Archive for November 11th, 2017

IT’S GOOD TO BE ME

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

As long as we continue to stay alive, years continue to pass for us and our bodies grow old. Personally, I never considered the passage of time to have anything to do with my worth as a person because my mind continues to stay sharp, my health good and my general condition to be as good as many and better than most.

It’s obvious, now that I’m well into old age, that most people see me as a peripheral sort of presence, someone not to be taken into consideration too seriously. After all, old people don’t live very long, generally, they’re not up and coming, they’ve shot their wad, run their race, and are now on the back burner of life. And so forth. Old people just don’t matter much.

What was never obvious to me until this afternoon and evening is that even old people consider other old people to be unimportant and peripheral.

Two months ago I decided that it was true, that if we’re not busy living, we’re busy dying. I was focused on trying to make sure I had enough money to outlast me, and was being very careful of what I spent, when it came to me that what I was doing was being busy dying. So I decided to DO something, and after looking around at our little group of communities, I settled on opening an Art and Craft supply store, for the simple reason that there was none here.

Six weeks later, after strenuous and concentrated effort, the store was ready to open, and now, two weeks after opening, I was invited to and attended the local Art Association meeting. But before I get into that, I want to mention that almost everyone who’s come into my new shop expressed gladness, sometimes considerable gladness, that the valley finally had a well stocked art supply store.

Okay, so the meeting was to start at 4:30 this afternoon and I arrived about 5 minutes early, only to find everyone sitting in a circle and discussing the election of new club officers. I was totally ignored, even by the person who’d invited me there, and stood there like a tree stump until finally one of the people I knew got up, welcomed me to the meeting and introduced me as the owner of the new store.

These people all felt very important, being members of the Valley Art Association and all, and no doubt most of them see themselves as really good artists. The home where all this took place is a big, expensive house. There was quite a bit of artwork on the walls, and most of it was awkward and amateurish with some of it looking like Grandma Moses doing Paint By Numbers. I was sincerely unimpressed and that’s only fair, since most of them were doing their very best to express their sincere unimpression of me. Not one of them asked me if I did any sort of art or craft. Not one. Only a few of them out of about 20 people even spoke to me.

I went to this little soiree not knowing how it would go but not expecting much, which is a good thing. I did it because for my shop, it was the smart thing to do, politically. I of course handed over the money for a membership in this exercise in organized snobbery, and with any luck I’ll never attend another meeting unless there’s something in it for me, because every one of them is a phony.

I can see past age. I give equal respect to children and the aged, both are valid humans until they prove otherwise. Of course, I give the same respect to birds and squirrels as I do people and anything else exhibiting sentience. This doesn’t make me superior to those who don’t, it makes me luckier.

And now, I would like to quote Spiro Agnew, one of our former corrupt Vice Presidents, who so very aptly said THIS: “A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete core of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.” A truth that will prevail beyond time itself.