Self-Trappings

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 (December’s fullest moon [“Cold Moon”] rises on the 18th.)

In a quiet moment a companion checker and I stand beside our registers. She’s twenty years old, very bright, tall, slender, attractive, and fun to work with. Besides, she’s a natural teacher, has helped me grasp many ins and outs of our “register biz”.

We’re silent at this moment, until finally, I sigh and say, “Well,….” I lose my thought as she looks over waiting. I smile, shrug, and say, “A deep thought.”

“What?”

I say, “Well.” But she frowns, doesn’t get it. I try to explain, “It’s a reference to ‘Well’, as a deep thought.”

“What?”

“‘Well’, just the word. ‘Well” is a deep thought.”

“What?”

I’m trapped, can’t communicate the logic of a phrase that’s a cultural norm among my generation. True, it’s been awhile since I’ve uttered, “Well….,” before losing my thought or deciding not to express more. The cultural norm in my day was terminating by shrugging and uttering the phrase, “That’s a deep subject.”

Listeners of my generation will reciprocate. On seeing my pause or shrug, another might end the moment for me, by laughing and saying, “That’s a deep subject.”

From generations behind, this moment’s attempts to explain to a young companion aren’t grasped. I feel deeply a generational gap. Well (and not intending a pun), I’m trapped in “a gap” about which she hasn’t a clue.

Yesterday in the lunchroom, something similar occurred. While several snacked and stared at our cellphones, I’m uncertain what happened. I read something or heard a comment that reminded me of an old movie, from 1944, entitled, “Farewell My Lovely”. It’s a detective story that starred a then-famous actor, Robert Mitchum. The script was based on a successful novel, “Farewell My Lovely”, by Raymond Chandler, an applauded author of dark stories.

Anyway, something I read or heard made me, after rising and saying, “I’m returning to work”, give a big wave and add, “So, farewell my lovelies.”

A something-twenties coworker laughed and handed me a surprise, “Coming from anyone but you, Diana, that could sound creepy.”

For explaining purposes, 1944 is eons ago and way before I comprehended movies. But I did grow up in eras of Hollywood’s great influence on culture. Suddenly yesterday, I recognized a string of associations that’s been long-stored in my subconscious.

Anyway today, I’m still loving the phrase and great title, “Farewell My Lovely”. It’s fun having stumbled yesterday, re-finding a few forever-stored bits in my mind’s deep pocket.

Plus, I “heart” a trusting young friend who wouldn’t judge as creepy something coming from me.

In the future, I’ll try to pre-think before speaking spontaneously. I’ll do well to consider possible differences in generational understandings.

Except for when I’m ringing out customers of a certain age, many of whom shop in our store. Sometimes, after swapping some sudden old-understanding, we do for seconds connect deeply.

Dear Friends: An old lady among younger’ns will practice treading thoughtfully. Diana

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