What is Mom trying to tell me?
My mom is 87 and she only seems interested in talking about herself -- usually providing me with more details than I ever wanted to know about the topic of conversation, whether it's what she had for dinner or reminiscing about something that happened to her 40 years ago. She tells me all about people I don't know, including their "sisters, cousins and aunts." These "blow-by-blow" accounts of which pair of socks she wore with the pair of pants she made in 1976 and is still wearing puzzle me.
I enjoy listening to her talk and I ask her questions, but in contrast, she rarely, if ever, asks me how my day went or what my plans are for the weekend. She doesn't seem much interested in discussing local or national news and politics. What can I do to keep our conversations from being so one-sided?
What is this all about? I listen politely and whith interest, thinking that there must be something for me to learn. But often, I can't quite figure it out.
A Little Background Info: Mom lives alone,but she has a fairly active social network: she talks with two close friends every day. She goes to church twice on Sunday and Wednesday night, and also attends a couple of club meetings each week. She quilts and does flower painting. She drives in the small town where she lives, but not out of town. She's a retired school teacher. Her husband died 5 years ago.
I call her 2-3 times a week and visit 3-4 times a month. Both of my sisters also talk with her on the phone each week. It's not exactly like my mom is severely isolated. She still drives around the small town where she lives.