The Tale of Little E and the Suicidal Aged

Sunday, April 26, 2009 |

Little E had been feeling old. Not ancient, but very mature compared to the 18 yr olds around her and the boys, yes boys, in their late twenties trying to date them. Constantly bugged at work about how and when she was ever going to meet anyone she heard of a magical gathering of mature single mo's and knew it was the perfect answer. She looked at her Calendar of Despair and had the weekend free. Little E was overjoyed. New friends! New scene! So much to look forward too.

Little E fretted all week about what she would wear for comfort as it seemed she might be sitting all day and then dancing. Little E fretted that she wouldn't fit in. Luckily Little E's friends Reluctant Ri and JJ were going to go with her and it made all her worries disappear.

The day dawned and Little E got 4 amazing hours of sleep the night before and dragged herself out of bed. She barely had time to get dressed and didn't even really dry her hair. She packed some water and a raincoat for the cloudy day and she was off. Reluctant Ri texted she would be late. Little E wished she had slept in too. Meeting up with JJ, Little E had a fabulous drive to exotic distant Arlington. The two friends entered the building and their natural exuberance was immediately hushed by the startling scene before them. Elderly people shuffled in and out of the chapel. A medic room was set up next to the door for casualties. The scent of roses and moth balls pervaded the arctic air. Everyone that turned to see Little E and JJ was extremely overly excited. They were given name tags and schedules and note pads and everyone was very kind. They entered the chapel to see an endless sea of seniors and the handicapped. Little E wondered if they had made a wrong turn or gotten false information, but no. This was the place. Just not the place for Little E and JJ. And Reluctant Ri who shortly arrived.

At lunch time they were given mini sized sandwiches and big cookies and a pile of chips. Little E wondered if the tiny sandwich was trying to suggest something. But they were told to grab extras if they were still hungry and HECK YES they were. They then brought out fruit after Little E had already gotten ill from eating 2 cookies to get full. So sad. This is how you make people fat thought Little E. Serve fruit for dessert.

Then Little E, JJ and Reluctant Ri headed back to the chapel for the endless setlist. Errmmm.. I mean the Conference workshops. 4 straight hours in the coldest chapel known to man. Little E felt both her leg hair AND arm hair growing. And icicles forming in her still damp hair. And poor Reluctant Ri was dressed for a sunny summer's day. And unprepared with extra coat. Luckily JJ went to her car and got out her trusty plaid camping blanket just for such occasions. And the event hosts began passing out fleece lap blankets to all of the wheelchairs in the front of the chapel. Little E wondered why only the handicapped were supposed to be freezing their A##es off. Hrm?

Hours passed. Wonderful talks were given, but all Little E could think about was how much longer she was expected to sit there in that chapel. Should she try to build an igloo like an Eskimo? Maybe the cold was to encourage cuddling but there was no one cuddle-able for her. The three friends minds wandered. Finally they took a break outside to warm up. They did not want to go back in due to the cold and general booty numbness, but they pressed on. As the hours passed Little E began to get the impression that the speakers considered the audience to be filled with deeply depressed old fogies who needed to be prevented from committing suicide. As the hymns about sunshine and the talks about life taking "different" paths kept on and on Little E began to feel an uncomfortabl-ness and coldness that had nothing to do with the temperature. A short light was seen in the abyss of deep depression when the Texas Boys Choir sang for the seated popsicle-people. But then they went back for another few hours about trying to stay cheerful when your life is meaningless and empty. Little E thought she had heard the worst, but was unprepared for the upcoming special musical number. As the woman started to sing " I know you are on the edge, unable to hang on any more, in deep despair.....etc" Little E felt a burning urge inside her. She felt her limbs moving almost on their own to stand. She forced her legs to be still. But her mouth was starting to move too. She could feel a mighty shout building up inside her. She wanted to scream " SHUT UUUUUUPPPPP!!!!!" from the depths of her frozen soul. But she did not.

Finally the un-magical gathering came to an end. Oh awaited hour! Little E was so relieved. Reluctant Ri made a faster exit than Taco Bell in a model with IBS. JJ and Little E looked at each other wondering could they stand to stay even a moment longer or might they venture to meet and mingle at the dance? Heck yes they did!! As the dance started Little E went to the restroom and met a nice lady in her 40's. Maybe the closest person to Little E in age. Little E watched as she straightened her "I Love JESUS!" sparkle pin on her turtleneck sweater. Little E knew she was in for a fun filled night.

The dance took place in a cruise decorated gym. The walls were fake cruise ship rails with life preservers. Lemonade and water fountains adorned the snack table along with mints and bags of frosted animal cookies. As the DJ broke into the "Danger Zone" so did the white haired dancers who shook what they had in a non-age appropriate, yet restrained way. Little E's eyes widened. Holy Schnikies! An older man who had dressed for their unannounced theme in a tropical shirt and hat picked unsuspecting women out and asked every single one of them to dance- for only a few moments before picking out another and abandoning his current victim. Please let him skip me prayed Little E in her head. She developed a sudden urge to lock herself in JJ's car in the parking lot. At that moment a different seemingly nice older man asked JJ to dance and said he'd be back for Little E. OK, thought Little E, I am about to officially enter the waters of the Oldies Cruise Dance. As the man came back for her the gentle strains of Usher's "Yeah Yeah" began to play. The man was unfazed. They began to shake it. Little E realized she was completely a dork dancing to Usher if she was unable to truly shake her booty. She felt like she was all arms and frozen old lady hips. Her booty wanted to take on a life of its own. Little E said "No booty. You shall not get your fix of Usher tonight. " As Usher asked for a lady in the street and a freak in the bed Little E looked to see shocked faces but then realized the sweet people around her probably couldn't hear the lyrics anyways. How awkward to dance with a man in his 60's to Usher. Little E returned to her seat and continued to dance on occasion with men nowhere near her age. At one point Little E introduced herself to some people her own age, but they seemed uninterested in dancing. How sad. Truly Little E had entered a depressing world.

She and JJ finally decided to escape the wraith like claws of the retirement cruise of death and headed back to their happy and comfortably room-temperature homes. They bid adieu to their new found friends and what the? The light went on and the dance was over. They had stayed til the end?? This was unacceptable. They had meant to cut out early. What a weird dance. No last slow songs or anything?? Really? None?

Ok forget the graceful exit. JJ and Little E hightailed it out of there to miss all of the Lincoln Continentals backing out at 0.5 miles an hour. See ya lata!! They sped out of the parking lot with a squeal of the wheels and not a backward glance, glad to leave behind the most depressing experience of their short short short(did I mention they were young? ) lives.


Kristen said...

This makes my non-brittle bones hurt. I want to crawl back into bed now with a heating pad and watch Cocoon.

WhiteEyebrows said...

Wow.. I'm speechless. Especially about the first aid station. Really? First aid? What kind of conference did they expect this to be?

Allie said...

Holy Cow! You are braver than me, I would have left mid confrence... if I had even made it into the room in the first place. I probably would have turned around and high tailed it when I saw no one close to my age! By the way you are a fabulous story teller:D

Alison said...

Yeah, really old guys asking me to dance would've been too much. I would've started crying and then my heart would've imploded. Um, it really is going to take an act of God to find someone around here to form a family with, isn't it? Well, and after this little story, maybe to find someone to dance with for 3 minutes. sigh.

Rhia Jean said...

Wow! That recap was dead on! I laughed so hard.

Busy BEE said...

Haha! Been there! When Zane and I were dating we were visiting his brother in San Diego. We heard there was a singles dance and encouraged his brother to go with us.... Yeah- we were the only ones there under 60. Funny enough, it was the strangest but most fun I have had at a dance. Those old people could really get down! I danced with my share of older men, as did Zane with the older women. One woman actually pinched his cheeks...(and I don't mean his face!) I watched an old lady "spank" an old man on the dance floor. What a hoot!

Busy BEE said...
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