Friday, February 17, 2012

Old Men

Today on the bus to work, a seat cleared up.  The (really very) old man standing next to it essentially shoved me into the empty seat, despite my squeaked protests that he should take the seat.  He then explained to me that standing keeps him young, and expressed his disapproval at the fact that only young women ever stand up to offer him seats.  "The day I take a seat from a lady is the day I will know that I am old!" he scoffed, while lamenting the state of young men today.  He literally lamented the fact that they never shave their necks, and I laughed and thought of my dad, who often makes the same complaint.

That laugh apparently signaled to the old man that I was a willing participant in his conversation, and he started to talk.  He talked to me for the remaining fifteen minutes of our ride together, before he got off at the hospital by the school.  ("My awful knees keep betraying me," was his last comment.)  And the fact of the matter is, he was very old and spoke softly and incredibly fast, and I couldn't really understand him all that well.  I considered pulling the "foreigner card" and letting him know that I was only getting about half of what he said.  Looking up at his face, though, I could see that he was just incredibly happy to be talking to someone who was listening.  Since he spoke without stopping, I only had to nod and make the occasional "mmhmm" or "igen" noise.  I'm pretty sure that he never even figured out that he was talking to a foreigner.

He told me to hold out for a good, old-fashioned man.  "A real man, not one of these boys."  He told me that with my beautiful blue eyes and curly blonde hair, I could afford to wait for a real man.  He then went on to say that even more important was the fact that I was so sweet to listen to an old man ramble.  And then he took my hand, and kept talking, now about government, and we rode the last few minutes hand-in-hand.

I hope that when I'm 87 years old, I can still stand up on the bus and push kids into chairs.  I hope that I still have my faculties about me and can talk without stopping for fifteen straight minutes.  I hope that I can be kind enough to make strangers' whole day.  I thought I was being nice to listen to the old man, but by the end I realized that he was being nice to talk to me.  So, thank you old man.  You made my whole day better.


Dad said...

Between my hating punk and your Mom's ability to talk continuously I think you have the bases covered.

I'm proud you offered your seat. Love ya xoxo

Anonymous said...

This is because you are an extremely nice person. Who would not want to talk to you Thanks for calling me I love and miss you grandma xoxoxo

LL's Mom said...

Not everyone would of talked with him. I am very proud of the women you have become. Never settle like he said. I love you, Mom xo0o0x