Sitting on the Porch in Rocking Chairs
The Carol Burnett Show used to feature a skit of a couple of seniors discussing their lives. The payoff was almost always the same: he’d make a gentle pass at her and she would always rebuff it.
But for TV viewers in our middle years, this was telling us in a humorous way what life would be like in the autumn of our lives.
The concept of an extended family all living under one roof is not new. This show gave us a glimpse of ‘real’ life during the Depression. The grandparents were part of the family, not just living somewhere else on their own, to be visited when time allowed.
Heartfelt as always, the stories reminded us of a simpler time, when family was important.
In Books and Film
Roald Dahl liked to exaggerate stuff in his books. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory he had both sets of grandparents living in Charlie’s ramshackle family home. For comedic effect, he had them sleep in one bed in the living quarters, to keep warm, I suppose. Not a very healthy environment, to be sure.
The image shown above from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory demonstrates how bizarre this would be in real life.
In Real Life
These days, we are so terribly busy with our lives. A study, released the other day, suggests that people who have social interaction, even if it’s only on Skype or the telephone, live longer than those who don’t.
There used to be a ad on TV for British Telecom, featuring Maureen Lipman. It makes the point quite clearly, while showing the humorous side, too. The catch phrase was “You never call…”
So, if you’re wondering why I am writing this post, consider the situation for millions of lonely people out there who are wondering what happened to the family that they raised, and then released into the world. Wouldn’t you want to hear from them, if you’re lonely, too? Or, better yet, wouldn’t you want to be calling someone, just to say “Hi!”?
One day, you’ll be an Old Folk at Home (or in a home, if your family get their way).