A vacation on Hawaii with my wife a few weeks ago convinced me that I am gradually slipping into a state of retro-senescence. However, before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this story.
When I was, very young, I was fascinated with fire and flames. The concept of dancing flames consumed me metaphorically. However, as I grew older the insatiable interest with fire faded into the background, and my thoughts turned to more standard youth topics, such as bigtime wrestling, late-night volleyball marathons, and how many pounds Mexican food could a young man actually eat at one sitting.
In the second half of my life, only a few weeks ago you could find me on a short vacation with my wife exploring the bustling streets of Waikiki for food and souvenirs. Part of the manufactured excitement of the excursions was finding new and inviting restaurants. As I scanned the busy horizon ahead of me, my interest was inexplicably piqued by alluring dancing flames. When we reached the horizon, we would discover that the fire I primevally sought was actually real Tiki torches with live flames as a part of a restaurant's preferred decorating motif. Why was I mysteriously drawn to comfort and excitement of the flame?
The answer lies in psychological phenomena I call retro-senescence. I’m sure that professionals of the mind could provide a more functional and technical term, but this label is complex enough to make me feel important. Apparently, when people advance into the advanced years of their life, their interests and passions tend to tip backwards towards those topics that fascinated them in their early years.
So… at least now I know why I am drawn to the tiki torch. I will be monitoring my behavior closely, however, to detect and suppress urges to pull women’s pigtails and wear swimming goggles in the bathtub…