I'm not talking here about students who think it's okay to copy their friends' homework ("it's only homework") and think I don't see their cell phones coming out of their pockets and onto their laps during quizzes and tests--although those are also both signs of the times, particularly the latter. Nor am I talking about people being unfaithful in their marriages. Or diets. I'm talking about reading glasses.
At my 30th high school reunion recently, the only difference from the 20th reunion really was all the cheaters in the room. (Here, more than one definition of cheater may apply. I'll never know.) Everyone looked the same to me as they did at the 20th reunion, but I saw more reading glasses coming out of suit pockets, worn on heads, and sitting at the ends of noses than I did ten years ago, before we turned forty.
One by one, everyone in my life over forty has started to wear cheaters. When I'm among people I don't know, it has become the way I spot forty-somethings: husbands and wives sharing cheaters at dinner to make their menu choices. I spy someone over 40! Especially amusing to me is the dance of denial (vanity?) when I see someone try to read the menu sans glasses, only to give in and ask to borrow someone's cheaters when they discover his or her arms are not long enough to see where the appetizers end and the entrees start.
Finally, a safe topic related to aging--other than maybe blood pressure and cholesterol meds--that is okay to discuss among acquaintances. All that other stuff that's going on? Yeah, better left for conversations with close friends and family.
Or a semi-anonymous blog.