23 June 2008

Cranky? Curmudgeon? Forgetful?

How about irked? Just generally annoyed? No, no, no...in the vernacular of the present; I'm pissed!

Here's what it is. A few days ago, I was participating, ok I was engaged in an online version of a fire-fight, in a forum where I'm outnumbered by conservatives about 20-gazillion to one and I broke bad on one of them. I mean, I seriously ambushed and machine-gunned some joker and his neo-conservative B.S. (today's vernacular). Before an hour or so had passed, another participant posted some insipid comment my way asking if I was, "Feeling cranky and curmudgeonly today". I wasn't before, but, got there pretty quickly after reading that.

The history of that is simple. Awhile back, I had mentioned to this group that my first vote had been for JFK by absentee ballot while bobbing around in the South China Sea during the early stages of the All South East Asia tournament we so adroitly, incorrectly, and dismissively refer to as Vietnam. Immediately, several posters informed me that I must be really old!

Understand, I'm not the sensitive type, but admit that I have never completely recovered from the day when pretty cashiers first stopped flirting with me and began calling me sir. So, I do admit, that I've been a tad irritable since that dark, evil day. But, one learns to move on.

Moving on. Shortly after I was informed that I was old, one of the regulars (conservative) at the site informed me that my assertion of the moment was incorrect and that was probably because I had "lost touch" and "forgot" because of my age. My response was to point out the wrongfulness of his comment and that he would not dare to make such a generalized, assumptive and stereotypical comment about women, minorities or gays and why in the name of hell did he think it was ok to...and so forth!

Maybe I am sensitive. But, I've had a gut full of these "funny' jokes, greeting cards, over-the-hill coffee cups, and assumptions about older adults. I do not need people to speak loudly or enunciate in that syrupy tone used with children. And the next "little blue pill" comment gets someone gut shot and tossed in a wayside ditch to slowly die.

Yeah, sometimes I'm a bit slower recalling some fact or name, but that is only because my database is full of facts, figures and details and I'm experienced enough to want to be certain I'm pulling up the right file. There's some overlap in there. I offer no apologies, and if you must fidget, heave sighs, and tap your fingers during the recall process, too damned bad.

So, there you are, the curmudgeon and cranky descriptions are used to unfairly characterize older adults, and, I have no doubt that it would never occur to anyone to describe a thirty-something as cranky or curmudgeonly. Or irritable. Or precious. Or any other damned thing that we have to put up with as we become older.

There is some solace in the notion that these callous brats will, in the future, be called sir or ma'am by an attractive member of the opposite sex when they least expect it, asked if they need to sit, and spoken to as one talks to a child, or yelled at as though they were deaf, or given a black, "Over The Hill" coffee mug. When that day comes, it is my bet that they will become a bit cranky and curmudgeonly.

You think?

1 comment:

Bill Pelland said...

There is a tendency to turn this election into class warfare and generational warfare.

Now the names don't matter because if there is one thing us 'oldies' have had a chance to learn over a lifetime is that 'IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID".

So call me names, especially while you pump that liquid gold into the gas tank of you SUK (oops SUV) and when you put the nozzle away it may dawn on you. Gee when I was young we could buy gas on sale for 18 cents a gallon. Can you imagine?

So call me old, or crusty, or whatever, but when I had a car that got 12 miles to the gallon, I could fill it up for under 4 bucks.

So to you youngins I say, sorry for your luck. You should have paid attention to the issues and picked more wisely.

Bill Pelland