If you are over 40 and haven’t read John Bogert’s column in The Daily Breeze (Thursday, September 20, 2007, www.DailyBreeze.com), stop reading this and check it out, now.  It is just too good to be missed.

Mr. Bogert, like Art Buchwald, has a wonderfully wry sense of humor and a knack for giving words to the ridiculousness of life. Of course, the funnier columns are those that hit home–and this time, he has hit the ball out of my park.

 His term “creeping cluelessness” has kept me laughing for days.  Because you are over forty, you know what it means without even reading the article. It’s how you feel when you watch the Emmy’s and don’t recognize any of the nominees or when you hear any person under forty talking about their gadgets, their music or their virtual networks. It’s that condition we all experience of feeling out of it and, well, OLD.  It’s being the recipient of the barely-tolerable contempt we felt for our parents when they couldn’t understand our hairstyles, our language or our need to do the goofy things “everybody else” was doing. Even more, it suggests our rapid approach to the world of the out-of-it: of being dismissed, disregarded and denied admission to “the club.”

Thank you, John, for giving me a term I can use with my over-forty friends and colleagues to give us a shared laugh and an instant bond. What those generation x-ers (or is that y-ers? z-ers?) don’t know is that we have our own of club of creeping cluelessness colleagues to which the xyz-ers cannot get entrance.  They have not paid their dues nor can they understand that this club has the wisdom they seek, the wiles they don’t know they’re missing, and the weariness that makes staying home on Saturday nights sheer joy. 

The most fun is knowing what those younger folks will discover eventually, and that is that Cluelessness is the freedom to do what we want to do, think what we want to think and to enjoy the bliss of no longer needing to care. If that’s the case, then perhaps we should start enjoying the creep and face the inevitable: we are becoming our parents–and I, for one, am loving every minute of it.

Judy Nelson, JD, MSW
Certified Professional Coach