IN THE PREVIOUS ISSUES of this column, we have tackled discussions favoured for the young, a contraire the old; and/or: vice-versa.
FROM NOT-SO-long time ago, up to this present, contemporary times, people have mostly spoused the ideas of homogeneity, level of understanding, measures/stages of tolerance (or intolerance), etc., in terms of: “Age bracket”/ But, come now,
IS THIS REALLY so in actual life? To start with: when already matched (or still), need you both be of same age? Or, at least in the same age bracket? And
IF NOT, YOU just drop the issue – hot and simple? How is the ‘bracketting’ done anyway: a five-year bracket span, e.g. 21-25 years old ‘match’ (since you are 22)? Or, a 10-year-span, e.g. 21-29 years old ‘match’ (since you are now 25 or 26? Etcetera? [And then, to these questions, you decrypt];
“NOT THAT STRUCTURED, though.. because we have other considerations like: family, religion, background – other very sensitive factors..”
YES, EVEN LOVE itself – if ever or whenever.. it is the prime consideration; so that
WHEN ‘LOVE IS what matters..’, Age then doesn’t matter? But if we observe:
SOMEWHERE IN THE 4th-5th Exchange of a conversation, you will not miss a: (“By the way,) if I may ask.. how old are you?” [And then]
THE ANSWER MAY ‘change’ the tenor of the conversation, especially in the (in)formality of the language e.g. in Filipino, the answered one – knowing now that she’s ‘younger’ may exclaim: ah, sori po, akala ko kasi 35 lang po kayo! (Lit. “Oh sorry EXPR, I thought you were just 35 [EXPR] po!”)
THE SPEAKING ONE is 32 years old, and the asked one says he’s 40 years old. The addition of the sentence-end EXPR po suggests that the ‘semantic roles’ of the ‘age bracket’ is now at-work.
FOR FURTHER INSIGHTS, let me cite you a ‘related’ true story near where I presently reside:
JAY MADISON MATT is a confirmed bachelor. He is a degree-holder, had been a Barangay chairman for three terms (9 years total) and he is at present a Barangay Kagawad – his second term. One time
AN OLDER NEIGHBOUR – Aurora de Lumer by name, greeted him ‘Good Day’, then said:
“OUR FOLKS HERE and I are feeling ‘worried’ about you somewhat – why, you’re almost a ‘senior’ (approaching 60 years old, emphasis here); and you’ve remained single all along; your brilliance (daing), your stature, and your leadership.. what a pity! (sayang!)..no one will inherit them, if you’ll not get married!”
[MATT JUST KEPT silent for some minutes, fidgeting with his nails; then blurted out]:
NAAMAN PA SIYA.. (Lit: “Very old CONF..”) was Stanley (Aurora’s husband’s name) when he got married..!
[AFTER SAYING SO, he smiled and left boarding a jeepney that came by. Aurora and her peers were left in the Waiting Shed, musing.. w.h.y?].
THE REST OF the story is later re-told or explained outside the conversation Scene. They say:
‘THE AGE-COCERNED AURORA was about 19 years old when she got married to Stanley who was near 50 (or more) that time..a great difference in age. But look what happened: they were able to raise and rear 10 healthy children – now grown-ups and happily working!
TAKE THESE AND other things said but unquoted herein alongside, was Matt saying – in effect – to Aurora:
“YOUR OWN LIFE story is my counter-example. Yes, you’re distantly-matched in Age; but your marriage is successful [isn’t it?], and now, you counsel on my non-marriage yet? [You should have advised me instead:] Yes, stay yet single.. there’s no hurry!”
IN HISTORY, WE may further learn how ‘great difference in age’ played key roles between those ‘matched’ – while in the thickness of making the kind of ‘history’ we now treasure and revere witness:
LA FAYETTE (MARQUIS DE) was one of the leaders of the French expeditionary force which fought alongside the Americans in the War of Independence (1775-83).
HE WAS 24-25 years old fighting in the later part of said War, with George Washington – the commander of the Continental Army and who was then 49 years old. (The War was ended in 1783 by the Treaty of Paris).
GENERAL JAMES WOLFE was 32 years old and General Louis Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon (Marquis de-) was 47 when they found themselves matched against each other in the decisive battle for North America – in the Plains of Abraham, in 1759.
THE BATTLE LED to British control over (then French) Canada, but both Wolfe and Montcalm died later of their wounds.