Friday, March 6, 2015
I've noticed that how we deal with old people in general has a lot to do with how old we actually are, maybe more than how old they actually are. As you creep toward oldness you think about these things.
From my experience and my observation of others, here's how I see it breaking down. Your mileage may vary. And remember, it's not the years, it's the mileage.
In as much as you are aware of anyone outside yourself, you like old people. You're both bald, incontinent, gassy, toothless, occasionally cranky for no reason, and can be perfectly happy when things are soft or quiet. But Mommy still rules. Old people rating: A-
The old people in your life are AWESOME. Grandma and Grandpa will do anything for you. They don't have to work, so when you're around they're all yours. Old people rating: A+
Old people still want to spoil you rotten, which is excellent! But they're also starting to expect things, which sucks. They don't like the way your parents are letting you get away with stuff, not like when they were kids, and they can be really irritable and tied up with their own silly problems. Hey, Grandma, if I'm a brat, who spoiled me? Old people rating: B-
Old people are kind of okay. At least they're not your parents. In fact, one thing you have in common with old people is that they hate your parents' generation too. That's got to count for something. Old people rating: C
Old folks are a waste of time. You want to go go go! and they want to moan moan moan. They smell, too. The only reason you can stand seeing them is you hope to get a good story for your friends, who are the most important people on earth. Old people: the sooner they croak, the better. Old people rating: F
Amazing how much better the old timers are all of a sudden. They're willing to babysit! That excuses everything else ever. Sometimes the things they say actually seem to make sense. Not often, but sometimes. Old people rating: C+
Thank God for old people. They know the score. They've survived so much. And they're still around. They prove that you can live through things and not die. That's very comforting. And you'd rather go to their funerals than your own. Old people rating: A-
These are your people, your contemporaries. You grew up with them, you love them. But because of that you tend to judge them as people, not a class, and you can't believe how some of them could get to be this age and still be so frigging stupid. Familiarity breeds contempt. Old people rating: B-
You're not quite sure you're old. You think you're more like those babies. But no one thinks you're cute. Oh, well. The old people around are respectful, at least. Or fearful of your grim visage of their own face yet-to-come. Old people rating: A