Age appropriate

Youth is full of sport;

Age's breath is short;

Youth is nimble;

Age is lame; youth is hot and bold;

Age is weak and cold;

Youth is wild and age is tame.

Shakespeare

If you're up in age, have seen many summers, or approaching your twilight years, I want you to read that quote over and over again to remind you of the vast difference between youth and old age. If you're young, I also want you to take heed of the sobering words and see them as the harbinger of things to come, what to expect.

Remember in old Jamaican folklore when Piglet asked his mother, “Momma, how come yu mout so long?” her reply, “Ah my son, you'll soon find out.” That's right, as the young grow older, they'll discover what it means to age and experience all that comes with it and appreciate what their forebears went through.

Nevertheless, this is not about comparing age and youth, but rather conflating the two, merging the different eras, combining both of the times and seeing the problems that occur as one refuses to let go of the other. It's like oil and water, they just don't mix.

Usually, it's the oldsters who refuse to let go of the young, and try desperately to cling to what has long gone. They do things that we often declare to be not age appropriate. We'll see what those are right after these responses to what I had to say about the 'Root of all evil'.

Hi Tony,

Timothy 6:10 is often misquoted, as you stated, as money is the root of all evil, but actually it's “Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” So, the love of money is just one root of not all evil, but all kinds of evil. Then there are evil thoughts and intentions as opposed to evil actions. Can a man love money and wealth without committing evil deeds? And obviously, loving money, it seems, can lead to not just one, but several kinds of evil. All this now leads to the big question, what is the source of love and goodness?

Conrad

Hello Tony,

I really don't know what the root of evil is, as old as I am, as there are so many roots and so many evils. But I will agree with you that the love of the vagina is the root of all evil. Over the years I have read of the horrific murders of women by their husbands or boyfriends due to a rage of jealousy, especially if the woman left them outright for another man. I don't know if it's that they can't process the thought of their woman engaging in sweet love throes with another man, or that they cannot measure up, literally, or possess the powers that the new man has.

PC

Very few things are more ridiculous than seeing someone who doesn't dress or act age appropriate. In many cases it's women who simply refuse to let go of their long lost youth and still cling to the fading fabric of what used to be a vibrant and colourful garment. We have a term for those ladies, “Modda young gyal,' which refers to a woman who is way past her prime but still primes herself in the accoutrements and garments of the young.

There she is, long past 70, yet dressed to impress in impy skimpy shorts or cut-out jeans that are fit for a 17-year-old.

“My word, look at granny trying to look like teenager inna her b-rider.”

Don't get me wrong, there are some older women who still look great, still cut a dash and dress fabulously, but they dress age appropriate.

They do not wear clothes that only a teenager should wear, but adorn themselves elegantly, fashionably and sartorially sophisticated.

“OMG, look how that lady looks fabulous, and she's no spring chicken yu nuh, but she dresses age appropriately.”

On the flip side, there are some young women who dress as if they shop at the geriatric discount bargain basement store. They are barely in their 20s, but dress as if they are ancient dowagers, country school marms, church sistas who love the look of sack cloth minus the ashes.

“How old are you my dear?”

“Twenty-one, ma'am.”

“Suh why yu dress like yu granny?”

Certainly not age appropriate at all. That's so infrequent though that I won't even dwell on it. What's even more egregious is when they are even younger and do not dress or act age appropriate.

This is usually facilitated by mothers who attempt to make their daughters look more mature than they really are. They dress up the little three-year-old girl in clothes fit for someone much older, and apply make up, jewellery and all sorts of fandangles that remind you of what ladies of the night streetwalkers wear. The poor child resembles a painted dolly and looks absolutely ridiculous. And yet the mothers think that it's cute. It's not.

Men do it too, but somehow if the man has a slim body he can pull it off and get away with it. A man of 70 can still cut a dash in sports shorts, tight polo shirt and track shoes. Of course, if he's paunchy or big and fat and wagga wagga, he'll look ridiculous; that's not because of the age, but the obesity.

Where that stops though, and where he certainly isn't age appropriate is when he adorns himself with a much younger woman who is more than a generation removed from him. This is so obvious in its implementation that people can't help but noticing.

“My goodness, what is he doing with that child who could be his daughter or granddaughter? That's really not age appropriate.”

Just a few weeks ago I was speaking with one such man who admitted that the young lady who he was involved with made him feel uncomfortable when they were out in public.

“To tell the truth, I really feel funny when we go out, as I know that there's a huge age difference.” Nevertheless, he still kept her, for as he put it, “She made me feel young and alive.”

But as we all know, these age-inappropriate relationships almost always end up badly, with the older person being the aggrieved party. As per usual, and fitting into the age old cliché, he was putting her through university and even had her ensconced in an apartment uptown. One night he arrived there unannounced and pushed key in the door as per usual, only to find another man, albeit more age appropriate, closer to her age, naked in the very bed that he bought for the young lady.

As he related his tale of woe to me, with a straight face I asked him, “I guess that encounter was certainly not age appropriate?” He failed to see the humour of my jibe, but lamented and cursed how the girl was ungrateful and wicked.

“Imagine, I putting her through school, put her in apartment, buy her a little car and she bring in young bwoy inna me place.”

That's because the young bwoy is more age appropriate for her.

The truth is, time travel is not yet a reality, so until then, people must remain in their own time zone, stay not only in your lane, but in your era. You cannot expect to be born in the 60s and run up and down with a partner whose parents were born in the 70s. Mathematically, logically, emotionally, physically, it just does not compute.

And yet, so many men still insist on not being age appropriate when it comes to squiring much younger women. As for the women who try to romance young boys who are the same age as their sons, forget about it, that too is not age appropriate and does not do justice to the elegant jungle feline, the cougar.

So all you aged men, when it comes to young women who are not age appropriate, heed the words of the Bard:

“A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.”

What's the point of dining on young, fresh steak if you have no teeth to chew it with? Plus, even veal can prove difficult to chew if you're up in age and have no teeth.

“Second childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Shakespeare, As you Like it.

So the lesson is, be age appropriate.

More time.

seido1yard@gmail.com

Footnote: Volier Johnson has passed and with him a legacy of a rich life in theatre. Many may not know, but his range as an actor was quite wide. I remember back in the early 1970s Volier starred in a TV drama that I wrote and directed for Jamaica Information Service Playhouse titled Just One More. It also starred Oliver Samuels and Teddy Price, long before all three were household names. The theme of the drama was alcoholism, and Volier captured all the nuances of an alcoholic despair, aggression, penitence, depression and ironic humour. It was truly an epic performance from this gifted actor and one which I'll never forget. He was also my friend, and his daughter and my daughter were best friends in high school. Rest well. Volier, we will miss your humour and your humility.

Tony Robinson

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