Opinion

In praise of permanence

An old person's plea

Call me old school. Heck, go ahead and call me flat-out "old." I started wearing cheater glasses a few years back, and lately, social media feeds me advertisements for life insurance and other products designed to enhance the geriatric experience. Where I used to get plugs for sexy lingerie and the latest surf technology, now I'm being encouraged to buy old LPs and "adult underwear." (Not that I need the latter. Most of the time. Only when I laugh. Or sneeze. Or both.)

So … yeah. I'll own the old. My friends and I are fading a little around the edges. Our faces read like exquisite maps of experience (and probably a little too much time without sunscreen). Some of us even admit to the occasional need for a nap. (I fall into this category, by the way. I love me a good daytime snooze. It helps me stay awake later than 9 p.m.)

But before I put my second foot in the grave … and before I call you all "pesky young people" and order you off my Global-Warming-desiccated lawn … I'd like to make an impassioned plea for permanence.

And by "permanence," I mean "lasting."

Instead of high-flying start-ups that make a small handful of people unimaginably rich before casting them, Icarus-like, into the flames of oblivion, why not throw your intelligence, education, and investment potential into a slow-burning cauldron of long-term gain and financial improvement?

Instead of hopping online to make transitory contact with folks who might (or might not) share your very real interests, why not go out and actually do those things? Chances are, you will meet people genuinely interested in kiteboarding, nuclear physics, naked chess, or whatever else you are into. Those friendships will endure.

More and more, American consumers are shopping at seasonal, come-and-go "pop-up" and stores and some online venues designed to serve our short-term perceived desires, even while they deny us the goods we might actually need, as opposed to the ones some algorithm has told us we "want."

Instead of glorifying the benefits of swiping right for an evening that might turn out to be more fraught than unfettered fun, why not invest your body and soul in a relationship that will ultimately prove more satisfying?

While convenient to our current norms, the recent rise of transitory, fly-by-night vehicles of human interaction might be robbing us of the practices and close connections that thousands of years of evolution have conditioned us to crave and might actually help us live longer, more fulfilling lives.

That is what I — old lady that I am — would wish for all of you. Permanently.

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