I have a confession to make: I’m terrible at interacting with old people.
It’s not exactly my fault, and I guess I should take comfort in knowing that admitting you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. I haven’t had a lot of older people in my life. My dad’s parents both died in their early 40’s of heart disease, and I barely remember my paternal grandma though there are photos of me as a 3-4 year old sitting on her lap. My grandpa on my mom’s side died exactly one year before I was born. My mom’s mother (Grandma Mary Helen, also known as “Hairy Melon” by all her grandchildren) was the only older person I have ever had in my life. She died in her early 70’s and I didn’t spend much time with her near the end of her life (which I do regret) but she was always a young spirit for an older woman.
Now, I’m sitting in Virginia with my husband’s parents who are in their 70’s (for comparison, my parents are in their early 50’s and very much still party animals) and I struggle with how to interact with them. I have a hard time connecting and knowing what to say when they’re talking, and I feel like I don’t seem interested in what they have to say. It’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t find them interesting, but they talk slower than most people and I find myself getting impatient. I know it makes me a bad person too, but I can’t seem to figure out how to change.
My husband keeps saying that he thinks I don’t like his family, which totally isn’t true! But I just don’t know what to say or do when I’m around them. I’m wondering if it’s because they came into my life only within the last few years and I am struggling to get to know them. They also live at a much slower pace than how I live, so that could be it? I’m not really sure what it is, but I’m trying to work on it.
Anyway, just random thoughts while I’m killing time waiting for dinner. Two more days left of this vacation, and tomorrow we’re heading to Busch Gardens for the day — so that should be a fun-packed day!---------------
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