On Turning 60 Part IV (Conversations)…


“Old people get together and all they talk about is their health problems.”

I play Bunco with a group of friends from school. My relationship with one of these ladies started in 1st grade, but most of us met in 7th grade when three or four elementary schools merged into Carl Albert Junior High. Like many people, after years of no contact, we reconnected with each other an untold number of decades later on social medial. We began playing Buncho in 2016, taking a break during COVID because some of us were caring for aging parents, or helping to raise our grandkids. Once the lockdown was lifted, each of us returned according to our comfort level. We have lost some due to life situations; new romances, jobs, competing social engagements, grandchildren and, yes, health issues.

Our founding member, who no longer plays with us after moving to another state, created a plug and play system that makes getting together fairly easy most months. We typically play on a Wednesday or Thursday. We rotate among the homes of those who can accommodate 10-16 women. The hostess decides what food she will be serving, and we all bring either a bottle of wine, a side dish, or dessert to share. It costs $10 to buy into the game and that money is divided up between the winners of certain categories. The Bunco Queen and Bunco Princess are given crowns to wear until the next game when they must relinquish them to the next winners.

Most of us have heard it said that the conversations of senior adults are limited to health problems. I’m ashamed to say that I have made the remark myself. I have stopped mid-sentence to think
“judging from this conversation, we are all falling part and have one foot in the grave.”
Yesterday, I overheard a young woman tell another that she hates when her mother has friends over because old ladies are so boring!

Putting my offense aside, I got curious about whether the accusation was true. So, I performed an experiment at Bunco last night. Using our Bunco group, most of whom turned 60 this year, I tried to determine whether conversations of older women are more or less interesting than conversations between the same women when they were younger. I wanted to prove the adage is wrong, but I will let the reader be the judge.

Test time: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (3 hours).

Test subjects: Group 1: Me and other girls in 1981-82.
Group 2: Me and 10 women at or near 60 years old. We had 12 women in the group last night, but one was the 30 something Bunco ringer brought by her mom.

Food: Charcuterie board and desserts. Very good food, but only a factor in the test due to subject matter.

Group 1 Topics of conversation in no particular order:

  • The food (delicious)
  • Recipes
  • Gardening tips and tricks
  • The weird storm the night before
  • Growing lemons
  • Our grandchildren
  • Our grandchildren’s parents
  • Caring for our senior parents
  • Missing parents
  • Arrogant ex-sperm donors
  • Sick orchids
  • Food sensitivities
  • Retirement
  • Night driving
  • The west side of Costa Rica versus the east side, and La Paz (which is in the middle)
  • College and law school
  • Native tribal associations.
  • The pros and cons of the different cruise lines (Holland America is a floating nursing home).
  • Travel to Italy
  • Filling in an old swimming pool, and memories of that pool
  • Embracing gray or still tied to the bottle? No judgment either way
  • Who isn’t here and why?
  • Am I the only one who has to be reminded of the Bunco rules every month?
  • Who stole the Sirloin Stockade bull and the Sinclair dinosaur?
  • Our cravings from pregnancies that were 30-40 years ago.
  • Remembering that time when…
  • Forgetting what we were talking about…

Group 2 Topics of conversation in no particular order:

  • Boys
  • Weight

Now, who has more interesting conversations, older or younger women? I will let you be the judge.

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