Can’t teach an old dog new tricks


As we headed into to the church sanctuary last Sunday, my other half headed toward the north side. “Where are you going?” I asked, catching up with him after short visit with the greeter.

“I thought we would sit over here for a change.” he answered.

“We never sit on this side,” I said. “We always sit on the other side. I can’t concentrate when we sit on the north side. Plus, it hurts my neck to look in the other direction.”

Despite the fact that he has known me well over a half of a century, he has never learned when enough has been said. “I believe the inability to try something new is a sign of ahh….”

He did know when to stop, although I knew where he was headed. He said the same thing last week when I insisted we change seats at the movie because it was impossible to watch the show from the left side of the theater. The angle of the screen from that side blurred the characters.

“You sure this isn’t a sign of…” I couldn’t hear the rest of the sentence.

There was a time when I would laugh to myself when I saw people sitting in the same church pew Sunday after Sunday. Ridiculous, I said to myself, and yet, today, I find myself gravitating to the same area whenever I am in familiar surroundings. But, surely, this is different.

Sign of old age? Stuck in a rut? Can’t try something new? Surely not. I prefer to think of it as a habit. However, my mother always told me habits can be changed so I tried an experiment. I would make a drastic change in my morning routine. Instead of getting dressed first, then combing my hair, taking my vitamins, applying makeup, brushing my teeth and putting on earrings in that order, I’d reverse the procedure. To really prove a point, I would put my right earring on first, just the opposite of the way I usually do.

I picked out earrings, reached for my lobe, dropped the earring, got down on my hands and knees, crawled around for what seems hours, couldn’t find it, finally got back up and went back to bed.


Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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