Thursday, 21 May 2009

Grumpy old men

Males of my age are commonly assumed to turn into grumpy old men. Isn't that what old men do? We're programmed by our Y chromosomes to become universally surly, cantankerous and impossible to deal with.

We're supposed to rage and curse at stupid motorists, hate teenagers and sales assistants, fume at red tape and form-filling, attack dumbing down and falling standards, and despise anything invented in the last twenty years.

Thus the popular TV programme "Grumpy Old Men" in which elderly curmudgeons vent their spleen at everything in sight, complaining that there's nothing left to enjoy and saying they'll be glad when they're six feet under and out of their misery.

Well, I keep waiting for this mysterious overnight transformation in which my habitual good humour turns into bad-tempered misanthropy, but I have to report that it hasn't yet happened. I remain a cheerful, open-minded soul ready to give anything or anyone a fair hearing.

I've nothing against teenagers or sales assistants, I'm all in favour of the internet and mobile phones, I'm very tolerant of careless motorists who're probably shagged out from a demanding job, and every day I'm delighted and fascinated by life's constantly evolving possibilities and wonders. It takes an awful lot to make me seriously grumpy.

Of course in twenty years' time when I'm a decrepit old wreck who can't hear, see or walk, I might have cause to be sullen and generally pissed off with my lot, but right now grumpiness is uncalled-for.

Perhaps grumpy old men should all be put through a sort of detoxification programme, alcoholic style, to dry them out and purge all those nasty toxins from their system. Why glamourise the foul-mouthed old sods?

25 comments:

Caro said...

We're supposed to rage and curse at stupid motorists, hate teenagers and sales assistants, fume at red tape and form-filling, attack dumbing down and falling standards, and despise anything invented in the last twenty years.You've just described me. Except for the inventions bit. I am rather attached to my iPod and these interwebby thingies.

Nick said...

Caro - Goodness, a grumpy young lady. Life's not treating you that badly, surely? A few cocktails and your favourite pasta dish will sort things out....

rummuser said...

Nick, I am 66, somewhat a bit older than you I think. I have not yet been accused of being a grumpy decrepit old fart by anyone. My 92 year old father who lives with me, keeps telling me to grow up and be my age!

Wisewebwoman said...

Oddly enough, Nick, I know quite a few men of your age and older and none fall into grumpy category. Maybe I'm selective, maybe we attract to our lives only the people that will enhance it but I would run like bejabus from a grumpy old geezer!
XO
WWW

Nick said...

Ramana - I'm glad to hear nobody sees you as grumpy. So is your father the grumpy one?

www - I'm sure you're very selective with your male company, and wouldn't be seen dead with a superannuated moaner!

Grannymar said...

Now you know why I like Toyboys and since you are younger than I am, I'll count you as one of them!

Suburbia said...

Once grumpy, always grumpy, I think. I've heard that old age just excentuates your worst attributes, people don't become grumpy, they just become more so! You, are obviously blessed with a more positive and sunny personality :-)

Nick said...

Grannymar - Yes, I suppose one of the requirements for a toyboy is to be cheerful and non-grumpy at all times. Of course I meet that requirement easily!

Nick said...

Suburbia - That's an interesting idea, that old age emphasises what you already are. I think there's some truth in that. And positive and sunny is certainly what I try to be. Why walk around in a cloud of gloom?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love this post!! Let's all hear it for kindly, loving, gentle and understanding older men (and women,) wherever they are.

I suspect that many people use their age as an excuse to be as nasty as they have always wanted to be but didn't dare. Plus, they're pissed off to have gotten old which in my opinion is a rather short-sighted view considering the alternative. I feel blessed for every day I am given to be here and to still be me.

Nick said...

Heart - That's true about people using their age to justify nastiness. Indeed, better to be old than dead (well, unless you're completely ga-ga).

conortje said...

like Caro I'm there already hehe Jeez, I hope I don't get worse with the years :-)

Nick said...

Conor - Funny, you always come across as wry and philosophical and seeing the humorous side of everything. I wouldn't have put you down as a grump. You do yourself an injustice, surely?

rummuser said...

Nick, no it does not run in the family. My old man still thinks that he is better than Ronald Coleman.

nick said...

Ramana - Don't remember the actor at all, he died when I was 11. But I see he was so renowned for his decency, honour and gentlemanly behaviour he had no known enemies. Being better than that would be quite a feat....

Quickroute said...

Unfortunately I've become much crankier and impatient in the last few years - I can only put it down to old age :-(

Nick said...

Quicky - Or is it just the stress and strain of that constant jet-setting around the world?

Liz said...

Only grumpy people make me grumpy.
I am probably the sort of person who makes others grumpy by my dithering and pottering!

Nick said...

Liz - Funny you should say that, I think Jenny finds my dithering and pottering a bit tiresome as well!

Quickroute said...

no - just becoming a cranky ol' fart me thinks!

Nick said...

Quicky - Tch tch, you must keep in mind the Python refrain - Always look on the bright side of life.

Dave Hampton said...

I have found that experience breeds a bit of impatience, and that, in turn, can translate into outward grumpiness when I'm confronted with unreasonable stupidity. (that's too long a sentence before 7 am :)

Seriously, though, in the year since the company closed it's Dutch division, I've become increasingly disillusioned, and I can feel it translating into the beginnings of grumpiness. I don't want to continue down that path and have quit the job to start a new venture here in the Netherlands.

'last day is tomorrow, and it will be exciting to see what next week brings. Terror, perhaps, but it certainly won't be grumpiness ! :)

Nick said...

Dave - Unreasonable stupidity tends to make me angry rather than grumpy. But I know what you mean about a retrenching company making you grumpy and negative, that's happened to me a few times. Hope the new venture prospers.

Anonymous said...

I'me 59 my so called friend is 62 and he complains about EVERYTING - absolutely NOTHING is ever good enough for him and EVERY SINGLE TIME I say anything to him he responds with (HUH) - this grumpy old man drives me FREAKING CRAZY and there's NOT ANY CHANCE of changing this individual for the better because I've tried and tried and tried again - NOTHING WORKS so I really don't want to be dragged down with this old piece of shit just so aI can say to myself that I was his friend to the very end - thing of it is, he doesn't try hard enough for his own good ANYWAY - I think I'm going to let him go because I just can't take his grumpy old ways ANYMORE - sure it's sad BUT - I have to look out for myself - Sorry dude I'm not your nurse so I have to go my way - there just isn't another option (HUH?) - damn let me out of here!

Nick said...

Anonymous - That's a real cry from the heart, and I'm sorry you feel so desperate about your friend. Walking away would be hard at 59 but it's probably what you need to do if he's so stubborn and having such a bad effect on you. Clearly the situation is never going to get any better.