Rites of Passage

Last week, one of my Geezer pals wrote about being accused of “living in the good old days.” How can that be bad? Those days offer wisdom, humor and truth of life. Those days are a rite of passage in the Geezer Tribe.

Truth is that most of us don't “live in the past” but there isn't a day which goes by that we don't celebrate it or laugh about it. The sad times helped to make us who we are today but those are not the times we choose to focus on. The laughter in our lives is the heart of us...the place we really came from. That's the reason we're still here.

Happiness is something we take from each's not given. Some of us never find the good times in life because we either don't know how...or we deny ourselves without really meaning to. After years of trying to change attitudes I can say that this dance of happiness requires a partner. Some folks just like the dark side.

This is the “life lesson” I'm having the toughest time learning. I want these folks to buck up, see the light and get on board. Will they? Nope. Will I give up? Not until the wheels fall off.

As Geezer World becomes Geezer Tribe, I am thinking about other rites of passage in life. Oh sure, all of us got delivered on this planet, but even that was different for each of us. My Mom was born at home but it is important for her to note, “there was a doctor present.” I was born in the same hospital that my father, brother and both daughters were born in. I think there was a doctor present.

Rites of passage are different for boys and girls. When my brother got his first jock strap he wore it over his jeans around the house until my Mom got hold of it and threw it in the top branches of a tree in the front yard. I think this was a parental lesson but I'm still laughing. It wasn't as funny when I tried to shave my legs without parental permission. Why? I was like Don Knotts. I shook so bad that I raked myself and damned near bled to death trying to hide the resulting damage. Turned out that Mom was right. Practice makes perfect when you get permission.

While menstruation was a rite for girls, application of condoms was to boys. Cars and driver's licenses were for boys when I was young. I didn't get my own right to drive a car until I was married with one child. I was 18 and flunked the first test because my leg shook so badly that I couldn't keep the clutch in.

I remember how we got married before we turned 20 years-old. It was a rite of passage. Women ironed boxer shorts, pillow cases and dish towels. Men went to work every day and sometimes stopped for a beer. They mowed the lawn. Women did all the other stuff.

I remember when we had our babies. In 1966 I got scolded by a nurse because I unwrapped the daughter I was meeting the first time who had been born 36 hours earlier. After scolding, she told me I needed a bigger bra. I sobbed. My first failure as a parent...a rite of passage. I still giggle over this one.

I remember going to war...or not. Vietnam was a rite of passage either way. We were forever changed by those years...all of us. The remarkable thing is that we came back together as time went on. There is a bond between every person who lived through this time which will never go away. It does not matter which side of the conflict you were on. In the end, we are Americans.

We raised our kids and we got divorced. In fact, many of us got divorced a lot. It took me two of them to find Mr. S. Without my daughters, I wouldn't have made it that far. This was an unfortunate but necessary rite of passage.

There are so many of you who went through all of these things together and never skipped a beat. You stayed married through all the tough times...and are still finding the joy in your life.

Geezer Tribe members...we are all of this and so much more. Welcome to the richest tribe on earth. We have so much to share! xoxo

Published: 17 April 2017

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