I was thinking about heydays the other day.  I do that sometimes with older people, which I know sounds bad.  I have nothing against the aged, and by that I generally mean people over 50.  I’m sure 10 years ago I might have had people over 40 in mind, but that was then, and this is now.

As I grow older, I increasingly find myself looking at older people and thinking about what they might have been like when they were young, in their heyday.  I used to only view older people as older people.  I assumed they were actually born as older people, with that paunch and the hairy ears and the cynicism.  But to my surprise, that turned out not to be the case.  Somebody who is 58 today was 28 at the height of disco.  Think about that next time you go to Old Country Buffet.

And I wonder, if I were to ask these people to describe their heydays to me, what they would say.  I’m sure most people wouldn’t have an answer at the ready.  It’s one thing to talk about someone or something else’s heyday, but it’s another to consider your own.  For one thing, a heyday isn’t the same as the best time of your life.  For me, that’s right now, without question.  But this is not my heyday.

My heyday was when I changed the variables of my life to allow me to be where I’m at and be with who I’m with today.  Of course, while it may be all fine and good for me to waste your time with my personal proclamation of heydayity, I would get pissed off if anybody offered me such a Hallmark platitude about their heyday.  I don’t give a damn about them finding themselves.  I want to know what they wore.  I want to know if they partied, where they partied, how they partied.  I want to know their favorite record or movie.  I want to know what they drove, and I want to know if they liked Laugh-In.

What I want, simply put, is to connect the older person I see to a younger one from a time I can relate with.  Because I’m closer to that older person than I am a younger one, but I still can’t relate to that older person.  I don’t know how I’m going to get from where I am today to that older person in 20 years, but it now seems clear that it is happening.  And somehow, thinking about people in their heyday helps me bridge that gap.

In my heyday, I wore flannel and the music was always loud.

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6 Responses to Heyday

  1. Jim says:

    For one thing, I love your reference to the “next time you’re at the Old Country Buffet.” As though the OCB is a regular stop for most of us, and that we plan to not only go again, but apparently again after that.

    In my heyday, I was the only guy in the room who was working on debate instead of tripping. Curse my heyday!

  2. Paul says:

    I’d like to believe that my heyday is now, but I don’t know exactly what a heyday is if it’s not the best time in your life. Perhaps it’s the period between when one stops going to OCB, and when one resumes their OCB patronage?

  3. kelly says:

    Shit, my heydey is over? I took my last trip a long time ago, but ‘when I figure out what I am supposed to do’ still seems a ways off.

    I think thats the one part of California I love, but will later bite me in the ass. Everyone in California seems to think heydays last forever. I know 45 year olds who still wonder if they’ll have kids and a 50 year old with a 3 year old. Maybe ignorance is bliss and I’ll remain a child forever, until I keel over from a stroke, heart attack, or health food induced intestinal blow out.

  4. Paul says:

    I think that belief, Kelly, may be a generational thing, rather than a geographic one. 39’s the new 29, my friend.

  5. pipelineblog says:

    I agree that it’s generational. Maybe that’s why I associate heydays with the older set, but not so much with me or the people I know. For us, 39 really is the new 29. Unfortunately for me, 38 remains 38. But next year’s gonna rock!

    Ha, ha! F you, Tom Brokaw. Now MY GENERATION is the best one. Our granparents may have beaten the Axis powers, but we have defeated time.

    It’s also nice to believe your heyday may be yet to come.

  6. schmelly says:

    Kelly is right about the Cali heydey all the time thing.. even if maybe people are fooling themselves, seems like they feel like they are living it up pretty much all the time, and indeed you have never seen so many fertility drug induced babies. A Cali 80 is like a Topeka 60.

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