Snapshots: 20 going on 90 theme

Curtailed commentary of current themes.



Print Edition: March 5, 2014

(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

Remember or die

More and more I find myself and others using a variation of the phrase, “Wait, what we are talking about?” or “You’re totally going to have to repeat everything you just said.”

It’s not because I have amnesia. I can spout off soliloquies from movies I’ve watched at the drop of a hat and remember pages of dialogue and prose from books I’ve read, or lyrics I’ve heard, but if you put a gun to my head and demand the street name of the UFV Abbotsford campus, nine times out of 10, without quick access to a map app, I’d be dead.

Yet, much like some of our elderly citizens, I have been subject to sudden, vivid bursts of lucidity when it comes to recalling things I’m not even remotely interested in.

Still, without my smart phone calendar and contact list, I would probably end up starving to death in a city full of people, food, and replacement phones. The moral of the story is — and I’m sure many of you can agree — if you lose your phone, death will surely follow.



Being grouchy is one of those unfortunate elderly quirks. What’s less fortunate is that I share this idiosyncrasy, though I am barely considered an adult. The elderly grouch about young people, having nothing to do, and unpleasant textures in their food. If you add the unfavourable endurance of the early morning — that list wraps me up.

Picture it now: a beautiful sunny morning, birds chirping, children laughing, and the rickety wooden door swings open to an 18-year-old girl shouting at the little ones to “get off my lawn!”

The whole concept of growing old and developing those special elderly quirks is becoming increasingly understandable as I age. The elderly are completely right in not wanting strange kids on their lawns or being grouchy about what’s become of the world.

It may sound ridiculous coming from me, but mornings come far too early and I will stubbornly maintain my grumpy old self as long as they persist at such an evil hour.


Is anti-violence antiquated?

“I have played a video game!” I protest.

It’s true — I’ve played Mario. He even lasts longer than five seconds before going over a cliff now, which is a vast improvement over my early play.

For the most part, however, I’m not interested in video games — especially violent ones. I don’t, and hopefully never will, understand the so-called pleasure of sitting comfortably on a couch with a controller in my hand, hitting a button and watching someone crumple to the ground.

I don’t care if it is an imaginary person. I don’t care if it is an enemy. There’s nothing comfortable about violence, and I won’t pretend there is.

Some video games I don’t mind — Wii Fit and Mario come to mind. I do understand a need to be distracted. But for me, war is not distracting; it’s disturbing and horrific.

Yet I’m afraid my opinion is not exactly popular in my own generation. When I shrug and confess the limitations on my gaming experience, I often get a look that says, What are you, 90?!


Time for a nap

I’m 22. It’s Friday, and most of my age-group is out getting drunk. Good for them. But you know what I’m getting? Tired. It is 9 p.m. and I am tired.

Popular television has led me to believe that your 20s are supposed to be filled with drinking, partying, and adventure. Where does an early bedtime factor into that image? Exactly nowhere. But somehow I’ve wrangled it so that my drinking happens before the sun goes down, my partying consists of staying home with Netflix and cheap beer, and my greatest adventure is putting on my pajamas while still in public.

And I love it.

I’ve barely passed the two-decade mark but I feel more like I’ve passed the two-century mark. I’ve decided I can’t wait to be an old person. Having naps is normal for an old person. Going to bed at 7 p.m. is normal for an old person. Nobody begrudges old people their sleep. Why go to the bar when I could be safely ensconced in a duvet nest?

I think the choice is clear.


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