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Carol Perkins: Getting older brings return of childlike things

'As I get older, I do more childlike things . . .I have also noticed that my tolerance for what I consider rudeness has decreased,' she writes, finding, she says, 'The new American way seems to be a self-centered one. Everything is about ME, ME, ME.'
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Folding under pressure Posted February 2, 2014

By Carol Perkins

When I looked down at my feet, I knew something was wrong. "Guy, do you see anything wrong with this picture?" I asked.

He just shook his head. I had my boots on the wrong feet. I blame the zippers. Not a regular wearer of boots, I was confused about whether the zippers were on the inside or the outside. The outside seemed the appropriate place for a zipper, but obviously I was wrong.

One might think I would have noticed after slipping on the first boot that the fit wasn't exactly right, but it took the second one to realize the error of my ways. When my feet pointed east and west, I knew I had a problem.

The unexpected consequence of using an electric toothbrush

As I get older, I do more childlike things. For instance, I bought an electric toothbrush. What I didn't think about is what happens if I become too lax while brushing. Toothpaste goes everywhere...on the counter, the mirror, and my clothes. Also, it took a while for me to get used to the lack of a mouth full of bubbles or whatever it might be called. For some reason, purely my own fault I'm sure, the dribble from the uncontrollable electric toothbrush lands on my top. Toothpaste does not remove easily with a wet cloth.

Writer's tolerance for rudeness has decreased

I have also noticed that my tolerance for what I consider rudeness has decreased. Just last week while standing in line at the grocery store, the lady checking out in front of me had a string of items on the conveyor belt but forgot something on her list. "Oh, I'll just be a minute," she said as she left her cart and dashed for her item, which I knew was at the back of the store. Dash isn't the right word because her dashing days, like mine, were over.

I would have left without my milk if I had been in her place, but she didn't care that she had left me waiting and those behind me. She was not going home without her milk. So, I looked at the magazines on the rack, checked out the chewing gum, and stewed.

"I'm so sorry," she said to the line behind her when she returned with her milk, breathing hard.

I would have liked to have said, "No, you aren't sorry or you wouldn't have wasted our time." I didn't say anything, which is sometimes better than saying something.

New American way seems to be a self-centered one

The new American way seems to be a self-centered one. Everything is about ME, ME, ME. I want my milk now. Whatever happened to considering those around us? It's like going to a movie and a person wearing a cowboy hat sits in front of you without a thought that you can't see. YOU are the problem, not him, so YOU will be the one to find a new seat. If you mention the hat problem you could end up shot .

I was at an outdoor concert a few years ago with an older person who has asthma and the guy in front of us was smoking like a freight train. The smoke came back to us in waves. She began coughing with the recognizable asthma cough, so I asked him in a friendly way if he would mind not smoking and explained why. Abruptly he said, "No, I'm going to smoke." His wife gave him a look that would kill but he continued to smoke. All about ME, ME, ME.

I have certainly been all over the planet today with my rants but saying focused is another childlike problem. We all suffer from it and we all have stories to tell. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2014-02-09 06:56:06
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