I took a seat at the counter with all the other diners eating alone and soon a conversation started between three others about a book one of the women was reading. Unfortunately, I’d never read the author so I couldn’t add to the discussion but I made an important notation in my manual on How To Make Friends After Seventy: bring props along as conversation starters. Exhibit B: Another man at the counter had a fancy-ass Apple smart phone that he laid down with his car keys and that drew a question from another guy two stools down. I thought about whipping out my “granny phone” to give them a good laugh since I was sitting in between them but I suddenly got hungry for an apple pancakes and I was trying to find it on the menu before the waitress came back. These two guys were obsessed with their Apples apps!
The monthly senior hall luncheon was last week and I sat next to a woman who had also broken her arm within days of me breaking mine. So naturally we compared progress reports and I learned she’s ready to throw in the towel, doesn’t see the point of living much longer if all she’s got to look forward to is more of the same. I don’t think she was serious. God, I hope not but as I sat there surrounded by a sea elderly ladies it occurred to me there should be way to grade and tag all of us so the Debbie Downers could all sit at one table and the Cathy Crazies---who like to moon strangers on our bus trips---could all sit at another table at the opposite end of the room. All the “normal” ladies could sit in the middle of these two groups. Why? I’m a little afraid it would be Westside Story all over again if the two groups ever got fed up with listening to the one other. Grab your butter knives, ladies! There’s going to be a rumble! There must be a pharmaceutical solution to this potential problem. Perhaps the program director needs to start spiking the applesauce like I’m told they do in nursing homes?
As part of my quest to find friends I went to my second meeting of the museum committee to help raise funds for their new building and as promised, this meeting was better attended than the first. It was clear, however, that most of these people had known each other since high school a half century ago, so I was questioning my judgment in joining the historical society. But after the meeting was over 3-4 ladies introduced themselves to me and welcomed me to the group. Two even thanked me for wanting to get involved, so I’m still hopeful it could lead to some friendships. I volunteered for an auction committee called the “basket ladies” and the museum director told me that committee has the most fun of all the committees. It involves shrink wrapping smaller donated items into groupings that makes them worth the time to auction them off.
They say to have a friend you need to be a friend. I thought of that when I was talking to my broken arm twin. She’s got a good friend from her working days who comes with her to all the luncheons and the bus trips and who’s been driving her around since May because her wrist is still too messed up to get behind the wheel. Now, that is a good friend. Plus she has kids and grand-kids in the area so, unlike me, she’s got back up for emergencies. Translation: I lust after what she’s got. Did I mention that she’s chatty which is one of the reasons why I like her; she reminds me of Don before his stroke---she talks, I listen. But when she asks bold questions like, “Don’t you wish you could just throw in the towel and end it all right now?” I, in a not so tactful and shocked way, reply, “No way! I still have goals to achieve one of which is to get up every morning and see if it’s still a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” ©