Learning how to age with grace


I’m such an old person.

I’ve been called an “old soul” since I was a kid, and I take that as a compliment, but now it’s gone to a whole new level.

I tell the same stories over and over because I got a laugh back in the mid-90s. I can have an entire conversation about the proper way to load a dishwasher or replace a toilet paper roll.

My mom has a few East Texas phrases that I’ve picked up, and I’m not proud that my inner hillbilly has surfaced. I say things like, “Gotta go do my ratkillin’,” “you parked all whompyjawed” and “this room looks like the Wreck of the Hesperus.”

I don’t know what any of those things mean, but they are apt to leave my mouth without my knowledge, and when they do, I sound exactly like my mother.

At my grandmother’s funeral last year, an elderly man approached me and told me how lovely it was to see me.

“You’ve always been so kind,” he said. “You’re just a joy to be around.”

I thanked him and was feeling pretty good about myself until he walked away and added, “It’s just so nice to see you, Rebecca.”

Rebecca is my mother’s name.

So, yeah, that happened.

Last week during the Astros game, the camera panned to the celebrities in the audience. My boyfriend and I spent 20 minutes arguing over whether Dylan McDermott was Dermot Mulroney and what’s the name of the guy who has a house on Lake Jacksonville (spoiler: it’s neither McDermott nor Mulroney).

To provide a little context, let me explain that my mother grew up in Jacksonville, Texas, and my father grew up in Crockett, Texas. They drink sweet tea and eat chicken fried steak and think sushi is for hippies who believe in global warming.

My grandmother was the secretary for the Jacksonville school district for many years and, oddly enough, such celebrities as country singers Lee Ann Womack and Neal McCoy, and actress Margo Martindale went to school in Jacksonville. My grandmother would be happy to tell you all the trivia about these three celebs, most notably the fact that Neal McCoy was actually named Neal McGaughey (pronounced McGoy) and Lee Ann Womack had to quit cheerleading so she could protect her vocal chords. And once my uncle saw Margo Martindale at the Walmart over Christmas break. (She was very pleasant and hugged his neck).

Anyway, as we were trying to decipher whether Dermot or McDermott was the person who had the Jacksonville lake house, I decided to just call my mom. She’d know.

“It’s that guy from Grey’s Anatomy,” she said.

Cue a 20-minute conversation about whether that guy’s name is Patrick Swayze, Patrick Stewart, Patrick Warburton or (ding, ding) Patrick Dempsey.

So, yes, my friends, I am an old person. I have turned into my mother. And if that’s all I have to complain about, I think I’m in pretty good shape.

April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at editor@sealynews.com.


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