Finding the Right Person, GenX Style
By Brett Middaugh
Although I am a part of Generation X, my parents fall in “The Greatest Generation”, those who survived the great depression and WWII. That was an era of Dad going off to work and Mom… well Mom stayed home and took care of the household. When I was a kid, my Dad would tell me, “you need to find a woman like your Mom”, but I didn’t really understand what he meant. What is now done by landscapers, maids, fast food restaurants, daycare and cleaning services used to all fall on one person: mom. So I thought Dad was saying “you need someone to take care of all this stuff”, but he really meant "You need to find someone who cares about you and totally gets you."
This past Fall, I decided to wash a 30+ year old stuffed R2-D2 doll I had since I was a kid. Unfortunately after a spin in our new high speed washer, it was a mass of soggy, decimated toy goo. Poor R2 had bleeped his last bloop. I was pretty bummed and felt guilty that I had stupidly tried to machine wash a super old toy in the first place. I put the remains of R2 out by the deck of our house, not quite able to come to grips with tossing it in the garbage.
My girlfriend saw what happened, and knowing how important this childhood toy was to me, put all the stuffing back in the little guy and even redid all the markings that had worn off . This past Christmas, she gave it to me as a surprise gift. I thought it was pretty awesome of her, and huge heartfelt gesture to repair something that meant a lot to me.
I turned 50 recently and finally realized what my Dad meant by “finding someone like your Mom”. Someone who cares about you, knows what you are feeling even when you are not even sure, and does things that you didn’t even realize you needed. As I roll through this year of middle aged craziness, the biggest gift is the lovely lady alongside me. Thanks for the advice, Dad. It worked.
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