I had always been told that age brings wisdom, and in some ways I suppose that’s true. I like to think that I’ve gotten a bit smarter over the years, or at least just a little less clueless than when I was young. But I’m almost sixty years old now and there are still far too many things in this world that I simply do not understand. And I’m beginning to think that I never will.
Much of what I fail to understand is fairly new, so my age might actually be working against me there. For instance, I keep seeing ads where restaurants and grocery stores boast about providing “clean food.” And I think, as opposed to what? Dirty food? Are they seriously bragging that they aren’t serving food that’s been dropped on the ground or retrieved from the garbage can? Of course their food is clean. If it wasn’t, the health department would shut them down. That’s their job. If a restaurant or store wants to impress me with the quality of their food, they need to focus more on words like “healthy” “fresh” and “tasty.” Especially “tasty.”
I’m also bewildered by the growing popularity of the “open concept” choice of home design. As far as I can see, open concept is achieved by tearing down almost all of the existing walls in a home to create one giant living space. Apparently, this is necessary so that there are sight-lines all over the house, meaning that those living in it can see everything all the time. For some reason, that’s considered important and the days of enjoying a bit of privacy or some peace and quiet in your home are over. I can’t help but wonder if even bathroom walls will eventually be removed just so people could be sure of seeing everything, even when seated on the toilet.
But the things I don’t understand aren’t just limited to new trends. I know that I’m a bit of a clean-freak and that means my house is probably cleaner than most. But I’m still surprised by how many people feel free to comment on how “unnaturally clean” my house is. I know they don’t mean anything negative by it. But personally, I’d never dream of walking into someone’s messy house and saying, “Wow! What a pig sty!” I think people should be allowed to keep their houses as clean or messy as they want, within reason. (If your house is so clean that you’re following your guests around with a dust cloth and vacuum cleaner, then it is too clean. If your guests can’t find anywhere to sit down that isn’t sticky and are afraid to eat what comes out of your kitchen, then it’s too dirty.) Everything in between is perfectly okay.
These are just a few of the things that I puzzle over, and believe me, there are many more. I’m hoping I’ll get to live a good long life and that will give me the chance to solve more of life’s little mysteries. But I think it’s far more likely that there will always be many things I won’t begin to understand, even if I life to be one hundred. And I guess that’s just part of what makes life so interesting…