Time’s winged chariot

an age thing

Is it an age thing, or have I always been terminally grumpy and am now failing to hide it as well as I used to?

I know that’s a difficult question when all you know of me is what I choose to tell you, and most of that is digitally enhanced to make me look better than I really am – just imagine what I’m really like.

But anyhow, bear with me.
I was talking to Mike last night. This fact merits a mention in itself, as we were actually discussing ideas and random topics, rather than making arrangements for the following day, or arguing about whether yet another bloody episode of Sharpe constitutes a good evening’s entertainment.

Among the many issues we ranged over was meeting new people and our respective abilities to make inconsequential chit-chat.

It’s never been a particular skill of mine.
I can do it, especially if it’s for work as I can click into jovial, matey mode when necessary. But my real preference is to get down to it, whatever it may be, straight away.

Last night I found myself telling Mike something along the lines of –

I don’t really bother talking to people much, I mean, I chat, and I think I manage to sound friendly and interested, but I’m not really, and I don’t think other people are either.

Most people just want to talk about themselves but realise they’re going to have to let other people have a go, just so they can have a turn.

Perhaps that’s what we’re doing when we try to teach our kids to share, to listen and to take turns.
It’s not natural, so we all have to be socialised into doing it.

That may sound pretty grumpy, but I don’t feel grumpy.
I just feel I’ve got limited time and diminishing patience and I don’t want to waste either of them.

Now that does sound like an age thing.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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5 Responses to Time’s winged chariot

  1. Omega Mummy says:

    It’s just that you’re less fussed about revealing the true you. Small talk is a conversational disguise. Well, that’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

  2. I too have less and less patience with pretence as I get older. I just can’t be bothered with all that nonsense any more. Everybody’s grumpy at times, really.

    After I scored a Rockin’ Blogger award, I’ve been told I can award them to other people – and have chosen you. Hope that is okay with you. There is nothing involved beyond that. Oh, except you get to award it to two people, if you so choose! More details on my site.

  3. Mopsa says:

    Terminally grumpy does it for me. But I worry that sometimes grumpy turns into the terminally rude, and that really won’t do until I’m over 80, and that is still a long way off.

  4. Tracey says:

    I feel like these days I am terminally anti-social – which amounts to the same thing really. I have thought the same things you have just ‘vocalised’. I think as I am getting older I have less and less tolerance for people with whom I realise I have nothing in common with, and the truth is I’d rather just avoid a lot of social situations than suffer through them pretending that I am enjoying myself when really I’m not.

  5. Iota says:

    Well, grumpiness is all very well and perfectly acceptable. However, here in my life, I am so excited by any glimmer of the possibility of a social life, that “anti-social” just isn’t in my dictionary. The school social evening, dreaded by most, had me in a state of breathless anticipation for a week – and then it was cancelled due to bad weather (we’re talking several degrees below freezing, and blizzards – I’d have wrapped up and braved them willingly for a bit of conversation). No doubt when I’ve been here a year or two, and have so many invitations that I am turning them down left, right and centre (center, even), then I will investigate grumpiness (limited time and diminishing patience) a little further.

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