La La How The Life Goes On

Get Offa My Lawn, Bro.

Posted on: February 1, 2012

Senior Citizens Are Wrinkled Teenagers.

I say this with love for our Greatest Generation, darlings, but it simply must be said: seniors and teenagers share many of the same characteristics. The revelation occurred this afternoon as a rather surly older lady was berating the lovely girl at Dunkin Donuts for “not bringing me my sandwich! And you owe me 20 cents!” The level of outright rudeness was so elevated that even my 3 year-old noticed, and she has, as you know, a pretty high threshold for bad manners. As I thought about the level of tolerance afforded rudeness from seniors, I realized that much of the behavior mirrors adolescence. For example:

Rules Do Not Apply To Me.
Baby Sister’s preschool is part of a community center that also serves a large number of senior citizens. There are 15 parking spots reserved for the preschool (with 100+ kids), so parking is always an issue. We just received word that we will be “donating” 6 of these spots to the seniors one day a week. All well and good and touchy-feely. Only, I’d be more into the good deed if they already didn’t take those spots every day anyway. You pull up, it’s 20 degrees outside, its raining, whatever, will there be a spot? Will there be a spot?! And there is a fucking Oldsmobile 88 Royale or somesuch parked across TWO spots, just as happy as larry. Meanwhile a mom with a toddler and a 6 week-old are hoofing it from the boonies, with stroller,coats, lunches, the entire cavalcade of preschool items….as a spritely senior strolls in with nothing but his canasta cards. It happens every single day, the only variable being whether it’s a Buick, Cadillac or K Car with a tattered “Buchanan 2000” bumper sticker. Every damn day. Right in front of the “Preschool Parking Only” signs!

Which brings us to the second reason senior citizens are like teenagers…

They Will Tell You, With Zero Shame, To Fuck Off.
There are people in our lives whom we know to be The People Who Tell Others To Suck It. When I require such services, I always call my sister because she is the person who excels at such things. We can name That Person in our lives because we recognize that what they do is not the standard approach to daily life for everyone. So it is always a bit jarring when you kindly mention to the returning senior citizen, “You may not have noticed but this parking is for preschool parents only,” and with shockingly few exceptions they pretty much tell you to Stow It, Blondie because I am a Senior Citizen. No fake apology. No faux absentmindedness (which, full disclosure, is my go-to Get Out of Jail card). Not even an honest oops. Nope. Just a polite version of “kiss my ass” which is ironic, because, like teenagers, seniors are…

Extremely Concerned With Being Disrespected.
Many current adolescents understand the word “respect” by virtue of having backed into it via “disrespect.” As did Dunkin Donuts lady who, when directed to the Pick Up Here area, let it be known that the staff were being “disrespectful” to her. Which is humorous because the only raised voice was hers, and had she been a 30 year-old man she would have found herself ejected from the store. Which leads to my final example…

An Enormous Sense of Entitlement.
When I was 16 I pretty much knew for a fact that the world owed me many things, that everything my parents gave me was not a gift via the sweat of their brows, but in fact a deserved reward for being my great good self. I felt that of course I should get a free cone when I went to Super Swirl simply because my boyfriend worked there. Of course my parents should buy me Def Leppard audio tapes. I was 16 and I deserved stuff. Fast forward to freshman year of college in Scotland. I was grocery shopping with a friend at the Willie Lowes when an OAP (old age pensioner, as seniors are rather inartfully known) asked to go in front of me in the check out line. I was so confused. Did she have fewer items than me? No. Did she seem physically infirm? No. So I said, “okay, sure, but may I ask why?”. She said only, “Because I’m a pensioner!”

Which brings us back to the parking spots. I propose that, just like Babies R Us has the ‘parking only for moms-to-be’ spaces, our place should bulldoze the enormous useless landscaping directly in front of the entrance and make it seniors only.

Then watch this space for my post on my awesome, new, convenient parking spot at the preschool!


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