"What do women do when they get together? We sit around and talk! Men, not so much. My theory is that this difference is genetic and dates back to the hunter-gatherer societies, when the men had to be quiet as they hunted, lest they scare away the bison and then everyone starved to death and it was all their fault." -- Jenna McCarthy

Last Sunday my wife and I got together with some friends for coffee and dessert at one of their homes. You know, one of those spur-of-the-moment invitations. "Hey! What are you doing this evening?" And since we were all retired, everyone showed up and no one seemed in a hurry to leave.

As we made ourselves comfortable around the table, one of the wives got the conversation going by raising a health issue, and everyone chimed in. It's evident that health has supplanted making a living that was our number one concern when we were starting our families.

With one ear glued to the discussion, the other half of me drifted off to my childhood days and all the letters I wrote that began with, "How are you?" I don't recall whether I really cared to know about anyone else's health besides mom and dad's back then. And I never worried about my own health as I left it to my mother to work her magic when I got sick. Aches and pains? I considered them symptoms of old age.


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Someone in the group brought up how they are coping with the water shortage. Everyone had something to say, like reducing the number of showers they take and watering their lawn and shrubs by hand a couple times a week to prevent the landscape from drying up completely.

Since my front lawn has turned burnt umber, I wonder how some neighbors are managing to keep their lawns green during this dry spell.

To conserve water, I took my van to a service station to have it washed. Although the van looked washed, I became a little queasy after reading the sign saying they use recycled water. To me that seems like getting into the tub right after a stranger bathed in it.

I reckon water rationing is the price we all have to pay after having enjoyed fair weather for most of last winter -- in case you forgot.

No discussion is complete without talking politics and sports, and we covered both. It took all of five minutes to say what we had to say about the state of affairs around the world when the thought came to my mind about a sure fire way to attain world peace.

Invite all the world leaders to one of their homes for coffee and dessert. Everyone must dress casually and be accompanied only by their spouse.

During the evening anyone may say what they like and others may offer their thoughts, but no one may refute what's been said.

During the social hour, only niceties will be exchanged, and hugging will be encouraged when the gathering comes to a close.

Such meetings should be held regularly and no one couple is expected to host a second event until every leader has had his/her turn.

Sound totally unrealistic? Well, other ways have been tried to attain permanent world peace for eons and we are still experiencing turmoil, so what's to say that won't work? After all, it's the best way I know for ordinary folks like us getting to know others and for them getting to know all about us, as Richard Rogers coined it. And every living thing starts with a seed, so I'm told.

Time was when sports was exclusively a guy thing, but that's no longer true, at least around my house. I watch a sporting event and turn it off when my team falls behind. Not my wife -- she'll stay tuned to the bitter end. So who's the real sports buff?

I wonder what my late mother and her friends talked about when they got together like we do. Since they came from the old country and many were young picture brides who more often married men much older than them, quite a few women were in their sixties and seventies when they became widowed.

My mother turned 61 when dad passed away.

It would be interesting to hear what my grandson has to say about our generation when he reaches his golden years!

Eizo Kobayashi is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Contact him at transcript@bayareanewsgroup.com.