The Old and the Restless
Old people orchestra has started meeting again. I do not know what happened over the holiday break, but since my return I feel that the old people’s old people behavior has gotten out of hand. I am unbothered if my old friends want to breathe loudly through their mouths or fall asleep during practice. They are welcome to yell comments as if they have no internal monologue or take advantage of my young strength and make me carry heavy objects. What bothers me is when old people feel the need to bring the topic of death into otherwise light conversations. Marilyn and I were having a nice little talk about orchestra seating when she happened to mention that her last four stand partners have died. Then I was carrying Peggy’s upright bass to the closet when she let me know that she married her husband so that he could carry her bass for her, and then he, as she put it, “went and died on me.” I understand that death becomes an increasingly relevant topic as we get older, but for the 70+ crowd I think it is a bit cliché to just sprinkle conversations with death tidbits.
You know, in many ways old people are just like us, with two exceptions.
1) Old people get married after about forty minutes of dating. You know it’s true.
2) When old people fall, it is always serious. At the last concert, our conductor wore three-inch high heels, and the only thing discussed between orchestra members before the music began was the conductor’s impending danger. No one was nervous for their own performance; they were audibly concerned about the possibility of broken bones. I have watched two of my elderly relatives fall, and let me tell you, there is a reason for the concern. It’s horrifying to observe.