“Hello, my name is Jan Verhoeff and I’m recovering from youth.” My attendance at the Senior Center had been recognized and I was forced to join the twelve step program for the prevention of exuberance. No where in all my youth had I prepared for this experience. I had no clue from the many times I’d visited the Senior Center with my friends and family that there were so many rules about the Senior Center. Nor had I cared.
I mean… I read the signs that said no skateboarding. Those signs made sense and were understood. After all, someone might break a bone, but did you see the look on that lady’s face when I laughed at the knock knock jokes on the back of their daily program? Is humor not allowable in her either?
Later, I was caught playing with a toy on the counter and given a resounding slap to the fingers by a matronly woman of 55 as she walked past. I won’t forget her hand print in the near future. But the ultimate shame came when I was passing out the fliers for a speaking engagement I was supposed to do in the dining hall after lunch and an elderly woman gave me a “true looking over” when my fingers inadvertently touched her husband’s fingers. If I ever do that again, I’ll probably sprout horns and die the wretched death of a frog on the highway. SPLAT!!
These daring young adults dare to laugh and have a good time on a nearby lawn, enjoying the pleasant summer afternoon, long before the onset of winter, where snow days outnumber sunny afternoons and the grasses grow weathered and brown.
Dare we entertain exuberant youth in our communities, as the aging among us slip off toward the winters of life, when our youthful exuberance risks notification of a local senior authority? We must risk it all for the fun of a little good times in the sun, youth or the aging, take a risk. Have some fun!