Friday, October 26, 2012

Benefits of Age

I spent the evening with my wonderful friend Thomenon in Berkeley yesterday, visiting our old haunts, doing our "girly things," as he said. We were laughing about how far we'd come and the troubles we'd survived in graduate school. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants and then had coffee in one of the cafes where we would sit, night after night studying for orals or "writing" our dissertations or grading terrible papers or exams. He taught me back in 1995 not to take too much time with finals, putting happy faces or sad faces by certain types of answers. "Give the students the same kind of effort they give you," he said. We remembered how we'd have to take notes on paper, while students today have laptops and tablets. Oh, the old days.

Before I dropped him off to write his conference paper, suitably caffeinated, we stopped to get some water for him. There were some beautiful twenty-something boys in the store. I lamented how our youths had passed, and how one boy looked like a long-ago love of mine. "Muppie," he said. "You spent the entire decade of your 20's crying and poor. Look at you now! Thin, gorgeous, smart, together, financially secure. You are powerful, I am powerful. I wouldn't go back to my 20's, when I couldn't figure out where the next dollar was coming from. We look fabulous; we've moved on. The people here can't make us cry now!"

I agree. I wouldn't go back to that decade, and I love my friend!

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