Nov. 17, 1999

Things I Don't Get - Part I

The First in a Continuing Series


Am I naive, or aren't people supposed to get smarter as they get older?

OK you can stop laughing now.

But really.. several things relating to this question are on my mind. First is an incident that happened at bowling today. My league is composed of thirty-two ladies ranging in age from early 40's to early 80's. We used to practically have the run of the place on Wednesday afternoons but this year they are full up and can't even allow us empty lanes adjacent to ours.

The etiquette in bowling leagues is, if someone is standing on the approach with their ball, preparing to bowl, you do not run up and throw your ball in the adjacent lane. This is what our neighbours were doing. If they had been casual bowlers, we wouldn't be surprised but they were league bowlers. Our president, (age 50) who happened to be on those lanes, asked them nicely to have some courtesy. They told her IN SO MANY WORDS, "fuck you", and in that unique Quebec way, added that they only speak French.

Were these unkempt rebellious teenagers? Noooooooo.. they were SENIORS, easily seventy-five years old.

We complained to the manager, who is an unkempt teenager (or looks like one) and he was supposed to speak to them but I doubt he did. Nothing more came of it but really, shouldn't they know better? Is that how they brought up their children? Perhaps it is..


The other thing on my mind is a story my step-mother recently told me about why she broke up a close friendship. She and my father had been inseparable with another elderly couple for several years. They live in the same apartment building and went to each other's doctor appointments, ate together, shopped together, and they even stayed at Dad's condo in Florida for vacation. Well, one day they all went shopping (Wal-Mart! Yes, we have Wal-Mart here!) and the men went off to do what men do (usually nothing) and my step-mother said, she turned around and her friend was gone! Just like that.

I was waiting for more of the story, but that was it. She asked me, "How would you feel?"

Well, I would perhaps be annoyed, more likely worried that my friend had fallen ill, and certainly wouldn't be angry before I had spoken to her. Step-Mother took it as a personal insult. Her mind snapped shut even as she talked about it. This doesn't seem normal for her - she's usually very kind and compassionate, hardly judgemental. Unfortunately, though, she's "sensitive" or perhaps lacking in self-confidence. If you don't have some self-assurance by your mid-seventies, are you ever going to have any? Plus, she is having memory problems, so how can she be sure her friend didn't tell her where she was going?

She refused to consider talking it out, turned down offers of reconciliation, and remains convinced it was a slap in the face. My father is supporting her decision. I'm not sure if that's good or not.

Maybe I'm weird, but I have tons more self-confidence than I had twenty and thirty years ago. If a friend had truly rejected me, I'd be hurt but it wouldn't touch my sense of self. I wouldn't curse at anyone in public (beyond flipping a finger at another driver.. hey, nobody's PERFECT) for many reasons, one of which is, it's counterproductive! Aren't we (middle aged and older adults) supposed to be more mature?

I guess Judge Judy is correct when she says, "beauty fades, dumb is forever!"

As always, I welcome email. Especially if anyone has any light to shed on either of these stories. Thanks!

My bowling scores today: 106, 128, 123, total 357.
Ewwwwwwwww.
Last year's average: 132
This year's average: I'm not telling you until it's over 120


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