Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dilettantes & Geezers/Geezerettes

There is a new tab to found on my blog site labeled Glossary that may be of help, and not only for newer gentlereaders, but also those seeking clarification about various words and phrases that I've made up, corrupted, found laying around the internet, stolen or ...

[Well duh! exclaims Marie-Louise and my imaginary gentlereader, since this is your blog site it's painfully obvious to everyone that..]

Shush you two! Some of my gentlereaders read my posts via email subscription and others access me via my Facebook and Google+ pages. They have no way of knowing about updates to the blog site without me telling them. And by the way, I'll update the glossary as needed.

Anyway, as I was trying to say...

- I, your D.A.T. -- or -- Dilettante About Town (Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines a dilettante as, ": a person whose interest in an art or in an area of knowledge is not very deep or serious"), find all sorts of subjects interesting. For the record, I find M-W's definition a bit harsh but I understand it. In my experience, dilettante is usually used as a pejorative. Think rich (inherited money) twit with minimal talent being humored/patronized because someone(s) in a given art or area of knowledge would like a share of that money.

While it's my fervent wish that this was an accurate description of my situation -- and it would be had I not been kidnapped from my wealthy but dissolute family by gypsies as an infant, setting in motion a series of events that culminated in my being won by my "father" in a poker game in the Gem Saloon in Deadwood, SD. -- sadly, it's not.

I'm sort of stuck with the word dilettante because although I would much prefer a word like polymath (: someone who knows a lot about many different things), or a phrase like Renaissance man (: a man who is interested in and knows a lot about many different things), these terms don't accurately apply to me for two reasons.

First, in my semi-humble opinion, although I think that I'm slightly smarter than the average bear, most people think they are as well. Second, I definitely don't know a lot about many different things.


I've decided to come out of the closet and proudly embrace the fact I'm a dilettante and renounce any and all of the words potentially negative connotations. I'm not a rich twit. I'm a sort of downmarket version of a polymath or Renaissance man. I urge others to also proudly step out of the closet and declare themselves to be interesting (and/or interested) people who haven't been blessed with inherited wealth or genius.

- I'm on the cusp of geezerhood, a status I hope to maintain indefinitely, preferably right up to the moment I die peacefully in my sleep, because once you're a full blown geezer, that becomes your defining characteristic.

While my short-term memory has definitely deteriorated, I've done a great deal of research and soul searching and have come to the conclusion that it's within normal parameters for someone my age. By this I mean that this happens to everyone and it's not (hopefully) a symptom of some form of impending dementia. Since this state of affairs is highly unlikely to improve, however, I go to great lengths to maintain the status quo, as this is an important component of my plan to remain on the cusp of geezerhood. See, a geezer, or a geezerette, is an individual who has crossed a fine, not easily discernable line. The more noticeable the mental/psychological/emotional deterioration the more likely it is that you have crossed the line, dementia or not. I don't count physical deterioration because there's only so much to be done about that unless you have enough dough to pay for having yourself mannequinized, which comes with its own set of problems (have you seen Marie Osmond's lips?).

The most telling sign that you've crossed the line into geezerhood, and the most difficult to detect and acknowledge, is that you've turned into a caricature of your youthful persona. Unfortunately, while this may be obvious to almost everyone but you, you may be the last to know. After all, you don't see a geezer/geezerette looking back at you when you look into the mirror. While you may not be as pretty, or as energetic as you used to be, you don't look and feel half bad for your age. You're still reasonably sharp. A geezer/geezerette looks and acts like that mentally/physically wrinkled old uncle/ aunt you dread having to deal with at family gatherings. You're a sexy seasoned citizen.

An exhaustive list of the warning signs that you are, or are becoming, a caricature of your younger self, would fill a book. As a public service, I'm going to just mention two, one for males, one for females, that are of particular significance. If you're a man over the age of _____ or so (fine lines again) and you have a ponytail, an extremely obvious combover of some sort or poofy hair that's not nearly as poofy as it appears upon closer examination, careful, you may have started down the path of self-caricature. If you're a woman over the age of _____ or so, that regularly wears a flimsy tie-dyed (real or print) top without a bra, in public, you may have started down the path of self-caricature. It's  not for me to judge, but...

Please do yourself, and the rest of us, a favor and settle on some sort of style that's age appropriate. It doesn't matter if you're  a bit on the grungy side or striving for a haute couture look, as long as you look like a grup. Comfortable is a priority. Ladies, you don't, or should you strive, to look like your daughters or your ex-husband's trophy wife. Gentlemen, strive for just enough style to not embarrass your snifigant others. If you should have a trophy/noticeably younger wife, under no circumstances should she determine your look. Your risk looking like the result of a grup version of someone playing Barbies.

Have an OK day.                                                                                


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