Guest Editorial

Monday, June 17, 2002

Bridging the gap by a toenail

Back in my hometown this weekend, my mom drug me out of bed at 6:30 on a Saturday morning to help her with yet another dreaded garage sale.

After hours of set up time and a trip to the local convenience store for money and sodas, I took my place beneath a shaded garage door.

While I had no desire to sit and man a garage sale, it was fun to be back in Alta and to be reacquainted with some members of the community.

My morning under a garage door quickly taught me about more than garage sale bargaining. While talking to one of the community members, I felt someone tugging at my toes. "Look at her toes," said the girl to my right. "I've never seen toes so short and stubby," said her sister-in-law. Suddenly, I felt like I was back in high school attending a sleepover. And these two girls were my high school companions.

In reality, I was sitting next to two nearly 80-year-old women.

I laughed as Love and Lorraine continued to tug at my toes, tickling my feet. Soon we were talking about an outfit I'd acquired at a garage sale a couple of years ago and how a necklace just purchased from Lorraine's sale would match perfectly.

I was having fun with a couple of sweet ladies who happened to be old enough to be my grandmothers.

I wondered just what the problem really is between generations these days. I remember a few years ago when the thoughts of my grandparents seemed so far off from my own. Indeed, our experiences differ. I would also venture to say that the values of teenagers differ a lot from those of the elderly. Sure, there are delinquents that ruin the reputation of the youth, just as there are elderly individuals who have grown bitter with age, but overall, I think we have more in common than many of us realize.

A few months ago when my college interviewed me on how life outside of college was different, I replied that my friendships now span across the generations. So, I dare you. Make a friend that is outside of your generation. You're sure to learn a thing or two.

But, be careful if you're ticklish.