PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Keita
 
Comments: 16
Article views: 1846
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Keita's badges.
 

How to avoid growing old

13 December 2012, 08:22

My boyfriend made an interesting comment the other day: “I need coffee to wake up. First thing I do is read the latest news. Then I go to work and shout at the idiot drivers around me. When did I become an adult?” (Expletives removed).

I thought that was an interesting question. It seems there just comes a point in your life when the monotony of the daily grind just breaks the inner child, and all your previous sense of fun goes out the window.

What disturbs me even more is that there seems to be people out there who actually think this is a good thing. They make it their goal in life to hammer away at you until you become a good little cog in the machine, conforming to the latest specification, a good, contributing member of society. Another ant in the hive.

Conformity seems to be the expected trend in this conservative environment.

Case in point: I went out with a group of friends a few months ago, and on a dare, a number of us dressed up a little...differently. Two dressed up as animals, and a couple of others, myself included, put on fake tails. Then we hit the Brightwater Commons.

One of my hobbies is people watching, and the reactions we got ranged from delight (mostly from the kids) to derision (mostly from teens) to anger and disgust (adults).

The kids couldn’t get enough of the animal-suited pair, and chased them around, playfully pulling their tails, and begging to have pictures taken with them. The two guys in the suits were great sports and played along with anything the kids suggested. Everyone had fun, except for a few sourpusses who would not let their kids join in.

As we wandered around, laughing and joking, we encountered a number of groups of teens who of course had all sorts of derisive things to say, but who quickly retreated when they noticed us noticing them. This amused me to no end. How brave teens can be in a group, but how quickly the underlying insecurity shows. ‘Are we as awesome as these guys? No, surely not...better make fun of them, assert myself and my group as the coolest around! Whoops! They heard me! Retreat! Retreat!’ We laughed at them and continued on.

At one of the pet stores (just dropping by to get some dog shampoo), one of us commented how nicely a collar would suit one of our animal costumers. We all thought this was a wonderful idea, and soon, all of us who were wearing tails had collars. This was the point where the nice lady behind the counter rather impolitely asked us to leave. But only AFTER she took our money for the collars (and the dog shampoo).

Once outside, one of our lady friends impishly produced a lead that she’d purchased and promptly attached it to the collar of one of the animal costumers. Much hilarity ensued, and for the rest of the day, she led the poor fellow around on a leash.

By now, we were noticing that the comments around us were becoming more and more unfriendly and offended. Several people approached us, demanding that we cease these dress u games, and especially remove the collars and leash. We were apparently an offence against god, or Satanists or some such thing. Others muttered about us having no decorum, and we should act our ages.

We politely – and by that I do not mean “politely” in a sarcastic way – told them to mind their own business and moved on.

What surprised me was the number of people who were outright offended by our sense of fun. We were not drunk, or overly loud. We didn’t go crashing into others. We didn’t swear at or insult the sourpusses. We just dressed a little bit strangely, and let our (admittedly quirky) sense of humour run wild.

Now I am left wondering. Why was it so offensive to them? And why on earth should we be all decorous and grown up? Indeed...why should anyone be? Does being adult really mean you should stop having fun? Or is adult fun supposed to be getting drunk over the weekend, or watching DVD’s, or having a braai? Is that what acceptable adult fun is limited to? Are you only allowed to have fun if you have kids to keep entertained? Should we only attend concerts, or have lunch at boutique coffee shops?

Why can’t we go out and play? Why can’t we enjoy our quirky sense of humour, and let our inner kids out?

Seriously, what is it to you if we do?

I know why kids today act out more and more. It’s because they look at the sourpusses – and sadly, that seems to be most people these days – and see in their future the horrible possibility of turning out like that. They see the death of fun, the expectation of conformity, the soul-killing, crushing weight of forty years of labour, and at the end of it, very little possibility of happy retirement. By the time you’re sixty-five, you won’t have the energy to do the things you worked forty years to do, and that’s provided your retirement fund is large enough, and also provided there isn’t another economic melt-down between then and now. That is the future they see, and I’m not at all surprised they don’t like it.

There is a way out of this, though. It’s very simple, and it goes like this:

Just go out there and have fun. Don’t let that inner child die. So you have to work for forty years, and be all decorous and sober there. Don’t let that spill over into your personal life. Go out there and have fun! Go play! It’s cliché, I know, but that tired old saying of “You don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing” is very, very much true.

I saw a grand example of this just last month when my work-place’s social club took us to Durbs for the weekend. We’re a very mixed group at work. Gay, straight, single, partnered, old, young, white, black. There’s a lot of diversity there. There’s this old lady, Thandi. She’s fifty-four years old, and the very soul of professionalism. I’ve never seen her put a single foot wrong. Always friendly and nicely sociable at work. She’s a shining example to us all. On the bus down to Durbs, Thandi joined in when we started singing travelling songs, unlike some of the other, younger folks, who just rolled their eyes and glared at us. Thandi was always up with the rest of us, ready for that dawn swim. When we went out dancing, Thandi trudged along and danced along with us. She was there going down the waterslides at uChaka right alongside us youngsters. And you know what? We didn’t mind one little bit having her along. Sure, she’s a bit slower than us when it comes to moving around, and not quite up to dancing all night. But she did join in, and I’ll admit...many of us were grateful to have the excuse of “keeping Thandi company” at the bar when we ourselves needed a rest.

Thandi kept us more or less civilised out of respect for her without spoiling our fun. I just love that old lady! Many of the “sourpusses” were somewhat derisive of her, for not acting her age. For those of us she joined: she is our hero!

She is the ultimate example of how to live: just keep having fun.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

11 comments 729 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

5 comments 1471 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 401 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 123 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

12 comments 149 views
Submitted by
MarkH

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.