This morning after I dropped my son off at daycare, I was riding next to this older black couple who looked to be in their early 60s. The husband was leaning back a bit in the driver's seat and he had on a mesh, trucker hat with Hilton Head written across the top. He didn't bother to pull down the hat, it just kind of sat on the top of his head---similar to the way Denny Green used to wear it. If you're wondering why I'm going to this level of detail to describe this man's hat, it's because this is the prototypical older black man look. He's cool, he's driving a big body car, he's in no rush, and he's wearing a hat that has no chance of making it even 50% down his head.
In the passenger seat was his wife, and she seemed to be reading some sort of magazine, and every now and then she'd attempt to show her husband something in the magazine, but he looked about as disinterested as I am when my wife tries to talk to me about the Bachelorette. That didn't stop her from sharing though. And if you're wondering how I was able to observe this level of detail while I was driving, it is because a) I'm observant/nosy b)the traffic on this particular stretch of road was moving slower than a slow snail's pace and c)there are always cops out and about around Catholic University (which is near my son's daycare) so no one is exactly doing a Dale Earnhardt impression.
At one point we were all at the red light together, and these two older woman--who were power walking and chatting at the same time (there are no malls in DC, so they can't mall walk like the suburban old folks can)--recognized the older couple in the car, and all of a sudden everyone's face lit up in big smiles. The previously non-plussed older man with the ill-fitting hat, smiled and passionately waved to the two older black women (perhaps he wanted to holler), and his wife first smiled, then hugged and clasped hands with the two women. I didn't hear the brief conversation, but I feel fairly comfortable in saying that "I know that's right", and "Yeah girlfriend" were uttered at least once. Then the light turned green, everyone said their rushed goodbyes, and the older folks turned right and I kept straight. My creepy observation time was over.
But what made me smile was seeing the laid back, carefree attitude of these older folks. They weren't on their phones, they didn't look frenzied with frayed nerves, and they didn't even need to listen to the radio and find that perfect song to play during their drive. They just drove, talked, read magazines(something folks rarely do outside of barbershops and hair salons) and they cherished the company of their peers. All of my grandparents are dead, but seeing these folks interact reminded me of how my grandparents may have conducted their day-to-day business. I wasn't sad thinking of them, just happy that I had a posthumous look into their former lives.
My parents are getting old, but I know for sure they don't have interactions like that. My dad is even more anti-social than I am, and if he saw someone he knew walking down the street, he'd probably would turn the volume up on the Temptations song he was listening to, and roll the windows all the way up. My mom is chatty as hell and speaks to everyone, but her head stays buried in her phone and she lives more of the aformentioned frenzied lifestyle--I wish she'd slow down, but she does things her way.
Also, I need to stock up on ill-fitting hats, so I can transition nicely into old(er) age.
This is one of Anita Baker's early songs and she absolutely kills it, but if you close your eyes and listen, this easily could have been Toni Braxton's song as well. Also the bass plucks and the horns are pretty cool too (shoutout to jazzbrew).