By Sheryl McAlister, a writer based in South Carolina. For the record, she loves and respects the elderly.
I was on time for an early morning eye doctor appointment recently. Had a plan to pop in, get a quick eye exam, order some contacts and get to the gym. So I was dressed for the part – shorts, tennis shoes, jacket. I am also over 50, which seemed to feel younger by the minute during that particular morning.
I walked in and immediately did a double take. Everyone. I mean – everyone — was at least 115 years old. They were so old, my age didn’t come close to bringing the average age down a decade. I thought for an instant I had entered the wrong nondescript door in the equally nondescript office building. I thought I had entered God’s waiting room.
I found some magazines and took a seat. Soon, however, it dawned on me that the reason everyone was so old was that the wait was so long. I decided they’d all arrived at the age of 55 and had been waiting ever since.
But, I digress.
An elderly, elegant woman arrived and was pleasantly greeted by the office staff. The conversation went something like this:
Staffer: Good morning and how are you?
Staffer: I said good morning and how are you?
Staffer: I …. SAID …. GOOD ….. MORNING!!!!!
Lady: Good morning. I guess I should have worn my hearing aid.
Okay, I said to myself. If this didn’t happen to be an appropriate outing in which to wear a hearing aid, exactly when would that time be?
The Lady took a seat and struck up a conversation – sort of – with the gentleman sitting next to her. My back was to both of them. It became apparent they were together. And then… the Lady decided to have a very loud conversation on her mobile phone …. With someone named Diane.
Lady: ARE YOU AT MY HOUSE? ARE … YOU… AT…. MY…. HOUSE? FRIDAY?
I’M AT THE DENTIST’S OFFICE. FOR MY EYES.
NO. NO. I’M AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE.
OK, SEE YOU FRIDAY.
She resumed her conversation with her husband, informing him that Diane would not be “there” until Friday. Her husband, who said nothing about a hearing aid, said: HUH? This went on for a few minutes, but you get the idea. This is where it started to get interesting. I switched chairs so I could get the full view.
Gentleman: I need to find my shirts
Lady: What shirts?
Gentleman: My shirts are lost.
Lady: I know where 3 of them are because I’ve washed them.
Gentleman: I think the others might be in the mountains.
Lady: I think that’s right.
Lady: Where’s your ring?
The man looked at his hands as if they had just recently been attached to the bottom of his arms.
Gentleman: I took it off.
Gentleman: Without my ring on, I look like an old man.
Gentleman: I want to go the mountains.
I gathered they owned a home there.
Gentleman: But I’m not telling anyone we’re going.
It’s for certain he could not have slipped out of town quietly.
Lady: Betty is a good cook.
Gentleman: That’s true.
Maybe Betty was a mountain house guest!?? It was not clear.
Gentleman: I’m going to look at the weather and pick a week.
I’m thinking… he’s, presumably, retired. It wasn’t snowing, so what difference did the weather make?
Lady: Uh, huh.
Gentleman: I’m gonna pull out the calendar and find a date and figure out the weather.
Lady: Did you pray for Bill Smith?
Lady: DID YOU PRAY FOR BILL SMITH?
I figured he had not prayed for Mr. Smith.
Lady, once more: Did you pray for Bill Smith?
Gentleman: Oh no. I forgot to do that…
Gentleman: You know, there aren’t a whole lot of people who like him.
Gentleman: YOU KNOW, THERE AREN’T A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE WHO LIKE HIM.
And with that, mercifully, they were called into the doctor’s office before my head exploded.
Copyright Sheryl McAlister 2014©.