When I was a child there was always the implied promise that, with age, would come understanding. I remember my momma telling me: "You'll understand when you're grown and have kids of your own."

Daddy use to back her up. "Boy, when you're grown, you'll understand."

So I carried on with life, sure in the expectation that, at some future date in my ongoing maturity, all would be made clear to me.

Thus it is that I find myself, today, at the ripe old age of sixty-three and I still don't understand....don't get it...am in the dark. Now don't get me wrong, it is not the Natural world that confuses me. After all, Nature has a simple set of rules and if you follow those rules you will do okay. Animals are the same way. I never had a horse lie to me and once I learned their language, me and the horse rarely ever had any disagreements. Animals follow Nature's rules and so can be easily understood.

No, it's people that constantly confuse me and leave me scratching my head. There are so many things about Humans that I am no closer to understanding now at the age of sixty-three, than I was as a tow-headed boy of ten. It just doesn't seem fair.

Take for instance Christmas. I know what the holiday is supposed to be about. I understand that the holiday was lifted from Roman pagan holidays by the first Christian emperor of Rome in an effort to make the newly accepted religion more palatable to his pagan constituents. But, it is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Christ so at what point did it become all about giving gifts?

I don't understand why, in the world today, you are likely judged more by your ability to bestow gifts upon loved ones on Christmas than any other aspect of your life. When did it become common for the depth of our love of family be judged by the price tag on a Christmas gift?

Something else I don't understand and that is people's  incessant need to be constantly connected with each other. Today people have an almost pathological desire to own the latest cell phone, I-phone, E-reader, and I-gadget on the market so they can instantly dash of a communique to aunt Gertie or their BFF as to their day....minute by minute.


I must confess here that I DO own a cell phone. I haven't seen it in almost a year, but I own one. It stays in the truck...I think. My wife made me buy one when we moved to Mo. because I had a long commute back and forth to work and she worried that something might happen and I need help. Never needed it for that.

My brother once chided me for not answering his texts. "Kinda hard to do," I told him. "My land-line don't show those things." So it goes.

Note here to brother...If I want to write you a letter, I won't be using the phone to do it. That's like using a typewriter to make a phone call.

Folks, the simple hard truth is.....I DON'T want to be instantly accessible to everyone. I have no interest in being attached by an electronic umbilical cord to the rest of the world. The computer is bad enough and sometimes I have to just turn it off and walk away for awhile. So don't text me...I won't get it and if you call me and I don't answer that means I am out of the house and doing stuff...leave a message and I'll call you back.

So these are just a few things I don't understand and it looks as though momma and daddy lied to me cause I don't think I will ever live long enough to understand these and many other things. Of course that is why I blog here among really smart people. I am sure you guys have the answers to these questions and won't mind sharing them with a confused old country boy.


Views: 334

Comment by Zanelle on November 30, 2012 at 10:36am

I have no answers.  I do not like the gift part of the holidays.  I told my grown daughters I was going to come to their house and take something away instead of giving them more stuff.  Too much stuff in the world.  As for cel phones....I do like the invention of phones.  They are so fun to use to talk to someone and just like the computer they can be turned off at any time.  Maybe it is just that there seem to be fewer and fewer people I want to talk to......sigh.

Comment by L in the Southeast on November 30, 2012 at 10:40am

Different strokes for different folks, David.  I think a lot of times it is loneliness that causes people to want to reach out and stay connected.  I think there are more than a few people on this site who would not have anyone to "talk" to  without the electronic umbilical.  I'm one of the rare older persons who enjoys keeping up with the technology, the pop culture, the politics and a lot of other things some people think are a waste of time.   Yet these same people think it is perfectly fine to sit hour after hour listening to music or reading books.  One of the things my parents used to say is "It takes all kinds."

Comment by Sheila Reep on November 30, 2012 at 10:43am

You are a crack-up...but so observant.  Well thought out question with no quick answer!

Comment by Poor Woman on November 30, 2012 at 10:53am

If it were left to me, Christmas would be simpler, less fussy, and more calm. I tend to be an introspective sort, and this can redouble during the darkest season of the year, when nights are longer. Fuss and bother do not fit with how I feel during this time of year.

On the other hand, I like to celebrate somewhat, in my own quiet way, as the holidays were ingrained in me from babyhood as being all about that very ideal. Maybe I celebrate more with folks via phone (no texting, thanks) or online than in person, but a person like me has to have their peace of mind preserved, and family is not the peace-inducer for me it might have become. So I will most likely hang out on the phone with the people I cherish (as the miles separate, we really have no choice but this one this year) along with all my OurS compatriots.

As for the modern era, one of the reasons I stopped doing the FB routine was that it wasted precious hours and minutes...I really didn't need to hear that someone had broken her toenail or that someone's Uncle Harry had lost his partial in a minor boating accident. Where were all these people to my world when I was offline? No-where to be seen. I'd far rather blog a bit and hang out with you guys here than be FBing all the time. It's far more productive, and I get to read posts by great people such as yourself.


Comment by John Fleshman on November 30, 2012 at 10:54am

Change is hard for all. We get comfortable and like what we are familiar with. There is nothing strange about your feelings in your post. We all feel like that when it comes to something new. Then we get set in our ways and there is a point in life for some where they will reject anything that tries to alter their “norm”. I tell my kids all the time it is quicker to dial a 7 digit number and talk to your friend, but they like the text things for some odd reason more than I do. I see where text is better, as an example when I am in a meeting and just need someone to research something for me, rather than getting up and leaving the room to make a call, send them a text and I receive a text back that only has 1 letter “k”. Or when I am out and about and my child texts me, “I am home”. No need for a phone call back and forth, she told me what I needed to know as a parent.

Just some thoughts.

Comment by Cranky Cuss on November 30, 2012 at 10:58am

Don't look to me for answers.  If I wrote a post about the things I don't understand at age 61, this site would run out of bandwidth.  Forget Christmas, an orgy of consumerism that makes me cringe, about as far from the supposed meaning of the day as is humanly possible.  I do carry my cell phone with me at most times - necessary because I sometimes have to pick up my wife and daughters - but I never use it to check email or Facebook and most of the time I just use it as a watch.

Comment by Anna Herrington on November 30, 2012 at 11:19am

David, thank you for this!

I don't understand either. For me, it's not about adapting or anything else like that -- there are miracles outside every day. I feel alive out there, and prefer to be untethered to some bell, demanding my attention. Life on Earth only lasts so long! I must be in it !

As for Christmas, I am making most presents, as I often do, so is Husband. It is our family tradition, it helps Christmas gift-giving means something to us (if the plan is in place early enough  : )). I suspect it is meant to mirror Christ's gift to us, but I'm not in on traditional Christian circles, so I'm guessing. This is ho- (sorry, no double-u suddenly) my preacher relatives might explain it.

In our -ealthy area, any place I've lived really, handmade is unheard of. The best part of getting older so far is that I don't care if I seem to do the opposite of mainstream America.

I have a cell phone too -- some place around here. Don't bother me, I'll get to you after I garden, -ork, hang out, banter on OurS, hike, notice the moon...although I do love emails - I use it for long chatty letters to my Aunt and getting hers back. Another attitude that isn't sensible to anyone else I kno-.

My family is mad I don't do Facebook. I just cannot, for some reason. Sorry, there's Life going on out there! I might miss the sight of the birds' morning ruckus!

As you say, the internet (and my job) has me pinned to this thing enough...it does get lonely seeming to live so oppositely to so many, glad to kno- you're out there too. The moon peeking through the clouds at da-n this morning -- incredible.

I'm even a little excited the computer's going in today to fix this missing double-u. 

Comment by David McClain on November 30, 2012 at 11:28am

Zanelle....I like the idea of going to their homes and taking something.

Lezlie.....You are right. It is probably my own failing since I can happily go days or longer without talking to anyone except my dear wife. She is the only person I need to talk to every day. Between her and my horses, well, they keep me sane....more or less.

PW...I get what you say about FB. I mean...really....who among us really know what our "Status" is?

John...Prehaps you are right. Maybe it's because I don't have any questions I need answered quickly or things I need to get done.

Cranky......If you have the duty of picking up the wife or daughter, then I perfectly understand....you miss that call and, well, if momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.

Comment by David McClain on November 30, 2012 at 11:33am

Just Thinking...At least there are two of us out there.

Sheila....Good to see you in here girl and yeah....I been called funny before. Hope all is well with you and your's.

Comment by Emily Conyngham on November 30, 2012 at 11:40am

Yup, being OK and present where you are is important, alright, David. I'm glad someone is doing it! Lezlie's line "electonic umbilical" kinda describes being online.  OK, I've pretty much used up my allotment. Time to go outside.


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