“Disinvited” a Poem for Friends of A Certain Age

Disinvited — composed on learning a Friend was “disinvited” to the  Philadelphia YAF Weekend Retreat

There was a recent FB notice here in Carolina for a YAF gathering (only for dinner-plus, not a weekend),
And it specified the age range as “18-40-ish.”
Couldn’t help it: I snickered.

Pop Quiz: Who’s the youngest in this photo?

To me the notice was on the verge of saying,
YAF = (self-defined=What Ever).

Which is okay with me,
because everybody starts out “young,”
and everybody who stays alive eventually
becomes “not young,”
or maybe “young emeritus.”

Really they turn out that way.
And doing so isn’t
a moral defeat or character defect
or spiritual sellout.
It’s life.

Besides, once one faces up to being
“not young,” one can still revisit “youth”–
in an occasional mood, 
or a special encounter or a spell of deja vu,
through certain good art, and often vicariously.

For most of the day, I shed thirty years after seeing this picture.

Yet there is other business to tend to also.

And in any case, the big discovery is,
that life is not over for the “not young.”
Life is not over until it’s over.
Thinking otherwise is not really being “young.”
It’s more like being pre-mature.

I think that came to me in the nick of time.
A bit before I hit 40-ish.

Or did 40-ish hit me?

The flower of eternal youth. (It lasted about a week.)

10 thoughts on ““Disinvited” a Poem for Friends of A Certain Age”

  1. I really wish that Quakers would enter into long-term prayerful discernment about whether Quaker events that exclude other Quakers purely on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, sex, etc. are keeping with the guidance of the Inward Teacher, let alone a belief that we are all ONE in the Spirit.

  2. It aggravates me to no end when some one condescendingly calls me, “Young man.” I always reply. “Look, I am NOT a young man. I’m old and I got here with a lot of luck and a bunch of smarts. “

    1. Yes!!! Rececently I was called “young lady” by a silver haired store clerk. I responded “no, young man.” We had more business to transact, but he didn’t call me that again.

  3. 40-ish? I’ve been saying that I should have aged out *every* time I hear of a young adult Friend gathering. (first one, I went to, I was no longer in my 20’s… I was 30ish, and it was about 10 years ago.)

    The age range they say is literally increased every time to include people my age… Its not funny anymore.

  4. At 20 — YAF fits
    At 25 — still okay
    At 30 — getting iffy
    At 33 — “When Jesus was 33, He’d already . . .”
    At 35 — it’s denial
    At 40 — It’s shtick; let it go.
    Besides, people: it’s really OKAY to be an
    “Adult Adult Friend.”

  5. I think of YAF = person without a significant other, and no children.
    So people seeking companionship with others in a similar place in their lives. Usually starting out, without much money or savings.

    Perhaps we need a CAF (Companion Adult Friends) group for those without significant others and without children or dependent children.

  6. Chuck – “Dude” just pigeon-holed you from the sixties !! But hell. Got chewed out by a YAF at PoHo when I told her she’s graduated from the Youth Program, thinking she should concentrate on PoHo as a whole. She was so pissed…then I resigned from PoHo Committee. Let them start running the show that is PoHo, FGC, Yearly Meeting and such…about time they showed up to do their part for the whole.

    As the Eagles sang, “Get over it!”

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