Wednesday, January 14, 2015


My occupation involves interacting with people who are very bored, very lonely and who have been stripped of most societal value. Recounting and embellishing on historical tales is a favorite activity. 

I am a semi-captive audience. 

You do the math.

For the most part, I am pretty sympathetic and some stories are well worth the time. 

Years ago, I worked with a lady whose father never learned how to read and could only write his name. She was cleaning out her things and found a little pile of papers where he had made up his own shorthand with symbols.

That, I think, shows some amazing ingenuity, determination and coping. 

However, outside of work, I am becoming very intolerant of social prattle and blathering. 

I don’t go out much. 

I took a natural disaster management course. One of the advisors highly recommended including earplugs in an emergency kit.  Spend a night a disaster shelter and quiet becomes important.   

By happenstance, I very much valued quiet without the benefit of a night in a shelter and I already carried earplugs in the flotsam and jetsam collected in my purse.

Today I plunked down in a restaurant, ready to get work done and the lady sitting next to me undertook the loudest and most asinine diatribe involving:  
her neighbor who dressed her daughter like a homeless child,
the child who obviously needed a beating
the engineer who came to her party without bringing beer
her hairdresser that had evidently committed numerous offenses
homeless people; who were in her country illegally or here legally but criminals or either of those two but certainly welfare cheats and lazy and had homes and cars larger and more expensive than anything she ever owned

You get the idea.

Faced with such titillating conversation, her male companion took to loud nasal snorting and very impolite sinus clearing.

Once again 50 cents of memory foam saved me from an embarrassing altercation in public. 

It does not, however, save me from thinking we are beyond some critical cognitive event horizon. 


Anonymous said...

What a treasure to find her dad's own made up short hand. I love the two ladies! Jamie

March Matron said...

The friends are so great!! The lady I worked with was so excited to find the papers. She told me several remarkable stories about him and what he did to feed his kids. (It didn't involve food stamps or abandoning them. What a concept.) I find that level of coping now and then in the older generations and almost never in the young generations. I'm no very optimistic for the future.