I don’t know what it is, but every time I leave my house Old People find me. Do I smell of Old People? Is there a beacon above my head, like a light house calling them to me? Am I actually a 70-year-old women stuck in a 20-year-old body? I have no idea. But, let me start over
At the very start of my trip I met Stan. Stan is a Scotsmen living in San Francisco who was flying to his Summer home in Ireland to play golf all summer (so basically my father in 30 years). He was lovely and talked to me the entire flight from New Jersey to Ireland. Which was fine, I am well trained in the art of Old People, my grandparents taught me well (sorry grandma and grandpa). He told me about how he was in WWII and how him and his wife raised their kids and how he thought I was very bold to be going to Ireland alone to work, “which would have never happened in my day” (if you didn’t read that in an old man voice you failed). But at the end of the flight we said goodbye and I haven’t seen Stan since.
Then things escalate, and rather quickly.
I went on my first adventure to Belfast and became friends with the tour guide, Paddy, who was about 60+ and he made sure I was safe and that the tour never left me behind. Also on the trip two English couples took me under their wing, but again I didn’t believe in the Old People magnet yet, not until the next night.
I went out to the pubs in Belfast and there was a group of guy around my age and a gaggle of Old Men. The group the talked to me, the Old Men. BEEP BEEP BEEP, CALLING ALL OLD PEOPLE! From that point on there was no escape from the Old People Magnet. Ever trip I went on, let be it the bus to work or the train to see my aunt or an actual adventure Old People followed.
It continues, every pub, every country, every bus, there is an old person who finds me and tells me all about their life. Sometime they are pretty cool, and make me feel like a failure, other times, I just nod and smile.
Now, I love every person I met, they are great for stories and a good time, plus they will buy me a drink and I don’t have to worry about flirting with them. But it is really old (pun intended) because I don’t know what is about me that brings them to talk to me. Sometimes I think it is the grandparent in them seeing a young person alone with a backpack and they feel the need to protect me, other times I just think it is the flashing arrow above my head that says “OLD PERSON, TALK TO THIS ONE!”
The world will never know.