This just in – I like to talk!
I really enjoy talking with people of all ages, from all backgrounds. The long Holiday weekend gave me plenty of opportunities to do just that.
On Saturday my sister Pat hosted a family gathering. Three generations hung out, ate, laughed, and had the best coconut cake in the world. Generation One – mine – talked a bit about work, careers, the obligatory comments about our aches and pains, and of course our kids. We also talked about reading – yes, reading real books.
The next generation – Pat’s son and his wife, engaged in the adult conversations, but had to keep eyes and ears on the third generation – 4 year old Xavier and toddler Viviana. It was interesting to see their split focus, made much more interesting by the fact that mom Carolyne speaks to her kids in Spanish. Dad David speaks to the kids in English. The kids don’t seem to care what language they hear – they respond to everyone.
Boomers gone wild!
Meanwhile, back at the adult table, the conversation had turned to technology. That’s right; the iPad had made its way to the party. My sister Kathy had just picked one up, and sister Pat brought hers out to demo to the rest of the Luddites (I told you last week I was one of 9 who didn’t have one!) We took turns passing it around the table, doing quick videos, Google searches, and app testing. My sister Maureen took amazing pictures on her equally compact and complex camera. It was like a hi-tech Tupperware party! My wife, who is probably the least passionate about technology, picked up on it pretty easily – I was kind of surprised.
I got a real surprise though, the next day at the supermarket. She walked right up to what I at first thought was the recycling machine, swiped her loyalty card, grabbed a handheld scanner and took off shopping – I was stunned! Scan, beep, bag…next item! (Apparently someone was not paying attention to the advances in grocery shopping, or the expanded skills of someone who had been right next to them for oh, 30 years or so!)
Different day, different conversations
On Monday afternoon we headed over to a gathering where I didn’t know most of the attendees. Again, it was a range of ages and backgrounds, starting with a 4 year old girl who patiently explained her drink choices – milk, juice boxes, Capri Sun, and believe it or not, water. I also had a brief conversation with a young man who is headed into High School, plays the drums and listens to techno (I still can’t quite figure out a drummer who likes techno). A few quick words with the rest of the kids who were more interested in punching each other, and it was off to the next generation.
These kids today…
Kendal and Jordan – both 19, both just finished freshman year away at college. Kendal goes to Emerson College in Boston, and Jordan studies at St. Andrews in Scotland. Both girls share a confidence and a conversational ease that allows them to engage with the older crowd but keep their teenage perspective front and center. Kendal is focused on her goal of being a comedy writer. Her references are mainly around the mediums of television and film, with the written word being her chosen channel. Jordan is studying geography. From her perspective there is so much of the earth still unexplored and uncharted that the opportunity to create and contribute are endless. We talked about blogs, YouTube channels and shared information via Smartphone.
Sunsets and farewells
The adults were delightful – an Architect, Banker, Interior Designer, Attorney, News Reporter, and Musician– all finding common interests and conversation points – ably aided by a terrific feast that brought all of us together for a brief, glorious afternoon. We somehow managed to overcome age, language, background, education, occupation and beverage choices to enjoy the time together. And even though both days wove elements of modern, electronic intelligence into the discussions, it was really all about the conversation.
I imagine my experience was pretty typical – how was your weekend?
(P.S. – I ordered an iPad for myself).