Monday, August 27, 2007

Curmudgeon, graduate level

Once upon a time, I got up off the cart about to wheel me into the operating and harrumphed off to find my clothes with my bare bottom peeking through the gown. That particular surgeon was too religious -- he thought he was God.

True story as my daughter, Annie, will attest.

I don't think I'm a difficult patient. And, luckily, I like my various doctors. But every now and then I want to grab the doc up by the lapels on his white smock and growl: "just tell me the truth, dammit."

Well, maybe I am a little difficult. There was the time when I confronted my cardiac electrophysiologist about my newly-implanted pacemaker/defibrillator combo.

"How do I die?" I asked the doctor.

"What do you mean?" he asked back.

"I mean -- how do I die. I don't want this damn defibrillator firing off and causing me to flop around in the street after I'm long gone."

He walked away mumbling something about not having enough data. He might have been giggling.

But seriously, most of the geezers I know have more in common with Walter Matthau than with Jack Lemmon.

We've got to shuck this saccharine image, people. Just look at all the pap that AARP cooks up in their many publications. Tweet, tweet.

Geezers aren't sweet old people who feed the birds. We are hard-edged, crotchety old people who have lived through a helluva lot. Give us respect for that and stop this inane molly-coddling. Molly coddling is but a step away from warehousing.

I don't want your senior discount. Give it to the single mom who is having trouble making ends meet.

I do want your respect.

3 comments:

Escaped Waco Alive said...

As a late middle-ager careening toward old age, my patience runs thin with pandering, puerile, dilatory, and downright dumb behavior. When teenage wait-folk or clerks casually call me "John" I shudder. My Momma taught me better than that. I think I've earned being called "Mr. Sutter" as I make my final bobsled trip down the hill of life. Treat me right and I'll treat you the same. Treat me as furniture and I'll give you hell you've not bargained for. I used to think Bob Dole was a crotchety ol' SOB...(You can see and hear him sitting on his porch hollering at kids chasing a ball: "Get off my yard, you little bastards!"). I now realize he is a man who knows how to handle himself in his final descent. Just think...he probably gets a free supply of Viagra for life. I’ve become a curmudgeon and I’m damn proud of it.

Anonymous said...

[/thrusts angry fist in air]

You tell 'em, Mr. Phenix!

[/softens]

Aw, crotchety SOB's are totally adorable!

[/runs from flying keyboards and salt pellets]

With a pinch of salt,

s.l.d. cowen

The South Plainsman said...

One of the things I enjoy about aging is the ability to be eccentric, and everybody halfway expects it.

I probably became curmudgeonly a little bit earlier.

Both serve me well.

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