July 30
I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.


Jlsathre's Links

MARCH 16, 2012 12:35PM

There's Little Comfort In Growing Old

Rate: 28 Flag

I spent a good part of my life thinking sloe gin was alcohol that took a long time to get drunk on.

My niece read the entire book of Gone With the Wind  thinking Melanie was pronounced as Meh-lawn'-ie.

And my dad spent his later years calling UPS  trucks "ups trucks," as in ups and downs, and calling the impatiens flowers he planted along the back of the house, his im-pat'-i-ens.

In most of these cases, someone would eventually laugh and ask what the hell we were talking about.  But occassionally, like with our Dad and the UPS trucks and the impatiens growing in the back yard, friends--or daughters in his case--would say nothing thinking we were being nice.

I'm pretty sure my girls haven't corrected me on a lot of things in the past too.  But so far it seems to relate mainly to the internet or smart phones and hasn't been done out of kindness.  Rather, they liked to keep me a litttle bit out of the loop because it gave them a bit more freedom to roam uncensored.

I didn't really mind because I wasn't all that eager to learn and I knew what they were doing.  Kind of a double head fake.

But lately I've begun to worry that they'll start doing it out of kindness, and that I won't know, and will just keep asking people about their "twitters" or their "internets". 

I'm beginning to think we  shouldn't have done it with Dad--that we should have been upfront rather than snickering behind his back.  That it was our own daftness and delusion in thinking we were being nice.

It's all made me think about  a pact I made long ago with a friend to slip some pills in  each others metamucil if we ever got so delusional that we weren't able to enjoy life.  I find myself avoiding her these days.  Because what if she gets delusional first, and in her delusion thinks its time to slip those pills in my drink.

There's little comfort in getting old.  Even when people are trying to be nice.

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It's a sad fact of life; if you live long enough, you get old. You're talking about a disease my son the doctor refers to as TMB--Too Many Birthdays:)
Fortunately with technology, as we get older we can obstinately pick and choose which of them to use and play the "old fart" card on those we don't want to use. Case in point, all the "hoopla" (see you can tell I'm an old guy using a word like that) today over the new i-Pad. Hell, I don't have an old i-Pad. If I need an i-Pad I'll go to the opthamologist.

Your dad:What gift did you bring me ups man?
UPS Man: Huh.

My mother says nearly everything wrong and it's futile to correct her most of the time. English is her 5th language so much rich material even way before she got old. I have a book in me about her funny mispronounciations. Maybe a post?
This was delightful. Your father sounds like fun, in my world.
You don't have to be old to screw up, I once read an entire novel about Gilgamesh but in my mind the Sumerian King's name was pronounced Gig-la-mesh. In a discussion with my wife's ex-husband he screwed up his face and asked, "Are you talking about Gilgamesh?"
I would have been embarrassed, but we both knew we were mutants and took no stock in our foibles.
I really like that your Dad called him the "ups" man. How cute. My Mom is always doing things like that too, but it's worse since the Alzheimers. I guess my day (gulp) will come too. Rated.
Jane--When you get a bit older, that's a good dream because you didn't have to ask for help.
John--I'm going to remember that one.
Toritto--No pity expected. My goal is just to try and keep up with you.
Walter--I don't understand the hoopla either and would be glad to take over anybody's outdated i-pad.
fernsy--Write that book.
jmac--That's the right attitude you foibled mutant.
I have a herd of siblings and they mercilessly wait to catch each other in some mispronunciation or faux pas (fox paws) so they can annouce their superiority and the other's shortcomings.
I've worked out a similar deal with someone who wants to be shot. I shoot him when he's goes all wonky and then get to live in prison with three meals a day and 45 minutes of exercise and neither of us is a burden to our families. I am solid in the knowledge he'll go wonky first.
The good folk of Bucks County all refer to the UPS man as the "ups" man. Your dad was just being posh. ;)
Erica-- I'm just not sure I want to be thought of as "cute" when I get older. Although I guess it could be worse.
beauty--Sounds like some fun family reunions.
nilesite--Keep your eye on that gun. In his wonkiness, he may think you're the one that needs to be shot.
hahahah.. cute and funny post JL.
Been feeling fragile lately, aware that although I don't "seem" as old as I am, I am wearing out a bit. Makes everything bittersweet. I have little patience (never did) for making fools out of aging people. Need a little more respect in this crazy country, for this and so many other worthy things.
Its all about the journey. You are going to get old. The better you take care of yourself...the longer you may live. (From Beyond Golden) I am 72 years in age. My husband is 77. We just came in from playing golf with equally young folks. We are going out with our friends Joe and Mary. Joe is 92 (also played golf today) and his girl friend Mary who is 87. We are going down to Cortez Fishing Village for a few "sips" and some shrimp. Mary said she wanted to "get down and dirty" for her that means paper plates and picnic tables. All of us have lived full lives. We are all afraid to mentally lose it...but that doesn't drive us. We take comfort in the moment. As we all should.

Enjoy dear, jlsathre. Enjoy and stop worrying. Your friend won't help you die, nor will she help you live. Its your job.

Oh, my Dad lived to bey 101. Feisty. Climbed into my Jeep and we went out for beer and burgers. Mom was 97. Looney and cute. That was harder.
This view of griowing old is understandable but I think it can be counterproductive for the elderly to internalize this idea. Depression, for example, in the elderly, IS treatable but if untreated can prevent them from being assertive in seeking good medical care and striving to live as fully as possible each day.
V.--I wish I could tell him.
Rita--Thanks for stopping by.
Lea--I agree. Not enough respect and a bit too much fragility.
Ande--You're a wise woman. I'm going to try and follow your lead, adding a little of your dad's feisty to the mix.
I'm w/Ande on this one--so would you prefer the alternative?

How you see the show depends on where you sit. My youth was sooo crappy that back then all I could think of was that growing up HAD to be better. It took years--years--but things did improve, and now at 50+ I'm happier than I'm ever been in my life.

My health is better than it's ever been, I've finally learned to befriend myself, the $$ (generally) gets better and I've learned to manage the $$ I do have, and I can't think of anyone else I'd rather be but myself.

Perhaps therapy would help..? Or are you judging yourself by some lack--of friends, of love, of material things? Enjoy it while you can b/c when you look back 1 day it'll seem like a helluva short ride...
Patrick and elsma--I really didn't mean to leave the impression that I'm depressed. I'm fine. I don't love the idea of getting older, but I actually try and have fun with it, and I'm in a good place in my life. As far as I'm concerned, a bigger problem than getting older is how people perceive you when you get older.
Hate to break it to you jl but your dad was pronouncing impatiens correctly. It's Latin y'know, and I was forced to take it in HS.
Sounds like my life.
Sometimes, people mispronounce on poipose. ;0)

Have fun with the TMB! I'm going to.
GeeBee--Now I feel bad.
Cranky--I can't help but think your life is funnier.
phyllis--Having fun is the best way to approach it.
Hey, I call all the UPS people "the ups guy". Fabulous post - I really enjoyed it! (P.S. I am NOT snickering behind your back.)
I hear you but I have too many other things to be uncomfortable over. I'm hoping to start drinking in about a decade, that way I won't notice all the things that might happen as part of aging. And if I do, I won't care.
Our kids start laffing at us as soon as they learn how to laff. I'd prefer they do it to my face...I think.
Jennifer--I swear I heard a little snickering.
l'Heure--Drinking may be the answer.
Chicken Maan--Me too.
our ups guy seems to like it when we call him that (always have), but maybe he's just being nice. they usually are, the ups guys. wait. what were you talking about?

good post, jl. if i ever have to take metamucil, i'll figure it's time. but until then i'll be laughing at bayerl's TMB. :)
So true but its also a good excuse for forgetting things you really remembered but didn't want to do.
rated with love
Like beauty1947, my two sisters and I lay in wait to pounce on one another's mispronunciations and fox paws. As far as parents go, I needled my dad regularly (in a sporting way), until one day I saw he was truly tired and I stopped. It was sad day for me. I'll hold out as long as I possibly can for my son.
I don't mind getting old, I just don't want to be feeble in body or mind. Your story reminds me that I must be nicer when my mother doesn't hear something right and answers or comments inappropriately to the subject.
femme--I like the TMB too.
Romantic--You've found the up side.
Manhattan--Needling siblings...it seems to be pretty common. My sister and I do it too.
Painting--That's what we all want. I do my crosswords and sudokus every day to try and ward it off.
Nothing daft about a gaffe here and there--particularly if it's accidentally on purpose.

This post is fun, and it reminds me to look back over pacts I've made with friends.
I remember when there was a news story about lesbians adopted children. My grandmother scoffed: "We don't have any of them around here..."

My sister: "How do you know that grandma?"
Grandma: "We don't have any of those churches in this county..."

just like your girls not cluing you in so they can "roam uncensored," maybe you can use your perceived daftness to roam equally uncensored ;) fun post!
I have spent years in dis-illusion only to be scoffed at by my children, but on the other hand, its good that they are smarter than I.
I am old and no one feels sorry for me.
I thought my kids were laughing because I'm such a witty guy. Now you tell me they're laughing at me, with contempt? I'm crestfallen!
Agree with Lea Lane. Still, this is not a great society to be an older person in, that much is certain.
Paul--Yeah, revisit those pacts.
Pensive--I love that story. Go Grandma.
aisia--When I went to a class reunion, a fourth of my class were parents of valedictorians, whereas our class only had one. How does that happen?
Miguela--I think you must be doing something right.
Frosty--Sorry to burst that bubble.
Great post and comments. Im headed down to the Memory Center to play with all the crazy people there. It is fun for awhile and then the heaviness of it all sinks in and I need a break. Whatever life hands you make lemonade. Got to laugh tho as it is better than crying. Your choice.
Ahhh, here's a thought on your question jl, while my son scored a 29 on his ACT and his GPA is around 3.8. Compare this to his class rank of 37%. This "fact" may disqualify him from receiving scholarships as they want to see top 25% class rank. A disconnect??
I love this! The pills in the metamucil is so funny. I tell my husband that when I start washing out my underwear every day in the kitchen sink as my grandmother used to do that it will time to take me out back and shoot me. For now, though, cheers to all of us wise and witty women!