Monday, September 6, 2010

Let's get Philosophical!

I read somewhere recently that you could tell right away if someone was a baby boomer if they were nostalgic. Apparently more recent generations are less nostalgic than those of us born in this era. When I read that, I was a bit insulted that "being nostalgic" was a flaw, a fault of some type, a negative thing. It felt like someone had been unfairly critical of my generation. What was so wrong with nostalgia? I wondered. I pondered. I forgot about it. Until today. I was reminded just how bloody nostalgic we are when an old friend of mine from California tagged me in a photo on Facebook last week. The shot had been taken at a party in the late 70's and there I was, for all to see, fresh-faced moi. This started a series of comments and more photos being scanned and posted and more of us boomers looking back on our (skinnier) selves and having a few laughs. It was more than 30 years ago, but looking back, it could have been a week ago. The memories came back in waves. At first, I forgot the names of some of the people in the shots, but as the conversations unfolded, the names got mentioned and the moments frozen in time took on life again. This friend of mine who lives in California - San Diego at the time, hosted these annual parties. I flew in twice for them - they tended to last 3 days or so and they were considered by all who attended as "don't miss" events. I won't go into "all" the details, but let's just say there was no shortage of mind altering substances to be had and there was a hot tub. Not just any hot tub, mind you, this hot tub was a "magic" place. If you dared to soak in this particular hot tub, particularly under a starry sky, there was no limit to the brilliance of the philosophizing that would take place. I had forgotten that. Over the last few days, it was comforting to remember some of it. I have always loved nothing more than to share a conversation about "the meaning of life" with friend, an acquaintance, hell - total strangers for that matter. You never know what gem may come out of it. I miss doing that - I don't do enough of it anymore. Remember dinner parties that would go on and on into the wee hours, wine-soaked brains solving the problems of the world? Now, we go to a dinner party and talk about our kids, the real estate market, local politics, federal politics, current events - that stuff bores me. I want to talk about what makes us tick. I did then and I still do now. What gives you joy? I want to turn to someone at a dinner party and ask that question. I want to see their face light up when they start to describe it. But I want it to be the truth. Not some made up bullshit thing. Dig deep. Don't tell me your new BMW or your new Jimmy Choo's. And if you don't have something to tell me, tell me what you "think" would give you joy. There was something about that hot tub that levelled everyone. If there were any pretenses, they remained outside the tub. That's what I want. I want all my social engagements to contain that kind of honesty. So, in an effort to make that happen, I will summon up my nostalgic "hot tub magic" each and every time I attend a function and maybe my life will be richer for it. One can only hope.


Beth said...

Great dinner party question! I think (hope) the older we get, the more we'll start to think once again about the things that really do bring us joy.

Carla Sandrin said...

So Deb, tell me...what brings you joy? It's a great question indeed!