Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I'm on a Ride and I Want to Get Off, But They Won't Slow Down the Roundabout

My grandmother is a very sweet old lady, but because she has Alzheimer's our conversations often have something of a cyclical form. She'll ask me a question and I'll answer it. Then she'll think of another question, which I'll answer. She'll think of another question again, and I'll answer that one too. But then, that last question will bring her back to the first one, which she'll ask, and I'll answer, again. Then on to question number two. Etc. It's not at all a bad way to spend an afternoon visit, all things considered. My sister and I call these conversational loops.

Thinking about nth Year's post yesterday made me realize I've been having something like conversational loops with a lot of my family--cousins, aunts, uncles who insist on playing air tuba to mark the end of a satisfying meal--as well a lot of my friends.

It's finishing my degree and getting a job. People ask me when I'm going to be finishing, and I tell them I'll be finishing in the fall. Then they ask when I'll get a job, and I say, hopefully after I finish. Then a year passes. (Admittedly, that's longer than the two minutes that brings my grandmother back to the start of her loop. Be that as it may.) A year passes, and people ask me when I'm going to be finishing. I tell them I'll be finishing in the fall. Then they ask me when I'm going to get a job, and I say, hopefully after I finish.

My grandmother can do this for hours. I'm not sure how long I can stretch it out, though.

Update: Yes, air tuba. When this particular uncle's done eating a big dinner, he pushes his chair back from the table, puffs out his cheeks, and starts making starts making low tooting noises to the tune of whatever. Hard to explain the job market to that kind of guy.


Anonymous said...

"air tuba"?

Anonymous said...

Here are some fresh questions: How much of 'The Reflex' can you actually quote from memory? How much of that is your sister's fault?

Also: Can you play it on air tuba?

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

"The Reflex", quoted from memory:

The reflex is a dog named fido,
Walking in the park.

I actually can't blame my sister for any interest I've had in Duran Duran post 1987. Since then, I think only one of us has spent money on Duran Duran music, and it ain't her. . . .