There is an expression I use fairly often; probably too often. In conversation, when someone starts bemoaning their age I will say; “Oh, I have sweatshirts older than you.” I say it whether the person is 15 or 103. The comment really has nothing to do with age. The intention is to inject a little humor and, hopefully, a message of ‘let’s not take ourselves quite so seriously’.
It is chilly today by Phoenix standards. Preparing to venture out, I went to the closet in search of something warmer than a polo shirt. I started to grab one of the usual sweatshirts, bearing the logo of The Santa Fé Opera or University of Michigan football. Looking at the top shelf, the one with all the sweatshirts I never wear…. because they’re on a shelf too high to reach…, I remembered a sweatshirt I bought years ago on a weekend in Saugatuck, MI. Since it is World AIDS Day I thought it would be appropriate.
I haven’t worn this sweatshirt in years. Harper’s Other Dad said he’d never seen it. Can it really be that long since I’ve worn it? Thinking back, I bought it in the summer of 1991. Lest anyone think I am so neurotic that I keep track of such things, I remember who I was with when I purchased it. There weren’t many summers in that relationship.
We’re were on our way to the see the Met’s ‘Live In HD’ performance of La Clemenza di Tito. Because the ‘snowbirds’ have returned, and because it’s opera, the age demographic skews older. Harper’s Other Dad is usually the youngest one in the audience. While chatting during intermission with the Scottsdale matron on my right or the Paradise Valley dowager on my left, if the conversation turns to age and I say “I have sweatshirts older than that”; as I am wont to do, it will be less an exageratiuon than it normally is.