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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A bull in a china shop

Yesterday I met a really good example of a bull in a china shop. Her name is Shirl and she joined our small group of retired souls for lunch at a local eatery called, Kendalben Barbeque. I have never met anyone who more perfectly illustrates this saying.

Before our group of five was even seated the new member took over and never let go of the reins. She had been invited by one of our regular members and was a new face to the rest of us. Before we finished our meal we knew everything about Shirl, from how many husbands she had gone through and what their problems were to what she eats when she is at home. It was more than we needed to know. At least it was more than I needed to know.  I left feeling as if I had been enclosed in a closet and forced to inhale bad air. Get me out of here!

Our guest is 88 years old and  led a colorful life as a dancer before joining her only son in our little town of Grants, New Mexico. In her opinion there is nothing to do here. She is looking for a social life to fit in. I wish her good luck with that.

This experience reminded me of one that happened several years ago during the time I was leading a writing group for older residents. I had invited a man to join us who I knew was recently retired and enjoyed writing. Part of the purpose of our group was to share what we had written on a chosen subject, for instance spring. The man arrived with a pile of papers under his arm. Without being asked he began reading and reading and we thought he would never stop. I didn't want to be rude so I just let him go on and on. Thank goodness he never came back.

Now that I think of it I also had a similar experience while teaching a writing class for children. There was one young lady who had convinced herself that she was writing a book and would have no problem getting it published. Again the children were supposed to write about a particular thing. and then read their work. When it came time for reading this budding author gave us more than we needed to know. She started to read a portion of her book instead of what she had been asked to do. I finally stopped her and said please stop this was not the place to share your book. The rest of the class was grateful that I pulled the plug on her.
Next month our group will enjoy the outdoors as we take part in a potluck lunch at our local Riverwalk. It was my idea because it is my favorite place to be in all of Grants.

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