Did I Say That

Remember when your kids were little and they would say something embarrassing in public?  You know what I mean.  You’re in the grocery store and one of your kids says, loud enough for everyone to hear, I might add,  “Why is that man so fat?”   Or you are walking down the street with the kids when they see a child in a wheelchair.  They just can’t stop staring until they get close enough and say, “What’s the matter with her?”.


We knew that our small children would, for the most part, be forgiven for inappropriate comments.  We as parents would try to turn these awkward encounters into, as Oprah would say, teachable moments.

People say that one of the advantages of getting older is that you feel more free to say exactly what is on your mind.   You are not quite so concerned about what everyone else might think about you.  I admit, my friends and I started feeling this in our forties.


At some age, though, just like Sophia from the Golden Girls, it seems that the filters in our brains begin to falter.  We have all heard older people say things out loud that you wish they would have kept to themselves.  I have seen it in my own family.  It is another one of those things that we have to watch out for as we age.  It is a balancing act I guess, but….. balance is just another thing that diminishes as we get older.    Sigh!

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4 Responses to Did I Say That

  1. We’ve all said things we regret; the problem with many ‘older people’ is that they don’t realize (or acknowledge) that what they’ve said is hurtful or inappropriate. It took me a long time to realize that my parents (as they swept past 85 or so) weren’t necessarily ‘speaking their minds’, it was more that ‘their minds were speaking for them’. Dementia/Alzheimer’s can make this affliction much worse and there can be a lot of hard feelings as a result. It’s important to realize that the brain often just slips into ‘auto pilot’ when you get older and you may not even know what you’ve said.

    • seniledenial says:

      You are absolutely right. I worked with the geriatric population as well as Alzheimer’s patients in my career and learned never to take things personally. As my Mom aged and as my In-laws are now in their nineties it gets more personal, but, understanding what happens in the aging brain makes it a little easier.

  2. benzeknees says:

    I used to get so embarrassed by my mother because she would stare at other people. I don’t think she even realized she was doing it. Someone would catch her eye & she just couldn’t look away. I would see her doing this in a restaurant, “Mum, you’re staring again!” I would stage whisper. This would bring her back to the conversation at our table.
    I have always been the one to lean over to a stranger at the next table & say “Do you realize you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe?” or something just as embarrassing, but my rationale has always been – I would want someone to tell me!

    • seniledenial says:

      That is so funny that you say that about your Mom. My Mother was exactly the same way. There were times when it was nearly impossible to bring her back when she was staring at something that caught her attention. I check myself often to make sure I am not going that way. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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