So, we went back to the community center to speak with the seniors again. My original group of ladies was not there (yes, I was very sad) so I sat with a new group. This group of three was interesting because of two people: one gentlemen, who completely dominated the conversation, even at inappropriate times, and a woman who suffered from terrible episodic memories.
The gentlemen, Mr. Doe, talked about himself incessantly. He talked about his travels to one European country while he was in the army and he talked about the jobs he held after that. He talked, and talked and talked. When I tried to incorporate Ms. Doe (they are not married, just friends from the community center) into the conversation with openers like, 'Mrs. Doe, how are you?' 'Do you have any children?' and 'Tell me more about your children' Mr. Doe would interrupt with something totally unrelated but about himself. He had an amazing narcissistic quality.
When I asked Ms. Doe if she had any children she told me that she had a certain number of children living and one that died when he was very young. She then immediately began to describe how the child died! And she went through the entire day, from how she woke up and got dressed (all the details of that), to how the child didn't want to go to school that day (all those details including how she gave him a tap on the romp), to going to work to how, when and in what manner how child died. I was stunned because I asked a simple question and she gave me a lot! It was very sad. It was also very interesting that that is what she decided to tell me (an excellent example of episodic memory). When I asked about her living children she gave me another very sad story about the problems of her children.
Intermittently Mr. Doe interrupted every single one of Ms. Doe's sad stories to tell me a story of something totally unrelated--like a war, his war travels, his jobs, etc. This was narcissism at its best. A woman is telling me how her child died and he interrupts her to tell me about country X and the women there and how they loved Americans.
At one point Ms. Doe was so tired of Mr. Doe interrupting that I saw her physically take a HUGE breath, roll her eyes and sigh. She was clearly very frustrated. When Mr. Doe was distracted with another classmate I said, 'Wow, Mr. Doe has a lot to say, huh?' And she went on and on about him (I laughed inside at this). After I listened to her stories for a little while and Mr. Doe couldn't stop interrupting, Ms. Doe just got up and left. It was being on the Twilight Zone or a bad episode of MTV's Punk'd.