This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Why old people are so boring

Let's face it, old people are boring. They have a tendency to talk about stuff that young people don't care about. And if you're wondering if you're old, take this test: are you under 13? No? Then you're old.

But old people can be a wonderful resource. They can help clarify things that books don't explain very well. They have been places that young people would like to go, and they can show the way, provide inspiration and support. And if you're interested in history, whether you are young or old, you can help to share the wealth that old people have.

My interest in history goes back to when I was young. Yes, I was 12 when I first became fascinated with it. And, unfortunately, I found out that getting information from boring old people was pretty awful. They would go off on some rant about how the world stinks, or they would tell some long-winded story which I was unable to interrupt. And then start another with, "that reminds me of a story..."

No, I can't tell old people not to be boring. Well, not to their face. I can do it here. And since I have been an old person for quite some time, I can remind myself not to be boring. If you're an old person, here is what you should do:

• Listen to, and answer, questions. If you're being interrupted in the middle of some boring story, take it as a clue. Stop the story. Don't ever get back to it. Answer the question. Phone calls cost ten cents when I was a kid. If you are always saying, "Anyway..." and going back to your boring stories, stop it. Make it a New Year's Resolution, or something. Just shut up already.

• Don't talk about your medical problems. Save that for the doctor's office, or when you get together with other old people. I call that an "organ recital". Young people don't want to hear about that stuff. Yuk.

There's a good reason why young people don't like to listen to boring old people - they have sense. If you're an old person, get your act together, you are a valuable resource, act like it.
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