The other day, someone tried to start a conversation with me by asking,”If tomorrow were your last day on this earth, how would you spend it?”
I thought of some unfulfilled fantasies, some outrageously delectable meal choices and exotic settings. But, in the end, I answered honestly, “If tomorrow were my last day on this earth, my first thought would be: I’d better run out to get some extra toilet paper! Because I know my irritable bowel will act up from the anxiety of knowing that this will be my last day on earth.”
“Then,” I added, “to calm my nerves, I would start drinking martinis the night before, listen to every Beatles song ever written, and probably sleep through my last day with an olive stuck between my teeth and a silly grin on my face.”
The conversation ended there. It wasn’t my fault. The question was flawed. How can I get excited and talk about fun things to do on my last day on this earth? Come on.
If it’s a stimulating discussion we’re after, let’s entertain this ethics question: If you found a bank bag full of money lying on the side of the road, would you keep it or turn it in?
Several years ago, there was a true story in the news about that. The critical question I asked was: Were the bills marked or unmarked? My husband was shocked at my unethical standards. He thought it didn’t matter whether the bills were marked or unmarked. The proper action for him would be to turn the money in to the bank. Well, then, let’s hope I’m the one who finds the bag of money and not him.
Next question: If I find a bank bag full of unmarked bills lying by the side of the road, do I have to share it with someone who thinks I should have turned it in? And, If the bills are marked, how long should I hold them under the mattress before I can begin spending them without worrying about getting caught? If anyone has an answer to the second question, please respond in the comments section below.
Here is a question no one asks me anymore: What do you want to be when you grow up? Even though I’m all grown up, and near retirement age, I still don’t have a clue and would love to discuss my options.
Whatever happened to the question that got us girls talking and laughing through the night at high school pajama parties: If you were stranded on a desert island, who is the one person you wish could be there with you? No one has asked me that question since I took my marriage vows. Does everyone assume that one wants to be stranded on a desert island with his or her spouse? Maybe it’s time to revisit that question.
Or, how about this mind bending conversation starter that you can toss out at your next social gathering: Which is worse: A visit to the coloproctologist or the dentist? You can substitute any doctor you like. The gynecologist v the dentist, the urologist v the dentist, the gastroenterologist v the dentist. Be creative, but always end with “the dentist.” Comparing two doctors makes you look prejudiced against the entire medical profession – and you might very well be. But this will keep any doctors in the group happy to hear that people also dislike the dental profession. It ensures that your conversation doesn’t turn into an argument.
Of course, we each have our reasons for choosing one over the other. Personally, I prefer the dentist because, even though a root canal is very unpleasant, at least I can keep my clothes on during the procedure.
The gynecologist appointment is quicker than the dentist, though. And I can go out to lunch afterwards without slobbering and drooling from the lingering effects of Novocaine.
Do you see what I mean? This lively conversation can go on for hours. And the men will certainly want to weigh in with their experience at the urologist’s office. As for the topic of a colorectal exam, that one deserves a blog unto itself!
So, with all those interesting conversation starters to choose from, please don’t ask me how I would spend my last day on this earth. Ask me how I would spend that bank bag full of unmarked bills lying on the side of the road. Now, that’s a conversation starter if I ever heard one. I could keep that conversation going all night long!