In my family when I was growing up and as an adult whenever the conversation would go off track—be it gossip, politics, religion or sex—my dad would chime in with “I wonder how the fishing is today?” That was his clue to stop the current conversation and change the topic. He did it kindly and gently but we all knew that this retired Marine Captain meant it. It was time to stop our babble and this simple sentence would rein us in. Quickly. Immediately.
Bob has a tendency to speak out of turn and to talk about things that are just plain inappropriate. His neurologist says that it’s an issue with “lack of filter” and that describes it perfectly. Bob just doesn’t realize that what he saying is hurtful, sexist, racist, unsuitable, or downright rude! He just spews it out like he was talking about the weather. I would give you some examples but I just can’t put in writing what he has said!
Bob’s children and most of the grandchildren know it is not advisable to tell dad/grandpa everything. If you don’t want things repeated or talked about at the wrong place and time, its best to just not tell him. It makes me sad that I have to keep “secrets” with him but in the long run its better for family harmony.
I’ve tried to set up a code word or phrase with Bob to let him know that the topic he is starting to discuss is off-limits but nothing works. I give him a little look, tap his shoulder, nudge his arm, grasp his leg, kick his foot, and even holler out, “Bob, stop it” but nothing works. He goes on and finishes the crazy story to the amazement of everyone within hearing distance. OH MY!
I’ve tried to explain the technique my dad would use to get a conversation back on track but Bob says he doesn’t understand what fishing has to do with anything.
So if you hear me asking how the fishing is today, please cover your ears and don’t listen to what Bob has to say. PLEASE!
Fishing Trip~~~Channel Islands~~~November 2013