Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Something that I'd like to forget...

As old as Moses with all his forgotten lore...
(Image from Wikipedia)

On Sunday afternoon as I was busy at my desk poring over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, and quaffing a beer to help me recall that lore, my wife and two kids were biking to a local supermarket to procure various necessities -- including, of course, some more of that essential, memory-enabling brew.

Having turned 50 this year, I need all the memory-boosting assistance that I can get ... though I'd like to forget that I've lived half a century already. It's one of life's little ironies, I suppose, that everybody wants to live a long life but that nobody wants to get old, and I'm just like everybody else on that score.

Sometimes, because my kids are so young -- Sa-Rah just 10 and En-Uk merely 8 -- I can fool myself into thinking that I'm still a spring chicken, too. And I do feel young -- still strong and, apparently, still quite healthy.

Reality, however, begs to differ, for there I was, my 50-year-old self, still poring over that forgotten lore as my wife and kids returned, laughing.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"You old man," said my wife, still laughing.


"Old man," she repeated, stifling her laughter.

"I'm not deaf," I reminded her. "I just want to know why you're calling me old."

She laughed again and explained, "As we were returning from shopping, we passed a couple of kids near our apartment complex, and one of them said to his friend, 'Are they foreigners?' The friend said, 'No, not completely. The mother is Korean, but the kids live here with their American grandfather. There must be a father, too, but nobody's ever seen him.'"

Out of the mouth of babes and blunt Korean children...

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At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the gray hair. Seriously. I think we chatted about this previously on your blog. To Koreans, gray hair = haraboji/halmoni; it doesn't matter what the rest of you looks like. If you're too cheap to buy the Korean version of Grecian formula, then next time your wife makes ojingeo-bokkum, you can use the squid ink.

Apparently, at least some Americans under thirty think that gray = grandparents, too. I am 40ish with some preemie gray and smooth, natural facial skin with no crow's feet. I choked when a clerk at a local store asked if I had a senior discount card. Ouch!

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I recall that chat. Wasn't that after I posted an actual photo of me as a talking-head still life?

Actually, I don't mind being considered a 'haraboji'. I find it rather funny that people think that I'm a grandpa.

Besides, that Grecian formula hellenizes a person, and I'm too manly for that!

By the way, thanks for dropping by.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:24 AM, Blogger Hathor said...

You could be a grandpa. I think easily I could be a great grandmother, and not been a child bride.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger A.H. said...

Alas, I know the feeling. I was greeted by an ex-student this week. "Hi, Sir, you are OLD." I laughed. Then he explained. He had just turned 18, was a man at last! He was feeling old. So, I, well I had to be methuselah...with my wisps of grey too. Ah, well.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hathor, in your mysterious photo, you look a lot younger than I do -- not even like a grandmother at all, and certainly not like a great-grandmother.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:07 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, Eshuneutics, if you have mere wisps of grey hair, you must look younger than I do.

I just hope that I can stay healthy and live long enough to be an actual grandfather, rather than simply look like one...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:09 PM, Blogger Bohemian in Korea said...

When I was but a young 'shaver' my mum started 'goin silver' we teased and said it was gray but she insisted that it was silver. Now every long weekend I stop shaving and low and behold my chin is completely white...er um I mean silver...there are colors worse than gray my friend.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

BoHinK, I fear that I have some silver change in my grey domain as well...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Chris was about one year old an elderly man stopped me in the supermarket and asked me how I liked being a grandfather. Dona thought it was extremely funny. Me? Not so much. However, I did laugh when I read your blog.


At 4:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I guess that your hair turned prematurely gray, too.

If only we had turned prematurely wise...

Jeffery Hodges

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