Posts Tagged ‘ Age ’

Hey Uncle…

For people who have large families, it happens sometimes that you may have an uncle or an aunt who is a decade or two, younger or older. Some people may not have met their elder-descent relatives because they have not been born or have already passed away. These people… will not understand how I feel or what I’m talking about when I’m in my ripe young age of roughly my late twenties.

Many of my friends and colleagues are also around my age. However, many of them are already married and some of them have kids. Not just babies… but toddlers, pre-schoolers, and some primary schoolers’ even. In the Asian culture, it is considered polite to have the kids acknowledge their elders when they meet. So when catching up with with one of them one time they ask their kids to call me uncle

OK now… hold up!!! I gotta put a large pause button on the whole situation before we go any further. My mind does a double-take the very first time. Did I just hear the ‘U’ – word used on me?

In my heart and in my mind… I still feel like I’m still fresh out from Uni. I take a look into the mirror and I see I still look the same, maybe not as flimsy as before, but still roughly the same. My friends agree as well.

I protest! I say to them, “Hey look here, I’m not that old. Just elder brother is fine… No need going on further to the level of uncle, okay?” However, they replied something of the similar. “Well you ARE an uncle to them. You’re roughly a couple of decades older. So if saying that you’re just an elder brother really doesn’t cut it anymore. Do you still call your relatives and friends who are in their forties and fifties now, ‘brother’ or you call them uncle?”

Point taken… and I absolutely got shot down. So yeah… lets face it… we’re now all aunties and uncles. Reminder to self, I gotta stop using that word on other people now… or else it’ll make them even older… lol… I forget my age sometimes to be honest. Maybe that too is a sign of age.

Age differences…

When I was back in primary school, I remember being in the same class as a third grader with other fellow fourth grader. Just having a year of schooling made a world of differences. The fact that they were older by “a whole year” meant that they practically knew more than me by a whole kajillion years. Well… that’s what it had seemed even if they were being dicks about everything. So generally, I mostly made friends with fellow third graders back then. It was generally the trend and I continued to make friends with people who were the same age, and actually felt closer with them as well as being able to relate a lot more than I could with the other kids that were a year older/younger than me. Through high school, it had felt like as I gained a year in school, I somehow also gained an internal sense of power and pride over the lesser years and there would be less shadows to watch out for as the seniors graduated year by year.

It had been like that till I reached University where I found that I could actually relate with other people who were either a couple of years plus/minus my own age now. I lost the sense of being categorised via years and found something that followed more closely to what you were actually interested in. I found most people who were 3+ years difference harder to connect with. There seemed to be more of a generation gap between us and it was just harder to “bond” with them. For the younger generation, it felt like they had all just jumped out of high school and had all these new themes and fads that they expected people to know. Things had varied from music, food, fashion, brands… none of which I had followed. And on the other end of the spectrum, were people who have been working for a while in the work  force and have these ‘at times’ gloomy outlook on various topics as well as being highly political and opinionated about various news and world-wide topics as well as money and economy.

I’m not exactly sure what has changed, or the exact point in time where the age perception paradigm in my head had altered and shifted, but more recently, I’ve made a few friends who are 5-10 year + or – my age, and feel that I could get along with them perfectly fine. Is it because my age tolerance has begun loosening over time? Or maybe it is because I know more about this world and am able relate to a wider spectrum of people? But because of this, I can slowly understand something that had been boggling my mind since childhood. Ever since I understood the concept of marriage, I could not understand the reasons behind why people would get married with ridiculous age differences. I could only imagine two main reasons. Either that the other half was horrendously rich or that they had found their “soul mate” which happened to not have been born in the same generation… Meh… To each their own.

But I have come to realise, sometimes there really is much more in the building of relationships as well as the kinds of things that can make people click together. Like Lego pieces and jigsaw puzzles, when they fit, it just feels totally right… no matter how odd their shapes and colours are. When they’re right… it’s totally tight!!! Yeah… (Cheesy, I know…) But this also has allowed me to understand how parents and offsprings can get closer or fall apart to/from each other as they grow up and understand more about each other. Sometimes, things like relationships, in any shape and form either feels right or not right. It can’t be forced. It just happens. It can be built, and it can also be destroyed. But I say this now, age is a relative concept. Just because someone is older/younger than you, does not mean that they have more or less experience than you, that they understand more or less than you, that they feel same or different from you. In this world, some people just love chocolate ice cream, some like vanilla, and some like strawberry ice cream. But that doesn’t mean people can’t like Hokey Pokey too… =P