Here’s a little advice for all you younger generations: Don’t rile up us older folks! While it might be true there are a lot of things we can’t do as well as when we were kids, one thing we can do better than any teenager is complain. Unlike the young, we have patience and tenacity, these are not good qualities to mix with a temperament that is growing less agreeable with each passing day. It’s also important to remember that, for us, a day doesn’t wear as well as it did when we were younger, a year passes as quickly as a few months did then. The results is: we can spend a very long time on something and not even realize how much time it’s actually been. I’m talking serious time here! Months. Years, if we’re ticked-off enough.
While a kid may whine and yell and threaten to run away from home, we will do something much worse: we will frost over in self-righteous indignation and come to your home! If you have crossed us, we will tell you about it, and quick! We will tell you to your face, we will tell you on the phone, we will tell you through the mail, we will tell your relatives, we will tell your friends, we will tell your enemies, we will tell hapless strangers on the street… in short, we will tell the world, AND make sure you know we have done just that! We’re not afraid of repeating ourselves either, primarily because we may very well have forgotten we already said it to you (and everyone else we might have happened to meet since the effrontery was perpetrated) over and over and over and over and over and… well, you get my meaning.
Does that sound scary? Good. Forewarned is forearmed, and I don’t mean appendages. You want snowy-haired smiley little round people who laugh in all the right places, shower you with praise, and kiss your boo-boos when you need it? Then don’t tick us off! We are wrinkly and sagging, pouchy and bagging, creaky and aching, going blind and deaf, and slowly forgetting where we put everything, including our minds. This is not a fun time.
The reason they call them The Golden Years is because that color matches the fire in our bespectacled eyes over what is happening to us at a faster and faster pace with each passing month. We take so many pills every morning we don’t have room for breakfast; we can’t eat most of the things we love; we can’t drink real coffee; and we can’t hear the TV unless the sound is loud enough to bombard us with physical waves of force. In short: we are outdated, outcast, and thoroughly out-of-sorts, AND we are painfully aware of it all. You want a kind word from me? Then stay off my back and rub it instead! While you’re at it, get away from my stuff, it isn’t yours yet, and stay out of my bank account, I’m still using it.
Besides that, don’t think you can take advantage of me just because I’m what you have decided is “old”. No, I do not want you to muscle me about what I should sponsor, support, or donate to. No, I do not want to give you my Social Security or savings to invest because, other than winning the lottery, there is no getting rich that’s quick enough to do me any good at my age. Keep your greedy eyes and tar buckets away from my driveway, it’s fine the way it is. Get your knee-pad wearing, surplus-toting, over-imaginative under-achievers off my roof, it doesn’t leak, and that’s good enough for me. Don’t bother taking that whitewash out of your truck, the foundation shrubs I planted forty years ago are completely hiding my house, so no one can see the paint job now anyway.
If I don’t recognize your name and/or number on the Caller ID, don’t expect me to answer the phone. If you’re a phone solicitor, don’t expect me to answer the phone even with your name and number displayed. I don’t have any credit cards because I don’t need them, I pay cash for things, so get out of my face and off of my phone, and stop trying to get my money.
One day all of you who are lucky enough to live will be right where I am now. “What goes around comes around,” so watch how you treat us. We didn’t treat you like you tend to treat us, but your kids will treat you the way they see you treating us. Perhaps we have it coming to us, after all, we did raise you.
Now I’m depressed. No, dear, not about you, I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to… here, have a cookie.