The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Random Outbreaks of Chitter-Chatter

On May 4th, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

chatterSo the old guy just kept looking at me. I would kind of glance at him, our eyes would catch each other for a split second, and we would both look away quickly. But then he’d be right back at it. Because I’m taller than the average guy, especially those of age who have begun the shrinking process, he was looking at my chest more than anything else.

I had forgotten that I had on a “race bib,” given that I had never run in an organized race before. He was checking out my name, age, race number, etc., on the temporary billboard I was sporting. I looked the part, but I was there more for moral support for my daughter, who is a great runner. I was going to walk.

He asked me if I thought I had a chance to win in my age group. Yep, only if the other 175 or so racers made a wrong turn, got gobbled up by a giant pothole, or stopped by the Dunkin’ Donuts along the route. Seriously. “Nope, not me,” I said. “How about you?”

Well, we had about 20 minutes before race time, so you know how I spent my time.  He told me more than I ever wanted know — all within the context of race time discussion, but nevertheless, he laid out his racing career for me. He was in the 70-75 age group. Plenty of race history was there for reminiscing.  The guy does about 50 to 60 runs each year. He “Olympic walks” more than he runs, but usually wins (or comes close to winning) in his age group. Looking forward to the next race keeps him alive. Good for him.

Three, two, one — off we went. I never saw the old man again. Quiet was restored.

I guess I have one of those friendly faces that people feel comfortable approaching, because this random outbreak of chitter-chatter happens to me all the time. It’s not so much conversation, because that would require me to say something as well. Nope, people turn on the vocal cords and put their mouth into “non-stop” mode, and both the chit and the chat start flying at breakneck pace. I am a gracious listener, but I’m usually thinking, “Really, you don’t even know me, and I know that you’re divorced, have blood pressure issues, and have three kids — two of which are fine, and the other one, well, he’s quite the battle.”

I’m up for a little casual conversation here and there, but a data dump in a line for a race is probably stretching my goodness. Likewise, I’m not your guy in a grocery line, airport gate, airplane seat, car wash, in the pharmacy, at the doctor’s office, etc. etc. Shhhh!

No wonder we have an entire generation hiding behind the headphones/earbuds stuck in their ears, with a white chord dangling from their phone. It’s their way of saying, “Leave me alone.” I’ve got to get me some of those.

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