As you’ve got older, has your opening line changed? by Bill Storie
Isn’t it funny that when we were young we would typically start a conversation with a friend or anyone for that matter with “Hi. How are you? Isn’t it cold today?” (or too hot, windy, wet etc.) You get the idea.
Mind you maybe that was just in Scotland (g)
In the winter it was always cold and raining or snowing. In the summer, some days it would be very warm. We were never satisfied. In fact, we had only two weather options in Scotland, and we had a saying that went something like this …
”If you can see the hills the rain is coming. If you can’t see the hills, it’s already raining”
The weather was always the opening line. It became a standard comment so much so that most times you wouldn’t even know you’d said it. But you had.
As we got a wee bit older maybe we migrated to “How’s it going? – or as some say “Que pasa?”
But as we have entered the olderhood stage it seems the opening line changes.
I admit that a lot of times when greeting especially an older person of similar age, I seem to say,
“Hi there. How’s it going? How are you feeling?”
We don’t care about the weather these days it seems. Maybe because we’re retired we don’t notice good or bad weather – if it is raining we don’t leave the house. When it stops raining, we leave. We have no need to commute.
But we are obsessed with health – and rightly so.
However rather than just focus on our own health, we are real keen to know what the other guy is suffering from. I think it may have to do with us wanting to know if he/she is in worse health than ourselves and if they say “Oh, I’m having difficulty with my knees”, we have an internal chuckle and a “Hey, hey I don’t!” attitude. Then we hope that our knees hold out.
I don’t think we want to wish bad health on our friends etc. Not at all. But the older we get the more health comparisons we seem to do.
I think we sometimes are fearful of saying, “I feel fantastic. No problems at all.”
Why is that?
Because we don’t want to tempt fate at this age. I don’t have an issue with that at all so why not just confess that that is how we all feel. Makes sense.
So, perhaps we need to come up with some new greetings. Any suggestions?
“Hi there. It’s a lovely day. It’s quite warm. You look hot”. Oops probably not!
So, the question is whether our conversation topics change as we age. Do we have more interest in chatting with grandkids for example.? Can we be bothered to explain our thoughts to idiots who have already made up their mind? When do we stop offering advice to those who need it (even though they won’t accept they need it)?
Luckily, we probably don’t get many opportunities these days to share our views. I guess that’s not because we have become stupid (or maybe they think we have but more likely because they think we’re too old to be interested. (g)
They could be right.
By Bill Storie