Saturday, April 28, 2007

Three Stages of Life

As I was sitting in the patients' waiting room the other day, it occurred to me that “patient” is a silly name for we who sit and wait … and wait. Yes, the “waiting” part of “waiting room” is accurate, it’s that “patient” part I don’t get. I was far from being “patient.”

As I thought a bit more as I waited, I realized all this hokey about all the stages of life – baby, toddler, teen, young adult, mature – can be squashed into just three stages.

Early Stage – Impatience: Birth to about age four, it’s all “me, me, me.” Feed me, change me, entertain me – NOW! Give me that NOW! Take me there NOW! Let me out of this basket NOW! At about age four to five serious interaction with other children and adults begins.

Middle Stage – Patience: From about age four to about age 65, we realize we must “behave” and "have patience" to be fed, clothed and entertained. We have to be "patient" and smile and do all kinds of stuff we don’t want to do, like go to school and work and get vacinated. As we mature, we have to be “patient” with family, coworkers, impatient children, and stand in line, to survive. If we are not “patient” we will have to live in a jail or in a cave and eat slimy things crawling up the walls. Or worse, live with other impatient people who nag us everyday to “get a life.”

Late Stage – Adult Onset Impatience: This is the most fun time because we can blame our impatience on 1. age, 2. those new meds, 3. the weather (too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, the tornado, the hurricane, etc.), 4. underpants too tight, 5. the broccoli gives me gas, 6. Didn’t sleep a wink last night, 7. Cat or dog. 8, The TV, 9. The price of groceries these days, or 10. Loosing our car keys in the house.

This A.O.I. can definitely work in our favor. “Don’t bother Grampa while he’s sleeping in his chair. He didn’t sleep a wink last night.” “No, honey, Gramma does not want to hold that stinky, wet, muddy puppy. Give it to your Mommy. She likes puppies.” “Go where? In this weather?” “Of course I can have a beer. It’s the new meds that are the problem.” “Turn down that damn noise or I’ll put my foot through the screen.” “Well, if I knew where I lost it, I would go get it now, wouldn’t I!”

Now you can tell anyone who annoys you by telling you how impatient you are that they will just have to bear with you. You’ve been diagnosed with A.O.I. and it’s incurable. And you want a sandwich – with a beer – NOW!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Elder Storytelling Place

By the time we reach the age of 60, we have at least one whopping good story to tell. With a bit of luck, we have a whole bunch of stories to tell. With an infusion of imagination and a touch of “journalistic liberty,” we have also added a bit of drama to otherwise ordinary stories.

Also by this time, most of our family and friends have heard all our stories, even the variations (just to add a bit of interest, of course).

Now we have a wonderful new place spin our tales of life, love, and growing up, to a whole new audience on Ronnie Bennett’s recently launched The Elder Storytelling Place .

I am very proud to say she has chosen one of my stories, " The Man Who Thought He Was A Train " for the April 27, 2007, feature. (The story originally appeared here in December 2006.)

Almost everyone who lived in my city during the pre-mall era of the 1950s went to town for work or major shopping. Almost everyone who went to town knew about the train man.

I hope my story will not only bring you a smile, but also help us remember a more peaceful time when being different was accepted and people were not so ready to judge, condemn and ridicule.

Thanks, Ronni, for the honor of choosing me to join your storytellers. And thanks, too, for letting us keep alive some of our most precious memories.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thoughts on Getting Older

As I rapidly approach my seventieth birthday, I am struck by two thoughts about the advantage of getting older. It’s not very likely you will find these elsewhere because most people who write of aging are busy telling us how to stay healthy or how to invest our vast accumulation of wealth.

Advantage of Getting Older Number One: We don’t have to hear, “My how you have grown.”

Remember that? In our youth, any adult who had not seen us for at least fifteen minutes was auto-verbalized to say those words. Out of fear of a smack on the back of the head, how many of you squelched the urge to reply with smartass things like, “Well, it’s too hard for me to shrink,” or “Did you think I would get smaller?”

As we ourselves aged, we realized those "how you have grown" comments were not so much about growth spurts, but realizations as to how fast time has passed.

Advantage of Getting Older Number Two: We no longer have to decide what we want to be when we grow up.

It seemed from the age of three up, we were constantly asked this question by relatives, teachers, and even strangers. When I was growing up, girls who replied with occupations like engineer, doctor, or astral physicist, were redirected to more “rewarding” goals like housewife/mommy, teacher, or nurse. Thank goodness the young women of today have more choices.

Now that I’ve given you two more thoughts for today, I think I’ll go grocery shopping and whisper smartass responses into the ears of shopping-cart-trapped small children so they will be prepared for the future.

Gee, this is great having no career goals or getting taller. As for being a smartass? We can now get away with that, too. Younger relatives and friends will just shake their heads and roll their eyes and explain, “You know how it is when they reach this age.”

Whoopee, “this age” suits me just fine!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

… Or Is It Just Me?

How many times have you said:

Is it hot in here … or is just me?

Is it cold in here … or is just me?

Is this too salty … or is just me?

Is this too sweet … or is just me?

Can you smell that … or is just me?

Is that dress ugly … or is just me?

Is this bus going too fast … or is just me?

Do you feel queasy from that hot sauce … or is just me?

Do you think parasailing off this bridge was stupid … or is just me?

Do those pants make her butt look big … or is just me?

Is this the most stupid TV program ever … or is just me?

Is that wave coming this way … or is just me?

Oww, is that blister from six hours in the sun … or is just me?

Shouldn’t you throw that firecracker after it’s lit … or is just me?

Is “… or is just me?” the most stupid phrase you’ve ever heard … or is just me?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords