beck's blog

Monday, February 20, 2012

How Will I Know?

What is a sure sign that you have reached that intangible stage called "Middle Age?"

This was a question posed to us in our Social Studies class at school a long while back.

Kid's hands shot up with their answers.

"You have children of your own."
"Your children get married."
"You become a Grandparent."

Well, I was sure I knew the answer to this question for I had witnessed it myself in my own home.
I raised my hand with what my teacher thought was a perfect answer.

"When people your own age start to die.", I said.
Yep. That was it.

For not too much earlier before that question was raised in my class, Elvis Presley had died.
I know I've already talked about that time with my blog readers when I posted my Elvis afghan a few years ago.

But I remember well how shocked my parents were. How many times my Dad had said, "I can't believe it. He was MY age!"
whenever they had the story on the news. And the news about Elvis' death seemed to last forever.

And so, with the passing of Whitney Houston last week, I had a bit of a déjà vu moment myself.
When I saw that she was born in 1963 I thought, "Wow! She was MY age!"

It really makes you think about our short time in this world.
Where am I going with my life?
Have I done all that I wanted to do?
What am I leaving behind?
Has my life been wasted?

I really hate thinking about all those things because I don't like my answers to them.
I always feel that nothing that I do will ever matter in a hundred years so why worry about it?

So, instead of pondering my own fate, I went and dug out my old 45's.
I must have hundreds of 45's.
I have them sorted alphabetically by the song titles and stored away in cases and a big long file so it wasn't too hard to find the two I was thinking about at this moment.


Here's a photo of my many record cases and my two Whitney Houston singles.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody and How Will I know?

(45's used to come in these neat record sleeves with great photos.) That's when buying a record actually meant something.
Anyway, these pictures of Whitney Houston are how I remember her.

I confess, I've never followed her career and I have no idea what she's been doing for the past twenty-plus years.
Once I started my own family I guess I just became wrapped up in my own world.

Movie stars. Pop singers.
How were they relevant to me as I took my kid to his soccer game?

Perhaps I might have heard her song on the radio as I drove there.
It may have taken me back to the time I first heard it.
A time when my whole life lay ahead of me.
Way before I reached this "Midlife Crises" I'm dealing with now.


Well, I could take these singles and go play them on my ancient turntable which sits idly in the living room.
This photo shows my tower of singles crammed into a converted file organizer. (It's on the left).
I told you I had hundreds of singles.
I ran out of cases and had to find somewhere to put them all!
They don't make 45 record cases anymore.

This is what being middle-aged looks like folks.
It's not pretty.
But it's not too bad either.

When do I decide to give up all these mementos of my past?
Have I reached that point in my life?
How Will I Know?

How Will I Know?

Rest in Peace, Whitney!

Does anyone know what I can make with this absolutely geeky shirt I found at Goodwill a while ago with cartoon likenesses of the Sweathogs from Welcome Back Kotter?


The child-size shirt was so retro I HAD to save it from there.
Rest in Peace, Robert Hegyes, (who played Juan Epstein!)


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