18 September 2019
Laughter is a Geezer Super Skill
If you haven't figured it out yet, I'll go on record here that old people are downright funnier than most comedians. I know this because I am old so I know a lot of people who are old too. I know that sometimes I sit and laugh at myself... all by my onesies. Add another oldie and it gets funnier. Add more than five or six and you've got yourself an old folks giggle fest.
I recently attended a gathering of Geezers. This event happens once a year in the metropolitan city of Brownsville, Oregon-Style. I'm sure there are a lot of Brownsvilles in this world but none can hold a candle to this one. This tiny town is full of history and prides itself in sharing that with all who enter there. If you are tempted to go by this Southbound I-5 exit, please don't. Your reward lies a few miles to the East and you won't regret the trip.
How did I get to a gathering of Brownsville Geezers? Easy. I married a man from that town whose family roots ran deep in that part of Linn County. I also was divorced from this man but only after we had two beautiful daughters. Fortunately we not only shared parenting, but we stayed friends. This makes me a shirttail relative to the rest of the Brownsville folks who grew up in that town and went to school together. I have a lot of memories of my Brownsville years and many of them are pretty funny.
Turns out that when you get a group of oldies together and get them talking about their lives most of them are pretty animated and most start laughing at shared experiences as the stories flow. This group covered everything from first dates and first kisses on the front porch , "UGH... he stuck his tongue in my mouth!" to learning (or not) how to drive. "OK, now put in the clutch and shift down, then signal."
Of course, before we get to those stories we have to compare our latest illnesses, falls, bumps and boo-boos. It's just what old people do. This could be because it's one of the only times they have a lot of activity in their lives or just because the older you get, the more of these medical stories you have to tell. They also strike up a band of giggles. I guess that's why we're all here... we still find the funny in most everything... even when some folks don't.
Cars are a big subject with men folk and some of the women too. Men reminisce about the cars they wish they still had. All of us have memories of cars and the times we spent in them, from loving to fighting about how to drive. There isn't a story told that doesn't resonate with most of us.
I think that's the most important thing about this gathering. It's a small group where all can share in the fun. Each memory brings another and another. It occurs to me that we should do this more often. Then I think about the time I spend on Facebook with these folks and know that they make me laugh every day. Besides, we can only afford one stay a year in that far-away land of Brownsville.
The best part of this is that we are friends. One of the funny parts is that I only knew one or two of these folks prior to going to the Old Geezer Reunion. Until that first one, my only contact with them had been on Facebook. By the time I actually met them it was like meeting old friends. After three years of visiting once a year I can't see how we could let this go by. It's become a real family with unending funny stories.
So, on the next dull day when you can't find anything to be happy about you need to do the following thing. Look back on your own life and find those funny stories and share them with yourself or someone else. Get your kids or grandkids in on it. Don't dare tell me there's nothing funny in your life. That's not true. What is true is that your mind takes pain away over time if you let it. It leaves behind the good things but only if you set them free by sharing.
My daughter Pam visited this years gathering. She's related to Brownsville through her dad. She said, "These old people are really funny." Well, of course we are. It's one of our specialties and we're darned good at it.