Christmas and Social Intercourse.


With advancing years do we shift into different modes of intercourse? Does it move upwards from the nether regions to a more upper or higher region? Do our vocal chords get more involved. Do we say less aaaahhhs followed by a couple of innate grunts and actually (but finally) articulate ideas, thoughts, wishes, memories or,as in my case, just nonsense?  Has it come about we look each other in the eyes instead of below the belted regions? It is never too late.

For some time now an elderly couple have tried to include us in their lives. They moved almost next door to us about a year ago. She is Australian and he is from Dutch background. The husband has an even stronger accent than I and is over eighty years old, but walks ram-rod straight. He also talks in a rather straight and factual manner. No flourishes or decorations in what he says. You know precisely where you stand with him.

Their invitations are rather formal on a printed card with time and programs and included were; A discussion on our ‘heritage’, followed by a video and the consumption of some finger food. When they knocked on our door, the husband wore a neatly pressed shirt and pinned to it was a card with ‘Elder’ written on it. The wife had a similar ticket with ‘Sister’ on it. A curious way of inviting the neighbours. Still, a brave invitation is better than none. Husband and wife called ‘Elder and Sister’ is not an everyday occurrence. Calling Helvi ‘Sister’ is not something I have as yet tried.

However, apart from the somewhat unusual invitations, I also suspected there was more to this ex Dutchman and his wife the Sister. It all seemed to have a religious tinge to it. It is all far too late for me to get converted. (Once an un-repented fornicator, always a fornicator). All this was confirmed by the last invitation to a special meeting at a building near Bowral. It was a “latter day Saints” and the couple are Mormons. I looked up Mormons and couples are deemed to wear special underwear and other things. They are genuine and nice people. The wife is especially nice and not without a sense of humour. Even so, we did not to go any of their invited parties or events. I am not going to bed with special underwear or any other sin-avoiding attire. I like sin, but even if it is getting less, I don’t as yet have totally repented or given up on it.

We both hope we can meet with the couple but not on the formal religious level. Just normal, you know. But what constitutes ‘normal’?

We had our grandsons over with the usual towering pancakes hovering over the table. The kid’s IPhones’ batteries thankfully went dead. I had put the skateboards and basket ball outside before their arrival. After the initial coming-down from IPhone addiction and a bit of grumpy fighting they took off for the park and we did not see them for a while. It was so nice.

Yesterday we were in Sydney at the annual Christmas Balmain party. It was great. I am now so deaf that any attempted conversation constituted normally with nothing more that the usual questions being answered (by just the 50% chance of being right) by either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’  an added inclusion of,  ‘ I think that is an interesting concept.’ Under the circumstances, with so many people talking in a confined space, it was a rather nifty inclusion. I was doing really well.

I love social intercourse.

(News update.)

“A suspected drunk driver who crashed his car into a metal barrier has attempted to evade police — by hiding in nativity scene.The incident occurred in Yorkshire, England”



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23 Responses to “Christmas and Social Intercourse.”

  1. gerard oosterman Says:

    Here too is an ever greater post;


  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    But think of the blog fodder you might’ve had by engaging in deep social discourse with that couple!

    I bet your grandsons came back smiling and happy after their visit to the park. Nature has a way of banishing the grumpies. 🙂


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I have no doubt there is a lot to learn from the couple that invited us, Carrie. But, when it comes to social discourse and religion I am a bit on my qui vive. Many have tried and even more have failed!
      I can’t see we can’t live good lives without rewards or punishments from a God that never changed water into wine in the first place.


  3. Dorothy brett Says:

    Yet another great and well written blog Gerard.


  4. Mary Cathleen Clark Says:

    Once an unrepentant fornicator, always a fornicator…I love it!


  5. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    As soon as you said badge and then elder, I started running in the opposite direction. Still, it might be fun to have some kind of theological discussion or argument. I have some cousins who converted to this religion in later life, and we discussed many genealogical topics without religion being mentioned. They will however, baptise you into their church if they “do” your family history, thus ensuring your passage into the next realm along with them. Can’t wait to hear the next instalment……


  6. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    We engaged with two elders once. I invited them to dinner. You know, young boys far from home. They had to call and ask permission. I had just installed a fine exhibit of Russian icons in the gallery and we needed to leave for the opening. We invited them to come along, but they had to call and ask permission. They DID come with us, but two days later we saw only one on his bicycle and found out the other boy had been transferred away from all us evil people. Go figure.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I can’t figure why the Dutchman went for becoming an ‘Elder’. I think I’ll try and find out what led him to his marriage to a woman who calls herself ‘sister’. Do they get preferential treatment at the shopping mall or Aldi’s? A reduced parking fine?

      No worries,Kayti. We are both safe from any nonsense. They won’t dare to come the raw prawn with us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      We once invited two white-shirted, bicycle riding young men from the state of Utah for dinner. They did not ask anybody for permission and agreed on the spot, but we made it a condition not to talk about religion. They agreed and we all had a great time with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, that is a sensible thing to agree upon. The couple so far never talked about religion but they always seem to wear those tags of ‘Elder’ and ‘Sister’ which is a bit inhibiting or intimidating.


  7. shoreacres Says:

    The Mormons are an interesting crew. I have family members who are involved. In fact, one is an Elder, and the grandfather or great-grand of some cousins was involved in the establishment of the movement in Iowa.

    I also spent a year working in a Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City. There are tales galore, but one of my favorites involved a monthly youth group visit to the Mormon Temple. It was a way to help the kids learn to deal with their environment, which was quirky, at best.

    One day, one of the girls asked the tour leader why women couldn’t be priests. The guide said, “Because God said so.” “Well,” said my young friend, “what if God changed his mind?”

    Without a pause, yon guide said, “He wouldn’t do that.” And just as quickly, the girl said, “How do you know what God would do?” She got the same answer. “He just wouldn’t.”

    “Well,” she said, “it seems to me that if he’s God, he could change his mind whenever he wants. If you say he can’t, you’re putting yourself above him.”

    At that point, everyone listening said, “Ummmm hmmmm ummmm…” and moved on. It was great.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Ye, religion can often be the banana skin on social interaction. I always try and stay clear. My upbringing was as a catholic, but when I learnt that one of my most favourite habits could earn eternal hell-fire, I gave it a miss.
      It was a pretty nasty rule and I would not have been surprised that the priest I confessed my sins to was probably indulging himself in a bit of ‘slapping the monkey’ as well! They were often seen walking around with their hands hidden underneath their habits or is that togas?.


  8. Big M Says:

    I think you and H have dodged a bullet, there, old mate.

    I’d stick with unrepentant fornication, as I have!


  9. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Double eek!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lilith Says:

    ha! you could invite them to a “religion-free zone’. After all the religious have no qualms in imposing their views. Loved the ‘hiding in nativity scene’ anecdote…How!? I wondered. Not posing as one of the wise men, I am guessing. If you’re deaf, why not a hearing aid, I have a friend who tried a few and finally found one she finds great.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I think the couple know we are not going to be mormons or latter day saints. Hiding in the nativity scene was innovative and an example of how a kind and welcoming religion can be used to advantage.
      As for my deafness, I have had hearing aids for the last thirty years, thanks to a gene passed on from my mum.
      Did you know that some animals with blue eyes are born deaf? Alpacas with blue eyes are always deaf.


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