I went for a walk last night and realized that we had switched over from summer to fall without my really noticing. I was wearing a long sleeved t-shirt and a sweatshirt but was still cold, wrapping my hands in the sweatshirt cuffs and breathing in the chilly air. It was also quite dark for just before 8 pm. Lileks noted that Target already has the Christmas decorations out, which makes me simultaneously sad and resigned (12 days of Christmas has become three months of Christmas?) but also homesick–any mention of Target seems to get me these days. I realized last night that I had never properly switched my wardrobe over from winter to summer clothes: summer in England strangely enough did not really require any different attire than winter in England. But as a result my long-sleeved t-shirt collection (all from Target of course) is looking a bit ratty!
On my little “fall is in the air” walk I noticed that there were a large number of people out and about walking around. Particularly interesting was the fact that there were a lot of couples of all ages. Most interesting was the fact that I saw quite a few very affectionate silver-haired couples. There seemed to be a lot of hand-holding and arm-around-shoulders activity. Now this looked different from “home” to me and I was trying to sort out why. Certainly back in the US there’s less walking around in general; unless one is in a major city, the car-driven society dominates. Although I admit it was actually a bit disgusting to be in Bath last weekend and realize that the town center was essentially a carbon-copy of the town center where I live: same shops, same restaurants. In several cases I was shocked to discover that restaurants were chains. But regardless, the “high street” phenomenon does seem to mean that people walk around town here more than I am used to in the US. And it seems that in the US, the city centers are for young people while the older people are out in the ‘burbs. Perhaps that more than anything was why I noticed the silver-haired folks with their affectionate partners so much. Regardless, it was a beautiful thing and certainly made me feel wistful. I used to be really disgusted with public displays of affection, but my tolerance levels seem to be changing. I always felt like it was a possessive thing more than an affectionate thing, but to me, last night, these couples looked affectionate. A girl can only hope to be in that position when the number of silver hairs on my hand increases to that point!