shave by their fathers or grandfathers and it wasn't optional, it was expected. They'd use the old style whipped up lather with a scalding hot towel and an old stainless steel triple blade razor.
They always smelled clean, and by clean I mean like SOAP, not cologne. Men these days smell like a cologne factory with all the fancy body washes and all.
Older men always wore an undershirt which these days has become a t-shirt. Most men now days wear one to paint in or lounge around the house in.
And ah, my biggest peeve about younger men.. the avoidance of tucking in the shirt. Old men tuck in their shirts and make sure their 'gig-line' is tight (that would be, making sure the buttons on the shirt are aligned with the button and zipper of the pants they are tucked into and the belt buckle is also in alignment). And older men always, always wear a belt. These days I'm willing to bet most men rarely if ever tuck in their shirt or wear a belt. My daddy used to tell me, "If those pants have got belt-loops, you wear a belt.. those loops aren't for decoration."
Ok and now not to sound like some 1950s Indiana housewife, but he was probably the boss of his family. What I mean by that is he probably did the managing the money, the WORK, the providing, etc. These days many men seem lost without their wives. The wife these days is the manager, bookkeeper, banker, etc.
These are the things that will be gone when the greatest generation is no more.