Old People Joys

I was making a pot roast earlier today and was sitting at the kitchen table reading. I put my book down because I had had an epiphany: I was thoroughly enjoying myself. The kitchen was warm, the windows were steamy. Outside the weather was pretty autumnal – gray, rainy, chilly. The oven growled as it cooked my dinner, but otherwise all was quiet.

There’s no secret behind pot roast making a person happy. It’s pot roast, by definition a huge chunk of pork, and by design roasting with potatoes and carrots in apple-black cherry juice. Heaven.

But that wasn’t all of it. I reckoned that I was enjoying the settled feeling that I had. It was being happy like an old person. If you are happy like an old person and you have the experience to understand that that is what you are, then you might just be old. Alarming? Possibly. But no. For I have had this epiphany before. I am old because I enjoy old people things. Also, I’m feckin old.

Among these old people things are making a pot roast. There’s something about prepping a meal that takes three hours to cook that offers so much quiet pleasure. The only gastronomical better is crock pot cooking. There’s simply nothing better than working or going about your day with the knowledge that your dinner is cooking itself at home while you’re taking care of other things. It’s a joy that deserves its own adjective. Crockulant. Crocktated. Crockiful.

There’s also the joy of doing laundry, the humid comfort of having warm wet laundry hanging around the flat. After, there’s folding and putting it away and the knowledge that should President Barack Obama call me to meet for a drink, I can put on clothes and not be afraid of stinking.

I have found a great deal of joy going to sleep in and waking up in a clean house. Sometimes when I pad through the flat to pee in the middle of the night (an act that also makes me old) I poke my head in the kitchen and just admire the clean counters and the prepped coffee pot. I also love working very hard and then stopping. Watching a movie is so much better when you’ve put in a day of hard work. Equal to this is getting up at the crack of dawn and writing at my kitchen table. By the time Burke wakes up, I’ve already done my main goal for the day and the pleasure is like winning $20 on a scratch off lottery ticket after someone compliments your hair.

In an activity in one of my classes last year I tried to relate the joys these last two bring and the students looked at me as though I had sealions copulating in my ear hair. All things which make me old. I do not judge them for not understanding. If I were to attempt to explain these things to my 22 year old self, I’m sure I’d roll my eyes so hard they’d snap off their rollers and then follow that up with a shot of Rumpleminz. After old person me would walk away, young me would probably drink a few beers and shots and say “what a loser.” And this might be true, but that loser is eating pot roast for dinner.

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