A few weeks ago I rambled about gettin' old. Well, it has been said that one is only as old as he or she feels. If that's true, Methuselah ain't got much on me 'cause at times I feel at least a hunderd and ninety-nine!
Of course, one good thing about gettin' old is the memories. Now, I don't know about you, but for as long as I can remember I've had memories. Come to think 'bout it, if you can't remember memories, what can you remember? The sad thing is that today, I've found my memory ain't as sharp as it once was. In addition, my memory ain't as sharp as it once was.
Regardless, some of my favorite memories are of phrases and sayings that people have used for ages. And I make a deliberate attempt to remember the sayings that are witty and unusual. For example, when asked how I'm doing, I usually reply with, "I was better, but I got over it!" Although the reply is intended to invoke a chuckle, there's a lot more truth in it than you might think. If they chuckle, I add, "and I'm gettin' pretty good at it, too!"
Other replies may include: "I've never felt better, had less, and owed more in my life!"; "Fair to midlin' for a po' fella!"; and, "If I were any better I'd have to take somethin' for it!"
Now, we all know that we aren't doing as well as we pretend. That's why I often tell folks that, "I'm doin' okay. If I ain't, then don't tell me. Let me stumble along in blissful ignorance." Or, "I'm doin' okay, I guess. Don't tell me if I ain't 'cause I might not be able to stand knowin' I ain't doin' as well as I think I am!"
And with all that bein' said, I know you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard ain't what I meant. Or somethin' on that order.
As I said, most of us ain't doin' as well as we say we are. Sure we aren't! If we were, and told others we were, folks would hate you! Who wants to talk to someone who doesn't ache, owes no one, and is happy they are paying the IRS? Misery loves company, you know.
Hey, doesn't your back bother you? Or your knee? Maybe it's the bursitis in your shoulder or arthritis in your elbow. Maybe the weather is pitiful or your dog is sick. Maybe you've had the flu or diarrhea. Of course, if I convince you to look too closely, you may decide you feel too bad to continue reading.
Think about it. It's true that we often cover our aches and pains with a response such as "we are doing okay", and then ask in return, "How about you?" Most likely, they reply in a like manner. But listenin' to someone say they feel great, have no debts, they enjoy the extreme heat (or bitter cold, dependin' on the time of year)..., well, there just ain't much to relate to, is there!
I'm reminded of the guy who once responded to the sour look on my face. He said, "Cheer up, Galen. Things could be worse, you know."
So, I cheered up. Sure 'nuff, things got worse!
Okay, okay. Ya'll know I'm just kiddin' with you. Everyone knows it's been said that folks love a happy person. However and in some cases, if we didn't have our aches and pains, what would we talk about? I mean, how many conversations have you had, or overheard, where those involved are tryin' to outdo each other on just how great one feels?
Yes, sir. If we didn't talk about out aches and pains, just what would we discuss? Politics? Yeah, sure we would. Then you'd really hear some complaints.
Galen White lives in Homer. His column runs weekly in the Minden Press-Herald.