Ask Tia Juana

     Tia Juana will cheerfully provide advice for anyone that asks.  Just mail your questions to “Ask Tia Juana” at PO Box 8, Van Horn, Texas 79855.  All questions will remain anonymous unless there is a chance for extortion.  Disclaimer:  Tia Juana is not a licensed counselor or therapist and none of the advice should be considered professional.

Dear Tia,

I go to church with an elderly lady who is what Jerry Seinfeld called the “Close Talker” in one of his episodes.  Everyone in church tries to avoid her because no one wants to get cornered with her only a few inches away from their faces, along with the occasional spit spray.  If that weren’t bad enough, she also has an annoying habit of grabbing shoulders or arms to insure that her victims don’t get away.  I was raised to respect the elderly, but this goes above and beyond.  How can I keep from getting cornered and sprayed without seeming rude?

Cornered

Dear Cornered,

For some reason, some older folks feel that they are becoming irrelevant and ignored, and as such, resort to more aggressive measures to insure that they are being heard.  Unfortunately, this behavior is annoying and has the exact opposite effect, with most potential prey going to extremes to avoid a spit bath.  As distasteful as it may seem, you should make the effort to speak to this lady and validate her existence as a human being…you will never regret being nice to the elderly, especially after they are gone.  Another tactic is to always make sure that there is an obstacle between you and the lady where she cannot get closer than 3 feet to you, and remember to avoid this type of behavior when you are her age.