Why is it that a lot of old folks (seniors over 65) feel the need to E X P A N D on every little detail when telling you a story (that you probably don’t want to hear anyway). They’ll give you a play by play of their ENTIRE day… including what happened when they didn’t hear the phone ring, or when they thought they lost their hearing aid, or they’ll tell you an unfortunate health story about a friends friend who you don’t even know!! Don’t lie… I know you have that old token family member (possibly a Nanny a Great Nanny a Granny a Great Uncle or a Gramps) who likes to yap your ear off about his or her cat, the latest news story that has them in an angry old rage, or what’s going on in the neighbourhood… while you listen involuntarily and grind your teeth until they hurt!
I know… I know… we should respect our elders, AND I DO! I just don’t like it when they don’t respect me enough to keep it short & sweet and be sensitive of the fact that I don’t have an hour to listen to a story about their cats bowel movements or their friend Jim who has cancer who I don’t even know and have never met! It wouldn’t be so bad if you could actually converse with them and have a two way conversation, but you can’t even do that because when you do try it goes something like this:
Me – How was your day today?
Them – Oh no tea for me thanks… My friend Ethel is actually allergic to tea. She’s in the hospital right now. She has cancer and it’s not looking good.
Me – Oh wow, that’s terrible. Well, hopefully she’ll be alright
Them – Yes i’m feeling much better today thanks. I’ve got lots of calls to make.
Me – Okay then have a good day
Them – I have to call my sister in Ohio it’s her 50th wedding anniversary, then I have to call an old friend of mine who is in the hospital right now… poor guy, he’s having hip surgery. I’m not paying for parking at the hospital though it’s an outrage how much they charge! Back in my day you didn’t have to pay for parking… you just parked and that was that. When I was a school boy I remember being in the car with my father and he wouldn’t talk to me the whole time we were driving, he wouldn’t talk to me until the car was parked. I think he was a bit paranoid. He wasn’t the most loving father.
I basically have to RUN to get away. They talk AT you not with you! I am by no means saying that ALL old people do this… but in my experience, many of them do! I can only hope that when I am in my golden years that I have enough going on in my life that I won’t need to discuss such insignificant events or go into great detail about things that other people don’t care about. I will hopefully be playing bridge with friends, working on some paintings or crafts, going on scenic tours, and mall walking with my other old friends.
I do find that the more active the old person, the more normal they are. Seniors that stay active and fit and have lots of hobbies and grandchildren and great grandchildren around them tend to be less like the above described.
Too bad the aging process couldn’t be the other way around… George Costanza has the right idea!