i’m sitting here…
in a dairy queen…
because they have free wireless.
as you have likely gathered by now, i’m in a rural texas town. i’m wasting time between the son’s games trying to get some work done…and maybe also doing a bit of social networking too.
to earn the network key to the dairy queen wireless (which is “blizzard” in case you’re ever in bridgeport, tx), i had to order food—which i was more than glad to do: chicken strips basket and gravy…mmmmmm comfort food. (i hope they come over here in two hours and demand that i order a blizzard!)
as i sit here at my laptop, headphones in trying to drown out jerry springer, anticipating that gravy, i observe the locals, particularly the group of old men in overalls with their coffee cups. they appear to be assembled in a daily ritual to mark the passing of time, comment on current events, and—about ever other minute—laugh at something someone’s said.
i realize that these men, all of them 70+, have found and are maintaining the same thing: connection—no different than what I (and many like me) attempt through social networking, email, and meetups at coffee shops and bars.
as i sit here and watch these men, i can’t help but wonder what my life will look like when (if) i reach that age.
will i be gathered with a group of friends in a place like this? will i even have a group of friends?
will we even gather in person or will we frequent cobwebbed corners of coffee shops offering wireless access, using whatever whatever modern social networking portal of the day on our antiquated laptops in our quest for connection?
will my children and their families remember me at this age or will my life consist of loneliness and isolation, the only respite being the connections i make in a place that smells of fried food and cheap coffee?
and perhaps the most pressing question of all: what funny clothes will i be wearing and will i still attempting to wear some funky hairstyle?
as i’m jarred out of these thoughts by the entrance of a group of loud college-aged boys—who incidentally have come to this spot in their own pursuit of connection—i am struck that the life of the future me will be no different from the one of today.
the connection i have in my life, regardless of my age, is merely the connection i purposefully create and pursue.
if i want friends, i will behave in such a way as to keep them.
if i want to maintain a close relationship with my children and their families, i will earn it.
and if i want to go to the dairy queen or starbucks to hit the wireless, i will bribe some orderly to let me sneak out of the home and drive me there.
but i will not be wearing overalls, i can tell ya that.