They say that comedy comes from pain, and if that's true, old people are the funniest humans on the planet. Anyone who's ever visited the elderly knows how much of their conversation centers around their most recent physical ailments. They catalogue their aches and pains. They describe in detail their latest visit to the doctor, hospital, and/or surgical suite. Hours fly by as a group of senior citizens enjoy a hearty debate regarding the side effects of cholesterol medication. May the good Lord protect you if you're a politician trying to mess with their insurance.
I first noticed the correlation between "age" and "health concerns as the main topic of conversation" when my husband and I were passing through Washington state. We'd made a side trip to Spokane to visit his relatives and were staying at his grandparents' house. The couple of nights we spent there felt like a couple of months as we sat on the couch, a muted Wheel of Fortune playing in the background, receiving an update on the health of not only his grandparents, but all of their friends.
I realize as I write this how snotty I must sound, so let me assure you that my husband and I are quite possibly the most respectful people you're ever going to meet. Even though we didn't know any of the folks about whom they were talking, we listened to Grandma and Grandpa's tales of medical malpractice, nodded our heads, and asked questions. In short, we forced ourselves to care about Thelma's kidney stones and Bert Sr.'s gangrenous toe. And you know what? For the rest of their lives, my husband's grandparents spoke fondly of us. They thought we were the nicest kids, and thoroughly enjoyed our short time together. That visit forged a strong bond between us.
So what's my point? My back hurts. I bent over to sweep a mess into the dustpan and my lower muscles went into spasm. I screamed and dropped to the floor in agony. I had to go to the doctor! She gave me a muscle relaxer called Flexeril, which caused me to spend most of the weekend laid out on the sofa falling in and out of a coma. Speaking of laid out, have I told you how my father had both knees replaced last year? Pull up a chair. This is going to take a while . . .
Dinner last night: Flexeril, water