Friday, November 02, 2007

I've been away again.

Not long ago, I had a conversation with an acquaintance about vacations and travel. She's about my age and was a prominent neonatologist until she had to retire because of health and mobility problems. Over the years, she made a good income and some very good investments. She's trying to do some traveling now, but it's not easy. To quote her, "When I was younger, I was healthy and able to travel, but too busy working and making money. Now, I have the time and the money, but don't have the health." This is a recurring theme that I hear from others. It's motivation to keep active and going as long as I can. I'm determined to travel as often and as to as many places as this ole body and my bank account can take. You just never know what's around the corner.

As usual I spent a lot of time observing the passing parade and striking up conversations with almost anyone and everyone with the time and inclination.

From my notes of Odds 'n Ends:

· I hate hearing the term "cranky old people" used -- not as a description of certain people who happen to be old (which is such a relative term anyway) and cranky, but as an all-one-word, "crankyoldpeople" –- as if all old people are cranky. It's just another stereotype of elders; along with senile, slow, and useless.

Not all old people are cranky, nor are all cranky people old. The elders who are truly cranky were more than likely also cranky young adults, cranky teens and cranky children. It's not as if they woke up one day at the age of fifty and decided to be a crankyoldperson.

· Some people like to complain. Not only do they like to complain, they relish in it. Their mission in life is to find every negative thing in life and share it with everyone and anyone within earshot. They complain about the weather (okay, everyone complains about the weather), then they move onto the neighbours, their kids, their parents, the restaurant, the d├ęcor, the food, the service, taxes, Hilary Clinton, . . . ad nauseam.

Whenever I hear such overall negativity, my eyes glaze over and the credibility of their complaints drops to nil.

· Parents of well-behaved children are not given enough credit for doing a good job because they're overshadowed by those with out of control brats.

Brats may be an exaggeration, but you know the ones: They run roughshod over public and private property, spill, drop and leave food bits and garbage in their wake; scream and yell as if no one else is around; take things without permission; run into people without apology; and treat others and the environment around them with total disrespect. All the while, their parents are sipping a latte and reading a magazine, totally oblivious (or ignoring) the mayhem. It's the lack of parenting that's the problem more than the kids themselves.

So, kudos to the good parents out there who've done the hard and loving job of active parenting and whose children are a pleasure to be around.

· Pet peeve: People who use their cell phones in the middle of busy public places and carry on LOUD conversations so that everyone knows they are Very Important People. VIPs are so important that they can't walk ten feet to find a quiet corner or phone kiosk with sound baffling.

· Why - are the number of pieces of luggage people insist on traveling with inversely proportionate to their ability to carry it.

A couple traveling with two toddlers by the hand will have a stroller, diaper bag, backpack, shoulder tote, purse, and four full-sized suitcases; whereas an able-bodied twenty year old will have one over-the-shoulder duffle.


naomi dagen bloom said...

if i call myself a "cranky old lady" that's okay--don't you think? and i hear you talking about the entitlement generation--we are all here to be at their service, their children's service, and listen to their inane cell talk.

many of us here in new york city believe the culture will go down the tubes entirely when the threatened wiring of the subway happens. maybe i'll just walk!

ell said...

I agree it's okay to call yourself a cranky old lady -- sort of like calling myself a bitch. :-D Just don't call all women bitches.

Junebugg said...

Amen Sister! You hit everyone of these on the head and I couldn't agree more.

The last time someone called me a "bitch" I told them I had been aspiring to be one for years and it's nice to know that I had finally made

Wenda said...

Welcome back!