This is my new shirt.
I was never one for belligerent t-shirts but when I saw this one on Facebook, I fell for it.
I had just had a conversation the night before with a much younger woman who was interested in our trip out West. When I told her we had camped half the time, she shook her head, seemingly awed, and then said, “That’s really something. Old people usually don’t want to sleep on the ground. My mother, she would never do that.” “Oh really?” I answered.
It’s always fun to have someone forty years younger tell me what old people usually do and don’t do. Smiling benignly (because that’s what old people do, right?), I watched my little friend trying to sweep up her words and rearrange them into something else. Her discomfort was obvious and I was surprised that I enjoyed it. But then the conversation evaporated and we were both glad.
Last year, the newly-elected sheriff of our town, a very smart, experienced, progressive law enforcement guy, appointed a 20-year old as his chief of staff. Now this is a big county, nearly a million people, with the state’s largest city. The sheriff’s department budget is nearly $44 million, not a little Barney Fife type operation.
So I thought the appointment of a 20-year old for such a huge position was crazy, wacky, somehow weirdly indulgent. The 20-year old had been instrumental in the sheriff’s successful campaign but what 20-year old is ready for a job at that level? Well, this one, apparently. I’ve only met with him once but he was informed, analytical, measured, and sincere. Others have come away with the same impression. He is apparently very good at being the sheriff’s chief of staff.
So back to my belligerent t-shirt.
It might be enough to have it. I might not need to wear it. We’ll see.