Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Good Conversations

One of the things I enjoy about getting older are the good conversations that I have with others. In my 20's and 30's, conversations could range from being passionate about causes or just gossiping with friends. I still do this, but I realize a couple of things. Even though I may be passionate about a cause, such as saving the rain forests, I now listen to the other side and think about what they are saying. I have learned that listening in a conversation is just as important as correctly articulating my point. I also still like to gossip. I admit it. But this gets rather boring after awhile. You hear the same stories: who is sleeping with who; who is heading off to rehab; what is the hottest trend; etc. etc.

Since I have turned 40 and am progressing headfirst towards 41, I realize I enjoy really good stimulating conversation. I drive each day about an hour back and forth to work, the same boring drive 48 miles to Allentown. Before Mom passed away, I would have conversations with her. Mostly light-hearted stuff. We would talk about what I was doing in the evening, how John was, if I had talked to Sheryl or Adam. She loved also hearing about the prior evening's events. I have said it before and I will say it again, she loved living vicariously through her kids. It brings me to a smile thinking about this. She loved hearing about the most minutiae of details of where we were, who we were seeing, and what we were drinking or eating. It gave her such pleasure. After Mom passed, my drives became quiet and sad, and I succumbed to whatever radio show was on at the time.

I started having great conversations with my friend Jennifer and still do. We talk on and on about everything. No topic is off limits. Relationships, sex, good times, bad times, children, pets, and parents. Add on 50 topics to that and you still are not evening close to what comes up in our crazy "all over the place" conversations. She is a good friend, one that if I don't talk with every couple days, I start to feel lost without that familiar conversation.

When my sister Sheryl was hired by Amtrak down in Delaware, she and I wound up on the same commuting schedule. Sheryl and I have always been close and have always talked but this was a way to keep in touch a couple times a day. Sheryl and I have incredible conversations, good in depth conversations where we each think and talk about our arguments and opinions. We talk about world politics, entertainment, art, the environment, plus the normal bitching about family and friends. If she didn't know how much I appreciate them, she will now.  She has replaced the normalcy and stability that conversations with my mother gave me.

I have great talks with my brother Adam, too. We talk when he is commuting to work as well, or when one of us is buzzed and out having a good time.  More and more, it involves him putting my dear niece Angelica and nephew Johnny on the line. Sometimes I wish Adam would let me know that I am on speaker phone with them because Uncle Marc would try and censor his speech without so many dropping F-bombs! But I have to laugh, because whether he realizes it or not, my brother still dispenses older brother advice. Of course I love the advice ... whether or not I listen to it is another discussion entirely!

Over Thanksgiving, John and I went up to the Eaglesmere Inn up in Eaglesmere, PA. It's a lovely Victorian resort town in the Endless Mountains of the Poconos in northeastern PA. We have spent Thanksgiving up there a couple years in a row since Mom passed. The reason being that Mom used to host Thanksgiving and I just couldn't get myself to celebrate the holiday as we normally did. It is still tough even going to her house.

While we were up there our first year Thanksgiving 2009, John and I met a wonderful couple, Fern and Jack. From New York City, Fern and Jack are extremely well educated and cultured. We were drawn to each other immediately over a good Caberbet. They are our age and Fern works for the EPA as a lawyer and Jack is a chiropractor. Fern and I connected while John and Jack connected (although we all got along famously). We hung out in the "pub" room of the inn talking to each other long into the night. We were also so excited upon returning the second year to see them there as well. I kind of felt sorry for the other returning guests as it was obvious that the four of us were so excited to talk again amongst ourselves.

I embrace my forties as I really enjoy the "art" of good conversation: intelligently debating, agreeing, and arguing on worthy topics. These can last hours and as an adult, I rather enjoy spending an evening like this ... and a bottle of good wine helps move the conversation along!

Lastly, my father Robert Haynes and I have enjoyed some really great conversations. My father, now retired from over 30 years as an art professor, has resumed his original passion of being an artist. He still remains an art educator as he now chairs and is a member of several art committees and boards in Humboldt County, CA. Our conversations once began as father and son, with my father being the mentor and I as the pupil. I would seek advice and he would dispense willingly. Through the decades as his son, I had started, of course, to formulate my own opinions on topics. Dad had listened and either agreed or disagreed respectfully. Once thing I appreciated was that Dad never talked down to me about my opinions. I realize that he was allowing me and encouraging me to formulate my opinions with my own arguments. Now as I enter my forties, my conversations with my father have involved me sometimes dispensing advice to him. I don't remember the topic on what I first gave him advice about but was taken aback when he responded to me, "You are right and I will consider this." Now, my father is an extremely educated man whom I respect above everyone else. To here him say that made me realize I am figuring "it" out and on the right path. THAT was a conversation worth remembering.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece Marc! Loved it. Every time I read something of yours it inspires me. Thanks for sharing

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