If you have read any of our blog you know The Lisas’ cri de coeur is, “Oh Dear Heaven, when did we turn into such tired old biddies?” We suspect it happened somewhere between one Lisa’s child’s boomerang college experience and the festive fifth grade “graduation” of The Other Lisa’s kid. But it may have insidiously began the day we ourselves left high school. Or last week, when one of us suddenly realized she almost always makes a puffy “oof” sound when getting out of chairs. TOL says this is melodramatic, but then she often grunts just trying to sit down.
Regardless of when it occurred, we know our middle age slump is the real thing. (Although we sometimes worry we have skittered past middle age and taken the last train to Croneville.) How? Because we talk like old people.
Example One: Now that it is summer I enjoy remarking to my children about the “pleasant breeze”. “My,” I say, “Isn’t that a pleasant breeze? Look at how breezy it is. The curtains are just blowing like mad. It certainly makes things pleasant.” I contemplate this monologue for a few moments as my children attempt to sidle from the room. Then I launch one last zinger before they can escape. “It certainly is pleasanter today with this breeze.”
Of course, I do not limit my keen observations to wind; I am equally likely to point out the blueness of the sky or the hotness of the sun. I know these comments are inane and obvious, but I can’t stop saying them. And I don’t know why.
Example Two: We live in a city, but often drive through the countryside on the way to visit family. My husband and I are ever alert for the presence of standing water in the fields. For some reason, we find this worthy of much comment, discussion and analysis. A typical conversation starts like this:
“Wow, a lot of standing water there.”
“Oh boy, you’re right.”
“But it did rain a lot last night.”
“True, very true.”
We nod our heads in agreement and ponder the oddity of puddles forming after a big rain–but we never call them puddles, just “standing water” because my husband insists–insists— a puddle can be no bigger than a welcome mat. Unsurprisingly, our children can rarely be drawn into these conversations.
Example Three: TOL is afraid to speak at all to her child because the vast generation gap: Ye Olde American English meets Gossip Girl gab. A typical phone conversation might go something like:
“OMG! I have to work like eleven hours today. Rudy broke my cell phone so now I can’t text. I bought a new one and it only cost me a hundred bucks. Last night I went to the hockey game, we sat in the skybox and ate filet mignon. Thursday we’re leaving for Bermuda, but only for a month.”
“That’s nice, dear. Oh wait. I just remembered what I did. I went to the store and bought hot dogs but forgot the buns. Can you believe that?”
“Sorry, Mom. I’ve gotta go. Brad just bought me a Tiffany ring and it’s really heavy so my hand is getting tired. I’ll be sleeping in tomorrow so if you have to call don’t make it before noon.”
“No problem, honey. Have a nice life!”
On the other hand, TOL must have done something right. She’s convinced her offspring will pick out a very nice nursing home in the next few weeks where she will spend the rest of her boring days wandering around saying, “I must have come into this room for a reason…”