First morning backBill's Briefs, Latest Issue Thursday, February 16th, 2017
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
My flight back to my old home in Tokyo was uneventful, but started with the security guard taking one look at me and abruptly asking if I had a pacemaker or a knee or hip replacement. It was like being given a senior discount without asking for one. One manages a weak smile.
My first morning found me tunneling out from under six blankets into a room at a “crisp” 42 degrees. I saw my breath as I shivered and scraped off the build-up of window frost to be greeted by a snow flurry. It brought to mind turning blue while shoveling our huge driveway in Maine, a memory which omened ill for my visit.
Next came listening to the U.S. military radio to learn we have, as forewarned, a new president. I prayed that despite dark shadows all will be well. The “news” covered two minutes and “sports” the next 13.
I then discovered my iPhone would not work in Japan, so until we went out to lunch, I decided to take the opportunity to finally delete the unknowns and undesirables from my phone’s contact list. It was easy at first, although erasing the names of the loved ones now gone was difficult; too difficult in a few cases and I let them stay. Easier was tossing out the entries which brought not a hint of a face or anything else to mind. Also biting the dust were those with a negative parenthesis: Mr. Big (lie), single (three kids), $500 (waiting), etc. The mysterious “WOW” beside several names bothered me until I decided it probably meant “With Out Wits” and out they went. Naturally notations like “bitch” got slashed at once. All in all, I eliminated a good third.
Think about reviewing and refining your list of friends/contacts. It is fun and time well spent.
The rule of three
My senior friends in Japan have the same social problems as we do in San Diego. More, since most are still in the closet having gotten married, had children and always kept their true selves a secret. Now as senior men and women they are free to have a social life among others they can relax with and relate to. This is possible because for club type activities a spouse may be safely left at home.
My tale of San Diego’s LGBT senior activities was met with wonder and jealousy. Sadly, many in San Diego also sit at home waiting for the phone to ring even though there are people and groups eager to welcome them. They just have to come together within a common interest.
To get the ball rolling, I’ve come up with “The Rule of Three.” First, find three groups that might be interesting … for goodness sake, get off your ass! Look on the Internet, the local magazines, The LGBT Center’s senior calendar, etc. Surely something from simple coffee discussions to something you’ve never tried will beckon: volunteering, knitting, cooking, running, crafts, bridge, theater, etc.
With your trio chosen, attend at least three sessions of each so they can size you up and you them. Warning: do not rush to aim your charm and special attention at any one person. He/she might not wish to be publicly singled out (Oh yes, everyone will notice).
After the third gathering (Not the first; that would be pushy), make three attempts to engage them as a group by casually suggesting, if no one has done so already, “Anyone for coffee, lunch, movie, etc.?” With these three groups and their three meetings and three offers, if no one responds, analyze the total picture including yourself.
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