I'm not sure when it happened, but I find that I've turned into a cranky old fart. It's one more thing that I said would never happen, that just snuck up on me like marriage, living in a split level house, caring about the way the lawn looks; all that middle class stuff that I spent so much time rejecting and running away from. How and when did these values creep in and replace all those idealistic notions that I used to hold so dear? Perhaps, it's my capacity to be flexible in the face of changing conditions, but that might just be me putting a good face on being spineless.
Two incidents this week reminded me how far this metamorphosis has progressed. The first was when the kid who moved in next door was just hanging out playing in my yard. It's not like he's a wee tyke (he's 12) but he was just standing there and playing like it was his yard. The wife and I went out and made small talk and tried to suggest that he was better off playing in the safety of his own fenced in yard. It was then that I realized I was one step away from being the old fart saying "hey kid: get off my lawn!"
And then yesterday, I was ordering lunch at Panera Bread and after they took my order they ask for my name. Geesh, I just want a sandwich, not a relationship! Who the heck are you to be presumptuous enough to use my name? You don't even know me...what's wrong with the impersonal but efficient number system? Yes, you do make a tasty sandwich, but that doesn't give you the right to take too much for granted, even if you do tempt me with your free wi-fi.