Opinion

As we get older, the topics of conversation change

When you’ve lived in one town for a long time, you are forever running into friends or acquaintances wherever you go. It may be in the grocery store aisle, a coffee shop, a restaurant or the mall. Maybe they are a former co-worker or classmate and you stop a minute or two to catch up.

Last week I met three other men I knew, all at the same time. It was 6:55 a.m., and we were waiting in line, requisitions in hand, for the bio-medical lab to open. And so life moves on to another chapter.

Instead of discussing hunting, fishing, trucks or grandchildren, we talked about cholesterol,  blood pressure, diabetes and heart rates. We kept checking our watches. Not that any of us really had anywhere to go, but we had all been fasting for 10 to 12 hours. As soon as someone tells  you not to eat or drink anything, you become hungry and thirsty. If someone had come along with a cart selling coffee and a doughnut for $10, they would have made a killing.

Somebody in the line-up mentions that you can go online for some labs and clinics and make an appointment. We raise our eyebrows at this suggestion.

The procedure we always follow is to go to the doctor, get the paper work and wait our turn at the lab. For us, to fire up the computer, go online, search for the right site, fill in the blanks and make an appointment would surely create stress and increase our heart rate, which is probably why we are coming here in the first place.

Once inside, we take our numbers and disappear into various curtained cubicles. We may get a glimpse of each other again as we cross paths carrying small plastic collection devices, but we avert our eyes. There is a limit to what guys will share.

We leave with our little round Band-aids stuck on our arms, to cover the gaping wound from the blood test. We wear it like a badge of courage for awhile, so we can tell people about the huge steel needle that was thrust deep into our flesh. Even a little sympathy at our age is  well-appreciated.

Yes, eventually it seems we spend more time in the doctor’s office than on the lake,  but we have to learn to go with the flow and accept the changes. Find the positives.

A lady shared that her coffee group had been meeting weekly for years, but recently the conversations were less about gardens and travelling and more about kidneys, gall bladders, hearts and lungs. They decided that instead of calling  their gatherings coffee meetings, they would call them organ recitals.

A young man took his Grandpa to a fancy restaurant on the 20th. floor of a downtown building. The food was great and the young waitresses were very beautiful. As they got into the elevator to leave, the young man asked, “Grandpa, if the elevator got stuck between floors, which one of those pretty waitresses would you like to have trapped in there with us?” Grandpa replied, “I guess the one that knew how to fix elevators.” Our priorities change as we age, we become much more practical.

To quote Robert Frost: “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” Don’t waste even an hour of your day. At least that’s what McGregor says.

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