Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Age Of Desiderata

(The following entry has been revised after it was posted. Some additional points were added.)

* * * * *

The day I hit 40, people asked me, “Well, how does it feel?” My reply? “Same as yesterday, when I was 39.”

* * * * *

I was particularly struck by Tony’s blog entry entitled, “The Age Of Romance.” There he wonders if it is age that “kill romance.” Does “maturity, growth, age, life experience” dull the spark of youth that lends them their “idealism, their unjaded look at life, their fire, their ability to give of themselves without restraint?”

I have said before that I am not a romantic but a realist. It doesn’t mean that I am incapable of romantic acts. But I do not believe that fairy tales come true. I do not believe in forever—all things must and do pass. And when it comes to love, while the initial spark is important, what’s more crucial is what happens after the lead characters kiss passionately as the end credits music swells and the words “The End” flashes onscreen.

To borrow some quote I saw online (pardon me, I failed to get the source): “Honeymoon periods are nice and dandy, but as everyone knows, they never last. But relationships can—once the pixie dust clears and we realize and accept that Prince Charming won’t take out the trash, that Sleeping Beauty is a lazy bitch, and that Snow White has to learn to control her fetish for small men.”

I believe there is a difference between the romance of youth and the romance of the battle-scarred. One is innocent yet prone to flights of fancy; the other is more grounded, more real. One is sweet, the other more bittersweet. One is more on feeling, the other balances emotions with thinking. Both contain a measure of hope; however, one can be naïve while the other more ready for anything—even the unwanted—to happen.

Ironically it is when someone gains a larger perspective of things that one begins to appreciate one’s tiny place in the grand scheme of things—and believe me, we are miniscule in the face of the cosmos. In our youth we think we’re the center of the universe; age and maturity allows us to see beyond ourselves.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean that as one ages one becomes jaded and loses their idealism and their fire. It really depends on the choices you embrace. There are those who remain youthfully ideal even when they’re sporting gray hairs. There are those whose idealism is tempered by disappointments as well as successes. And there are those who take the cynic route in life. Which one will you choose? Then again, the exciting and unpredictable thing about life is that sometimes people swing from path to path.

Desiderata states, Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. But it also cautions, Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

I guess it really takes a while for us to learn how to go placidly amid the noise and the haste.


Tony said...

*clap clap clap*

Your insight about the difference of perspectives that age brings really resonates with me. In fact, I have pointed this (how small we really are in the grand scheme of things) reality to some of the boys and it is an idea that they have yet to appreciate.

thank you for reminding me about that particular line in Desiderata. Desiderate has, and still is, a touchstone for me when I want to 'reset' my values. We memorized it in high schol but until now there is always a new layer for me to appreciate every time I read it.

gibbs cadiz said...

lovely entry. eto na yata ang nagagawa ng romance at 40-ish. aay, my lips are zip-locked! lol. seriously, very happy you've found that which is perennial as the grass. :)

palma tayona said...

I do hope that a man's erection is also as perennial as the grass.

Lovely, lovely words of wisdom Joel. This made me stop and ponder. Thank you.

daredevilry said...

there seems to be a pervading assumption that true love and relationship bliss just falls right in place without much effort. so not true at all. it takes work, commitment and an unending desire to grow together. thanks for the reminder. :)

Désolé Boy said...

it is but a number.
and as they tastes better as they aged..haha (so much for my older men fetish)

you're the best McVie!

Ryan said...

Love it :D

Jigz said...


Guyrony said...

My take on this will just be the same as the gray area fabcast. Nothing changed.

Thanks for the concrete points given. The shaved hair must have all gone to the brain.

Hahaha! Just kidding. I admire you,you know that. ;)

joelmcvie said...

@GUYRONY: No. You fear me, di ba?

Guyrony said...

Fear is an understatement. Hella scared. Hahaha!

But on a more serious note, I do admire this post so much because it gave people viewpoints on how a person perceives love in congruence with age.

Hugs and peace!