Habit of criticizing the young has grown old.

Brenda Mallory discusses the younger generation.

That younger generation. How many of you in an older age bracket have found themselves berating younger people for their dress, mannerisms or, for that matter, many attributes that have a young person claiming are the styles and behaviours of their time?

You can bet your bottom dollar that I have been one of the biggest critics of youth of today. When I say youth I suppose I would have to mention that I am meaning anyone in the 20-30 age range.

Well, young people, I owe many of you an apology.

Why, you ask? Why the change of heart? A couple weeks ago I had the privilege to speak at the wedding ceremony for a young couple. I am pleased to say that I consider both good friends.

The wedding took place at the old Aldermere town site. Pictures were taken knee deep in the wild daisies, buttercups and Indian paint brush.

Sure, some of the guests were dressed in a manner I can’t relate to at my age, but I do have to have a flash back to the 40s and 50s when so many of us where young. Poodle skirts and teased sprayed hair. The young men with duck tail hair cuts gummed up with brylcreem (dates back to 1928 and is still made today).

I could have mentioned how short some of the skirts were at the wedding but I have to shut my mouth since I was certainly part of the mini-skirt era. I did stop wearing them when I noticed the young students in my first class found it kind of fascinating to take a look as I bent down to mark papers. Still I have an idea I was less than attractive.

These young adults were just great with each other, their own children and yes, they were polite and respectful of those of us holding down the older generation slot. The line that had been drawn in the sand between old and young became blurred as the day progressed.

I had a great time talking to these young people who are embarking on married life and careers. I can only wish the young adults I met all the best in the world. Are you totally off the hook when it comes to generational criticism? Certainly not.

I will still cringe when I witness the junk you eat. I will still wonder how you will manage money in this day and age of jobs hard to find. I will wonder about decisions you make that seem a little strange. But looking back I had some of the same doubts when it came to my own time looking at people I knew so many years ago. You know most of us have turned out just fine.

So, I have to say once more that I am sorry for my often brutal comments when it comes to the youth of today. I am just lucky I can remember my time at the same age.

Good luck to all of you. Eat well, drive safely, give up smoking … you get the idea.

Young and old, feel free to call me at 250-846-5096 or just e-mail to mallory@bulkley.net.

Brenda Mallory writes the weekly Spice of Life and For the Birds column.

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