Rose at the ungodly hour of five-thirty this morning ... for the Atlantic interview ... .
Of course it was scheduled for eleven o'clock on the East Coast, but my appearance would be by WebEx online, and I would be sitting before my computer being piped into a meeting room somewhere in New York. (Will wonders never cease?)
As luck would have it -- due to a glitch -- it all came to naught. The gremlins (should I update that to trolls?) rose to the occasion, and for reasons unknown, we just didn't ever arrive in that room in any form whatever after a brief non-appearance. My participation never rose above the level of eavesdropping.
It all began weeks ago when the call came from the magazine inviting me to come to New York to participate in the second annual "New Old Age" conference." Since this was not NPS-related, I would fly as my private citizen self for a few minutes appearance, then return to work jet-lagged for days.
Jessie Li, the Atlantic's representative and I chose to have me interviewed, instead electronically, which was easier on their budget as well as the old bod.
Yesterday we did a rehearsal, kinda, as their techie, Jessie, and son, Bob, and I did a practice session where Bob experimented with lighting and downloading the program that would enable my participation. Maybe mastering this program would mean fewer trips in the future, and that could be an advantage
This morning I logged into the meeting successfully (Bob flew off go Seattle for a concert last night). Magically I found myself in an empty room somewhere in New York, with an occasional passerby crossing in front of the cameras, but little activity otherwise.
I was welcomed and instructed to listen to the audio of the panel that would precede my being patched in, and my interviewer would introduce me promptly at 8:00 a.m. (PDT). So far so good.
As I listened a strange thing began to happen. I started to feel more and more irrelevant. The women in the discussion must have been the ages of my children ( 50s & 60s), and the issues being discussed were things I'd not thought about for decades (to color or not, to be rid of white hair, for one). As I listened, I became keenly aware of the fact I'm living a life that is so far out of context that the issues being discussed seemed alien.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, as it turned out -- when my introduction was announced, through some failure on either their end or mine -- I was disconnected. A few minutes later -- after a long silence announced the disconnection -- Jessie Li phoned with an embarrassed apology.
I felt oddly relieved, but also strangely rejected through no fault of my own.
In a way, my "New Old Age," was not represented in this forum. It really sounded like the same old questions being asked by a new generation, but maybe that impression would have changed had I listened through to Norman Lear, who was the panelist who would bring the conference to a close in the afternoon session. I absolutely adore Norman Lear.
Heard just a bit of chat about the ever-fascinating Helen Mirren from the panelist from Allure magazine, but the audio faded out before completion, and there were only bits and pieces to hear.
Oh well ... .