Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Which Is Really Longer -- A Day Or Twenty Years?

Sometimes a day feels like forever. I've always liked movies that take place in one day. Like Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing." So many things happened in that one steaming hot day -- the pizza shop got trashed, then set on fire, a young boy got saved from almost being run over by a car, a young man got murdered, and that's just to name a few. Most days are not quite that eventful.  Most days are ordinary, and they seem to fly by. 

When I was a child, "twenty years ago" seemed like an entire lifetime.  I guess it still seems like a long time, but not nearly as long as it used to.  For instance, my mom and I were shopping at the mall yesterday, and I pointed out to her which stores were new and which stores were around when I was a kid.  There are about two stores still in existence in our mall that were also there when I was a kid.  All the others are new, but by "new," I don't mean the ones that had just opened two months ago, or even two years ago.  When I say "new," I mean that they've been open for about the last twenty years!
Time jumps around so much in our memories, some things we strain to remember, yet other things seem like they just happened yesterday. For some reason, when we think about the future, it seems like certain days will take forever to get to.  My daughter was crying over Spring Break because she'd had so much fun with my younger niece, and she didn't want her to go back home which is miles and miles away from us.  It prompted a memory in my older niece who is now a teenager. She asked, "Remember that time when I cried so hard when I had to go home after a visit?  I clung to you and wouldn't let go, and my dad had to pry me off of you?"  I do remember that time very clearly. I had no idea that she remembered it though.  She did cry, and it made me cry, because I knew it would be at least a year until we saw each other again.  I had to ask my brother for help because if she clung to me any longer, I'd have burst out in tears, and I didn't want to make my niece any more upset because she had only been about four years old.  My niece continued, "That was probably the last time I really cried."  Unlike me.  I cry or at least get teary-eyed just about every day.  I'm not sure whether it's due to being overly sensitive or just sleep-deprived.  I told my niece, "I know she's upset because they won't see each other for a while, but maybe someday, they'll both live near each other.  If they both wind up going to college on either the East Coast or the West Coast, they can even be roommates together!"  The thought warmed me.  "Well," my niece said. "That's a LONG time from now."  I thought for a moment.  "It's only about eleven years from now."  It seems like a long time, but eleven years can go by pretty fast. "I still remember very clearly the day I first saw you when you were one week old," I told her.  "That was even longer than eleven years ago.  Your dad brought you out and you had really long legs." 
Time jumps seem smaller as you get older.  Sunday night, "Mad Men" began its new season.  That show always has time jumps.  Sometimes it is a year and a half, other times only seven months.  I hear that next season will be their last. I think they should end the series with a huge time jump, like into present day.  I would love to see what happened to all those characters.  Why not be clever and move them into present time, something we can relate to?  If they do a time jump like that, it will be a more than forty-year time jump.  But if they don't do a time jump that long, and they just end the series in the sixties, I'll always wonder what happened to those characters and how they turned out.  If they do a time jump at all, it will probably be just a year again.  Or maybe it will be twenty years, smack into the decadence of the 80's.  Twenty years is really not that long of a time.  But then again, at other times, a day can seem like forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment