Friday, April 22, 2011

Clapping: Old People’s Answer to Gettin’ Down

A couple of Christmases ago, the second grade classes at my school went to see an abridged adaptation of the Nutcracker at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta. Before the ballet began, a rather peppy man played rousing Christmas tunes on the big old pipe organ there and I clapped along to the music, having myself a merry olde tyme. Eventually, I noticed that I was just about the only person clapping.

My students certainly weren’t clapping. They were too busy checking the bottoms of the seats for old chewing gum and pretending to have to go to the bathroom. My young colleagues weren’t clapping either. They were checking Facebook for status updates on their new-fangled phones.

That’s when I realized that I was officially and certifiably old.

Since then, I’ve begun clapping to all kinds of music in all kinds of places, but the place I like to clap best is all by myself in my easy chair as I watch TV. I clap when I hear the theme music on Friends re-runs, but, then again, who doesn’t clap to that?  Even the Friends themselves clap at one point in the song.  My current favorite clapping tune, however, is the theme from Property Virgins on HGTV.  It requires a kind of syncopated clapping, or what I like to call Advanced Elderly Clapping.  Whippersnappers are not equipped to perform AEC; they just don't have enough life experience.  Nor do they have the necessary gnarled digits.

Since I live in a small condo with a shared outside entry, I do wonder what my young neighbor thinks when he arrives home from work, with plans for his evening in his Blackberry, a twelve pack under his arm, and me happily clapping on the other side of my door.

But before my neighbor or any of my young friends or family members snicker derisively about  how pitiful (yet rhythmically gifted) I am, I need to inform them that the good news for me (and for them too at some future point) is that I am, at my advanced age, just as happy, and in some cases, even happier than I was back in the day when I was chasing the perfect tan, the good-enough man,  the cutest shoes, the newest diet, and the American Dream.

Nowadays, what I have is pretty much what I want and I no longer feel the need to make my mark on the world.  All I'm chasing these days are my current interests, what I'm going to eat for my Early Bird Dinner, and that new Kraft Philly Cheese commercial with the perfect beat for a spirited clapping session.

19 comments:

Birdie said...

I love it! Life is worth celebrating. Clap away!

Cile said...

[Note to self: Send Marcia a Clapper sound activated light switch gizmo and sit back and watch the fun!] I'm delighted you have adopted clapping as your joyful noise, Marcia! Mostly I'm happy that you are so happy!

Brighid said...

I have found myself doing the same by clapping. Dag nab it, I've earned the right to my happy clapping and so have you, you go girl!

Katie Steig said...

Marcia, please demonstrate AEC at lunch on Monday!

Olga said...

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
I am amused by your cheerfulness.

paula devi said...

You are simply hysterical. Clap away. That's the beauty of getting older and smarter. We clap when we want to no matter what - it's so "in the moment".

When I starting opening this post I thought it would be Part 2 of your family story. Imagine my surprise when the picture that popped up looked nothing like a nurse!!!

Joan said...

From one oldie to another. You go girl!

Arkansas Patti said...

I am clapping in appreciation of a really funny post. Think I need to work on my own AEC though. I am an incurable foot tapper.

marciamayo said...

Patti, I'm thinking that foot tapping my even be more advanced that AEC.

MaryB said...

Sorry I'm late but this funny story got me to thinking. I concede I'm officially and certifiably old but I'm not a clapper. Now I do plenty of other outrageous things but not clapping. I think you have to feel the rhythm for that.

Friko said...

Attagirl!

Who need getting down when they can clap.
I'll join you any time.

Can't say I've ever clapped to 'Friends', though.

Melissa said...

If Cile follows through with that Clapper, you may want to warn the 6 packed young neighbor. Otherwise, he may find out the hard way that your place is not the newest disco in Midtown.

marciamayo said...

You know, that lights on lights off thing might really add to my clapping happiness.

Tom Walsh said...

Clapping and "Hopping." When they're not fast lindy hopping, they're clapping out the beat, as can be seen here:

http://youtu.be/LAAAV7BB1HU

... as well as on many other YouTube fast swing dance videos. The art of clapping may be "retro," but it hasn't entirely died out among the younger generation, say I (at age 73), now too old to hop -- but not too old to clap along!

marciamayo said...

Love it, Tom! Thanks.

schmidleysscribblins.wordpress.com said...

Unlike Patti, I am not a toe tapper, but I am a leg shaker. I looked at my daughter sitting on the sofa Saturday next to two of her daughters and everyone was shaking a leg. Better watch the clapping, it could be contagious. And your neighbor may drop his six-pack and then who knows what will happen. Have fun. Oh that's right you already are. Dianne

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh you keep this up Marcia O'Mayo and we will train you on the spoons, then come the bones, and after that the bodhran.
XO
WWW

marciamayo said...

WWW, as usual, you made me look something up. This time the bodhran. I'm assuming you are back at home.

Freda said...

AEC is something I very much approve of..... now for some music....