Why do old people pick at lint? When my husband’s mother was in a nursing home she would walk the halls and pick up every piece of lint on the floors. It was a hobby or an obsession, I could never figure out which. Now, my husband is doing the same thing. Where ever he sees lint, he picks at it….usually when he sees it on me. Okay, so I’m not the queen of good laundry habits. I forget to check pockets and I sometimes wash Kleenex and we all know how that works out. But I do my best to remove the evidence of my laundry day crimes before returning the clean laundry to the closet. What Don picks at are the little hairs that fall when you brush your hair or the nearly microscopic stuff that only a person on a mission can find. It drives me crazy!
Yesterday I reached my limit of lint picking and I---well, sort of raised my voice at Don.
“Quit picking! We’re not chimpanzees who need to pick fleas off each other to control the little ugly insects from eating our flesh off. Lint is harmless. I like lint! God, if anthropologist Jane Goodall studied old people like us she’d have a hard time telling us apart from a couple of orangutans in the wild! Next thing I know you’ll be eating my lint for breakfast!”
He looked at me like I’d turned into Linda Blair in The Exorcist. I checked the floor. No, there wasn’t lint filled, green vomited all over the place. I was still me and I had just yelled at a man who was only trying to help me primp---ala monkey style---for a graduation party we were going to. So I did what I always do when I’ve made a fool of myself. I tried to turn my anger into humor. Scratching my ribs cage and doing my best imitation of chimpanzee chatter, I shuffled off as if nothing unusual had just happened. ©