My husband and I were dining out recently next to a group of geriatrics. One was sick and started barfing. This was alarming. Chaos ensued. Staff was huddled around the old man with washrags and buckets, asking if he was okay. Busy little bees swarming around the hive.
My husband leaned across our table and said, "You know what I'm loving about this situation? The other grandpa that's still eating his dinner."
He was right. The other old guy at the puking table was still shoveling salad into his mouth, oblivious to the drama around him. He paid $10 for his salad goddammit, he was going to finish it. He didn't care if the paramedics made an appearance. He had a meal to finish.
I'm thinking there's an unwritten rule that once a person hits 80, they're exempt from etiquette.
I was waiting for prescriptions the other day when this little old lady budged in line. She marched right up to the front as if to say, "Fuck you, I'm old and need my shit more than you."
She may be right, but the rest of us in line looked at each other wondering if anyone was going to call her out on this offense. No one dared. Karma can be a bitch.
Then there was the time of the "Michael's Craft Store Debacle". The hubbs and I went to a store and parked next to an old woman. He smiled and waved at her. I knew immediately she was not happy.
She pulled out and parked on the other side. My husband was still undisturbed by her fury and smiled at her again. She said, "Do you have to park that close to me? You were inches from me, you asshole, and another thing..."
So there we were, in Michael's parking lot, my husband getting a verbal ass-kicking from an 80 year old woman. The end result was her flipping him the bird and telling him to fuck off.
Talk about being suckerpunched. He didn't know what hit him. As we walked through the store he kept saying, "I still don't know what I did to invite the 'fuck off' comment."
Personally, I wasn't aware old peeps still flipped the bird. I was impressed and disturbed at the same time.
The key is respect. I do think there's a loss of respect for the older generation. But I'm confused as to why they're not respecting each other. (Or other people for that matter.)
It's as simple as either aging with grace and dignity, or bitterness and scorn. Everyone's journey is separate and individual. I'll have to remind myself of this if I ever get into a tussle with a 93 year old.
On a personal note, I'd like to thank my lucky stars that my parents and in-laws are choosing the route of grace and dignity.
And let it be known that I respect the hell out of them for it.