All hail the fidgeters!

They can’t sit still. They have something to do. When you go to their homes, you won’t get through the door before they ask what they can get for you. Oh, and if you have dinner with them, they’ll make you nuts asking if you need ANYTHING. More salt, pepper, napkins or condiments? Water? Maybe you should have water.

Movie night? At the very best part of the movie, these are the people who get up to change a load of laundry from wash to dry. They will also water houseplants or fold clothes. If you’re with me here…you know why you don’t see these friends at the movie theater, a play or any kind of restaurant where several courses might be involved.

A sigh goes through the house. They stand and drink their coffee while you sit to drink yours. I know you want them to change…but they can’t. They are born fidgeters.

How do I know? I am addressing this issue because I have recently figured out that I was ‘born to fidget.’ It is my nature. When I was a child, they called this “Saint Vitus Dance.” Today it is called Attention Deficit Disorder. More often, it now goes by the name of ADHD.

I didn’t even know my own issues until I was a ‘Lunch Buddy’ many years ago at a local school. I was authorized for one buddy but quickly got three. They became my new ‘encyclopedia’ of childhood diseases. I was heartbroken when an 11 year-old girl felt it necessary to take me across the playground to tell me that she had ADHD. I asked her to tell me about it and she did. I learned a lot…about her and about me.

Her life was defined by the “CAPITAL LETTERS” which had been assigned to her. So far as our relationship went…she was lovely. I was fascinated that she had been to so many doctors and she knew what had happened to her.

How many diseases have we given these kids to deal with? I don’t want to know. I wish they could just have “St. Vitus Dance.” It certainly worked for me and now that I’m old and know my medical history, I kind of like the sound of it. Dancing is a good thing…no matter what Saint you are dancing for or to.

The only thing St. Vitus ever did to me (that I know of) was make me have to take a nap every afternoon after school. Why? Apparently I was exhausted from a day of fidgeting at school and my parents hoped I wouldn’t fidget the night away. If you are in second grade, this is a BIG FAT DEAL. After school time is party time. It’s not nap time which we all know is for little kids, cats, dogs and Geezers.

This whole issue would have passed me by, but then I saw this month’s AARP Bulletin. The cover story is “Live Longer! 50 Proven Ways to Add Years to Your Life.” I couldn’t resist reading this tasty set of tidbits for oldies.

I read all fifty of these buggers. You already know the drill…eat veggies, exercise, don’t smoke or drink. Get rid of all your toxic friends and get new de-tox plants for your house.

After learning that I was probably a lazy drinker with no faith who needed to start using stairs, I was ready to give up. Then came #49.GET FIDGETY. And it reads:” Never mind what your grade school teachers said: fidgeting is good. A 2016 British study finds that sitting for seven or more hours a day increases your risk of dying by 30 percent…except among fidgeters, who see no increased risk.”

You can imagine how I felt when I read those golden words. Friends, I’ve got ‘Geezer Cred’ now…I’m a bonified fidgeter and proud of it. Yes, I know I have driven several of you absolutely NUTS. I understand this. Please know that I have tried not to fidget. I smoked for 43 years and fidgeted all the way through. You can only imagine how it was when I quit.

I have fidgeted in Mexico and Canada. Mostly I’ve just fidgeted at work and home. For this reason, I dedicate this column to Mr. S (his eyes twitch) and Mary Hanthorn, whom I drove mad by watering plants each time she visited our home. God love us all. xoxo

Linda Shaffer and Grover