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Today was my last day of freedom, tomorrow school gains control of my life once again. While lying on a chair near the Country Club pool today, I overheard a conversation a few chairs down. I had been reading, but gave my eyes a rest. While happily sunning myself, I heard a man and woman talking.

The woman was 41 (she mentioned it in the conversation) and the man was likely in his late 40’s. They were friends, both married, but the spouses were elsewhere. The woman was talking about the difficulties she and her husband were having. He always wants to be serious, he takes politics too seriously for her, he never does any social or fun things outside of the home. She wants to go out, watch sports with him (that impressed me), and to have fun while she still can. Their daughter was in the pool, and came over to get money for a snack. She got an attitude with her mom; when she walked away, the mom was talking about how snotty she’d been. The guy told her what the husband was feeling, because he’d been that way when he hit 40. He gave her advice about how to handle the situation.

I started thinking. It’s not that I was so oblivious to think that parents didn’t have a life, or that they didn’t mind when kids got bratty. I just never actually thought about it. That they’d talk to their friends the way I talk to mine. It’s almost discouraging to hear that the relationship troubles and frustrations with guys still exist at 40. I never thought they’d disappear, but I also never thought about how they’ll be similar to what I deal with now. I’m fairly sure that working things out and dealing with differences gets better with age and maturity. Parents are individual people, with lives for 20-40 years before we knew them. It’s an odd thing to comprehend: that they were much like you, you don’t know too much about them (unless you happen to be incredibly close and they disclose what their personal lives were like before you were around), and in many ways they still are like you.

Very odd how a tanning session could turn into accidental eavesdropping and some semi-deep thoughts.

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