OK, major admission time.
Apparently, I snore.
For most of our marriage, Steve was the big snorer, to the point that I really worried about sleep apnea. I remember kicking him, shoving him, anything to get the nocturnal noise to stop so I could get a little shut-eye. Though he protested that he didn't make a nighttime peep, I had the witness of the kids (and the occasional dinner guests) to back me up.
And now? Well, he still concertizes every night, but he has assured me that I am now no slouch in that department either. And it's mortifying. The entire mission trip to Virginia this month, I forced myself to remain semi-conscious until dawn so that the girls in my room didn't hear anything remotely noteworthy. I realize that I have no control over this malady, and I'm nothing if not a control freak. Arrggghhh!!
What else do I do that annoys people?
I interrupt. I began doing this as a small child, when my sisters just didn't spit it out fast enough (especially my poor Mo, who was no match for Motormouth Moi) ,when I just had to get a word in edgewise with my mother, who literally talked from daybreak to midnight. I finish Steve's sentences, even when he tells me that he was NOT planning on wrapping up his thoughts that way. I get nervous and talk too much in general, and I am sure my kids remember my endless blathering humming in the background of their childhoods.
I also don't listen carefully enough, and have to have information repeated to me often. This has gotten markedly worse since menopause, though I remember bad spells when the kids were little. If I had a dime for every time a family member has said, "Don't you remember? I told you that yesterday!!" I would be able to buy a yacht (called the SorryIForgot). I am 57. Reverse those digits and you will have a 75 year old who can't keep track of her pills, or her meals, or her life.
My peculiarities are, over the years, threatening to overrun my personality until someday I will be the interrupting, snoring, forgetful old woman the nursing home visitors avoid like the plague. This wasn't supposed to happen. I wasn't supposed to be an irritant. I wasn't, Lord knows, supposed to snore.
There is no danger of my family putting me on a pedestal of perfection, and maybe that’s a good thing. It gives them permission to be pains in the butt themselves once in a while, with annoying habits of their own. It gives them a chance to be gracious and patient with others, too.
Like it or not, we are born to get old, with all the attendant quirks and flaws. So let’s be gentle with each other as we age, and cut one another some slack.
As for me, I will buy everyone in my sleeping range earplugs for Christmas. Least I can do.