Seniors: Strangers, Rangers, and Partners

Apr 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Relationships in retirement come in all kinds of forms, often unexpected, often serendipitous, often very rewarding.

The other day as I stood in the express check out lane at our local market, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman, just behind me. A quick few sentences revealed that he knew my mother, who had been his nurse years before when she was still actively employed.

It only took a few moments to discover his mother was also still living and he was her primary caretaker. We discussed the ramifications of that undertaking. He enjoys fishing, has some heart issues, has lived in our town all his life. That was one of those experiences in meeting a stranger, but discovering a ranger, someone who ambles into your life unexpectedly and pleasurably.

Rangers come and go rather quickly. They are dependent on circumstance. They are also motivated by initiative. Standing in a line doesn’t always seem a very likely place to discover intimate details about another, but it may surprise us to know that we have hit a vein that may contain gold.

Strangers, of course, are those who enter our life quickly and depart just as suddenly. There is little to no interaction. Maybe you will share an innocuous “hello, how are you?” and move along. But strangers are the very ones who can be promoted to rangers with just a small nudge.

Partners, on the other hand, are those who leap from stranger to partner, just because the two of you find a way to click and quickly. A conversation reveals things in common, opens doors to the occasion to want to explore further, invites the possibility of a developing friendship. If this is so, ere long, walla you are seeing each other in other places, picking up where you left off.

In this stage you may exchange telephone numbers, email addresses or even make a plan to have lunch or meet for coffee. Of such simple stuff are friendships born. Intercourse in conversation is a good thing. It allows for blending a couple of strangers from isolates to a couple of pals. Such occasions offer meaning to life, a new comrade who enjoys you as you enjoy him or her. Looking at people, even in the grocery line, may open up the possibility of seeing persons more than strangers, but as rangers and partners.

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