These Surprised Me When I Was Younger, But As I Got Older, I Understood
When you are a kid, you don’t think about certain things. Down the road however, experience sheds new light on previous experiences. Here are a few things that as a younger person, I just did think about or understand. When I got older, some of the had more clarity…but not all of them!
1. People Don’t Sing With An Accent
So my first exposure to this phenomena began back in those early baby boomer days when Olivia Newton John was popular. Her song, I Honestly Love You was popular at the time, and then came Grease, and Grease was the word, and the word was with Grease.
In the movie Grease, our darling Olivia had speaking parts, and she spoke with an Australian accent….what!! As a 14-year old boy infatuated with this blonde beauty, this of course made her even more attractive. Still, I could not understand how she could sing in “American” and talk like an Aussie.
Apparently, this is the case with most singers. I realized it as I got older, but I still don’t really understand this. The only song that comes to mind for me that gives you pause to think that English might not be their first language is the fantastic song, No One Like You, by Scorpions. Some of the words are clearly accented, but it doesn’t take anything away from the song, nor the legendary guitar solo within.
2. Other Cultures Can Talk With An American Accent
Staying on the theme of accents, not only as I got older, but even was I was already older, the idea that someone could do an American accent was a foreign concept to me. Sure, Americans could do British, Scottish, German, and French accents with ease. But we don’t have an accent do we? Surely it is not reproducible?
Of course as I got older and older and watched actors like Hugh Laurie speak “natural”, I realized he was imitating an American accent. Even today this still blows my mind, though it should not.
3. Old Lady’s Can Drive Huge Vehicles
As a kid, you don’t think twice about the “bus lady”. Whether it’s a school bus or a city bus, you simply accept it for what it is. As I got older and found myself needing to drive large vehicles like moving vans and RVs, it was the memories of these fine women that gave me the confidence I needed to be able to pilot a 40-foot living room down the freeway.
You realize very quickly that it takes an extra measure of brains and confidence to pilot these large vehicles carefully. You just have to remember those bus ladies of the past to get you through the fear and on to the road.
Always a fan of big trucks, youthful Boomer was initially surprised to see a female driving an 18-wheeler. Once again, as I got older I realized the folly of my ways. Driving big trucks takes courage, patience, and smarts…something most women are flush with.
4. Musicians Can Remember Complex Arrangements
This one really hit me one day…and not all that long ago. I think I was well past the “I got older” phase and well into the I wish I was younger phase when this revelation dawned on me. I was never very musically inclined, but I often wondered, particularly with something like a guitar solo…how did they remember all those notes?
Having been to dozens and dozens of concerts and seeing guitarists reproduce a well known guitar solo on stage was like magic to me. It finally occurred to me one day listening to Boston’s Hitch a Ride, that if I knew every single note to that guitar solo, then surely the musicians that wrote and play it will remember it too!
I know from listening to interviews with Rush, that recording the complex Hemispheres album was a long and exhausting process to learn and perfect those songs, yet even I have a decent handle on La Villa Strangiato after all these years, so now I get it. Seems silly, I know but hey…I declared that at the top that these were silly things that dawned on me as I got older.
5. You Are Never Too Old To Feel Like A Kid
I asked my dad once, “when will I feel grown up?” He said, “you never really do.” I’ve come to think he was right. As you get older, the decisions you have to make are harder, with greater consequence. Perhaps I no longer get excited about shooting stars and parades, but newer experiences still seep in to keep me feeling like a kid.
The excitement of travel to a new place, a new car, or a great football game keep you feeling young. If you are fortunate enough to have a funny coworker, the daily laughs can make you feel like a teenager again.
I don’t know how silly this one is per se, but I suppose the act of being silly is what puts it on the list. Feeling young is about staying active, using your brain, and not being afraid to laugh.
I’m a Baby Boomer, and I Got Older
Somewhere along the line, I got older. You realize one day that you are doing adult stuff all the time, but you still don’t feel like one. The toys are bigger and more expensive, and the word Johnson still doesn’t remind you of baby powder. Bathroom humor is still funny, to a point, and you realize your mortality is nearer so you’d better get your heart right with God.