Roommates Revisited

For various reasons, I planned to see all but one of my college roommates in a space of seven days. The first was Minna Gwyn in our home, and the next was Bonnie in her home in Nashville. I’m kicking myself for not getting the obligatory photo of Bonnie, but just imagine a most gracious Southern lady with a marvelous sense of fun. That would be your best image of her. She is one you feel instantly at ease with. If she knows you, and you’re still alive, she will say only good things about you. Let’s cut to the dirt. Bonnie had read that John told a funny story to Minna about a very poor music history teacher. She wanted to know, was that Mr. S.? It was. Bonnie probably ran into him more often than the rest of us, so that’s where we began our visit. I had Googled his name and found that he was ten years older than John and that he died at age 57, survived only by his mother. We don’t remember how long he stayed at our college, but mercifully it wasn’t long. Bonnie’s word for him was incompetent. That’s the most vicious word she would say against him.

We caught up on pleasant news of others, during which I discovered my serious conversational flaw. I let things drop, lacking a clincher sentence. I began telling about a fellow from my home town, but I never made the final statement that he ended up performing with someone we all admired at college. It was like telling a joke without the punch line. I never could tell a joke, and now it has spread to general conversation. If that isn’t cured now, it will only get worse. Any suggestions? Duct tape is the first option.

19 thoughts on “Roommates Revisited

  1. Glad that you had a good visit other than the conversation thing. I’m not sure how to fix the ‘clincher’ malady. Michelle says I do it all the time when I’m working on the computer. She’ll interrupt me with, “You didn’t finish what you were telling me.”
    I picture all the little electrical pulses in my brain racing through the myriad of synapses, taking fast right and left turns. They then happen upon my thought impulse that I am processing at that nano-moment. Like a child is apt to do, one of the those rampaging impulses reaches out and grabs my thought by the hand, and off they go in another direction.

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  2. The older I become, the worse it gets. I firmly believe it’s all about FOCUS, something I increasingly lack. If one isn’t completely focused, distractions can definitely rail-road a fabulous ending to a stellar performance. My other consideration is my growing inability to quickly sputter out the perfect words to deliver the punch line! You know, those words on the tip of your tongue. Most people are impatient or feel the need to fill in the silence, trying to be helpful, and then both the thought and the moment have evaporated. I’m trying to learn to tell abbreviated versions with fewer distractions. At this age, I’m still a work in progress.

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  3. I have a feeling that we just have so many thoughts swirling our heads that are fighting to get out that some only make it out halfway. I always kind of wonder what happens to that last bit of sentence I did not get spoken. Does it just reabsorb or take up space in there? hmmmmmm
    I may have to purchase duct tape.

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  4. Perhaps your story was old hat to you and didn’t keep your attention? Then again maybe everyone was chattering. Sometimes when I’m with my friends I find it hard to finish anything (except food). Someone hears half a sentence and they are off down that rabbit hole!


  5. Oh dear! I do that too. I think you’re right there’s so much in the attic, we can’t keep it straight. We’ve had, after all, too many years to accumulate. Kate’s theory could also be to blame as well. It just happened to me. The other person was so busy telling her story that mine never did get completed. In any case, don’t worry overly much about that. I’m glad you had a grand time.


    1. The bad teacher taught organ and some academic classes. My friends said he was a terrible organ teacher. John’s roommate was a music major, and he came back to their room questioning a music history statement. John learned music history from record jacket notes, so he showed the roommate a paragraph refuting what the teacher said. I presume the students trusted the textbook and questioned anything that man said in class.

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