Grouchy Seniors – Guest Post

July 9, 2009 by admncc

Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they’d like to complain about.  I’d like to welcome Gina with her first Guest Post.  Her complaint is grouchy senior citizens.  God love our parents, grandparents and elderly friends, but she is right; there are some feisty ones out there.  So without further adieu, here’s Gina…

I suppose it’s somewhat contradictory to complain about seniors complaining, but I truly can’t keep this inside any longer.  Because for every positive senior I’ve met, there are 50 who thrive on complaints.  I know some people view complaining as a right as soon as you retire, but those around you really don’t want to hear such negativity all the time!

Favorite topics of complaint for seniors include:

1) Money – I’ll admit that some seniors are poor and need assistance.  But especially now that baby boomers have retired, many are quite well off and yet the government spends $6 for every $1 kids get (note from The Constant Complainer – click here to view an article Gina shared along with her post – The Medicare Ponzi Scheme).  Seniors get discounts everywhere.  Seniors get cost of living increases in Social Security even during a recession.  Most of the seniors I know are taking vacations, golfing and eating out most every day.  But these seniors were the most vocal about NOT spending money solely to replace our elementary school which has leaky ceilings, faulty wiring and broken sinks.  They even booed the superintendent of our school district when he went to the senior center to talk about why we desperately need to invest in our kids. (Even though some of these seniors live on our block and find money for new siding, boat-sized Cadillacs and professional landscaping.)  And the biggest argument of these seniors is, “I’m on a FIXED income!”  To that I say, who isn’t?  Unless you have a money tree growing in your backyard, we’re ALL trying to stretch our income to cover doctor bills, taxes and college …without the senior discounts, cost of living increases or cheap medical insurance.

2) Health – My mother-in-law visits the doctor’s office like a country club.  She’s had cataract surgery, knee surgery, hip surgery, back surgery and carpal tunnel surgery in the last 10 years.  You’d think she would all new parts by now but she’s planning to have more surgery.  Did she need it?  All I know is that she complains and her doctor immediately sends her for surgery without a second opinion.  Why not?  We pay for it and it seems to be her hobby.  She consistently visits at least 3 doctors per month for everything ranging from headaches to wrist pain.  I’d sure like to be able to afford surgery for my carpal tunnel or my own arthritic knees…but I’m not a senior and have to pay for my own health care.  My out of pocket when I had emergency surgery was $4,000.  I simply can’t afford elective surgery like a Medicare recipient can.  Still I can guarantee that if we call her today and ask how things are, she’ll relay a brand new litany of physical complaints…back pain, trouble sleeping, a sore wrist, a headache, her operated hip/knee/wrist is bothering her again…she might need more surgery.  As someone whose parents died of cancer very young, I appreciate every year I’m here and take my own middle-aged, arthritic knees as badges of honor because I’ve lived long enough to have them.  My mother-in-law has never had diabetes, cancer or a stroke and her parents lived to be 98 and 102.  She’s never been in the hospital unless she’s had elective surgery.  But according to her, she’s been on “death’s door” for the 20+ years I’ve known her.  Does she wonder why her kids dread asking her how she’s doing?  And please get a hobby that your grandchildren won’t have to pay the government for.

3) Kids these days – “What’s with these idiots?!,” my elderly neighbor yells.  Then he lets loose with a litany of profanity-strewn yells in front of young kids on his lawn about how kids don’t have any manners.  Enough said.

I once believed that with age comes wisdom.  I admire the sacrifices of “The Greatest Generation”, but when did they go from selfless and heroic to angry and bitter?  I now believe that with age comes the belief that you can say whatever you want, demand whatever you want and do whatever you want as long…as you’re over 65.  I told my husband that if I turn into one of the crabby seniors, he has the right to sit me down and tell me I’m a jerk and no one wants to be around me.  I’m going to make a pact to be more positive and stop complaining…right after this.

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  1. Marissa says:

    VERY well put. I too have noticed alot of seniors refuse to support taxes for education. My 76 year-old father-in-law talks nonstop about all his ailments, real or imagined. He just wants attention. But then he yells at his neighbor’s kid for minor stuff, so he’s kind of a jerk that way and I don’t feel sorry for him.

    On the other hand, I know alot of really hilarious, cheerful old people. Even the cranky ones will still laugh if you try to crack them up. If they’re that miserable to be around, kick over their walker and tell them to shape up. 😀

  2. Dan says:

    Excellent post. Many valid examples. I admire my next door neighbor, who just so happens to be old and grouchy. He displays many similar characteristics, but is the best neighborhood advocate we have in our small town.

  3. I definitely have to agree. But, what I have found is that the “new” generation of elderly people (60-65 yrs old)are much different than the older generations of elderly people (ages 80+). The older generation of elderly had old-school values and stood for something. Now, the new generation of elderly are “worldly” and don’t act like I remember older generations. Yet, they want all the respect in the world, without giving it in return, just because of their age. To that I say, WHATEVER!

  4. NeoConDon says:

    Cosmo chic hit the nail on the head. “The Greatest Generation” are the WWII generation folks that may be a little tough to get along with, but they lived through the depression and fought WWII. I think we owe them the respect they ask for.

    The boomers have destroyed this republic, and will continue to it unless we find a way to control them.

    Don’t get too upset about them not voting for school levies…I have never voted for a tax increase, and I always vote against renewals….and my wife is a public school teacher.

  5. I think many seniors are very sensitive that they are on the downside of their life. At age 65, they MAY have 20 years left. That’s not long at that age. The baby-boomers are a generation that is used to a lot of attention and “it’s all about me”. It seems like that carries over to their elder years. It’s sad that may people forget how to use their brains and make good decisions that will benefit the entire community.

  6. Tristan says:

    This is a great post. As a society, we no longer understand sacrifice. All we know is we are terrified of being older than thirty and will do whatever we can to prevent that from happening. We have the delusion in our heads that life gets better the older you get. That makes no sense at all. Our bodies break down over time and every year we must be wiser and more responsible than the last. We have to out do ourselves each and every year. Aging in and of itself is not an accomplishment. Surviving is not an accomplishment. Respect is earned through action, not time.

    Medicare is just another wasteful sinkhole that encourages uselessness, as any handout does. A respected senior, even with few possessions, should be supported by children and respectful members of the community. Seniors should still serve a purpose. Instead, seniors are free to be hateful, foolish, and selfish, and we pay them to be so.

    Don, I agree about the boomers, but I don’t think we need to worry about them. These sorts of things have a way of working out. In this case, they’ll be crushed by depression just like the rest of us, and given the outright fraud and treason behind this one, I don’t see it being as tame as last time. The time for action will come, but for now all we can do is wait.

    I also will not vote for a tax increase or much of any new law, either. We can’t make use of what we have. I fail to see how the solution is more of it. Of course, try telling that to someone who thinks the answer to a debt-driven depression is more debt!

  7. William Gatherer says:

    I have noticed that the only thing my neighbor complains about is that my lawn is not as manicured as his. (He is 82 and rides his John Deere on a daily basis.).

    I do have to agree though that there are a lot of complaints, some warranted, some not.

  8. Gina says:

    Tristan, I agree that our culture has drifted away from family care of seniors for two reasons: 1) we are more concerned with our “happiness” and caring for an ill senior is taxing, costly and demanding and 2) today’s seniors insist on independence (ever notice how difficult it is to convince an elderly person to give up driving even when it’s unsafe?)

    And NeoCon, I do understand the anti-school levy vote when administrative or salary costs are a concern. But when seniors argue vehemently against funds to repair an unsafe school building, I take issue.

    Why do we have a vote on whether or not to give our kids a safe place to attend school but no vote on whether our taxes pay for my neighbor’s Viagra?

  9. Mike says:

    This sounds like my dads whole elderly side of the family

  10. […] « Grouchy Seniors – Guest Post […]

  11. C. Princess says:

    I know a grouchy senior. She is known in my neighborhood as “Poodle Lady.”

  12. Tristan says:

    That’s how it is, Gina. More federal control means less and less say we have about anything. At this rate, you won’t be able to vote to give additional funding to schools in a few years, you’ll just have to tell some Joe to leave a message for your representative and let him know that Johnny fell through the floor the other day and hopefully they can spare a few alms.

    This sort of nonsense is exactly why this country was founded as the “united States of America” and not just “Washingtonland.” Somehow that idea has been lost and Washington has more power than they know what to do with. Hence we now have the USSA, where an erection is an unalienable right.

    It isn’t just seniors who don’t want to give up driving, though. I don’t know how many people I’ve seen get in the car to drive down the street. I saw one person in my neighborhood get into their car in a parking lot, drive around the corner, and pull into their driveway no more than three houses down. It seems that walking has become a recreational activity that serves no practical purpose. Or maybe we’re perpetually stuck in high school, and you have to drive to be one of the cool kids. Or maybe we’re afraid that we’ll see a poor person, or that other people will think we’re poor. I’m not sure how else to shrink it.

  13. NeoConDon says:

    continuing on with Gina’s comments…

    …or a vote on how many of my tax dollars go to drop bombs on guilty and innocent people, or used to pay for studies of fish, or to turn corn into inefficient and expensive fuel for automobiles, or to send the children of illegal immigrants to college, or to pay for yet another MRI on a 75 year old softball player, or a 17 year old football, basketball, and track athlete, or how many of my tax dollars go to pay for the murder of unborn babies in the U.S., or in Africa, or in a test tube… or etc, etc, etc….

    The problems we have aren’t that our school buildings are falling down, it’s that the feds have used force to steal our money to assume authority that was NEVER authorized to them, and we don’t have enough left over to take care of our state and local issues. Any power not expressly granted to congress by The Constitution belongs to the states or the people. The powers granted to congress are limited and definite, the powers granted to the states are limitless and infinite.

    Every time there’s a problem, we keep turning to gov’t. That must stop. When the feds get out of the business of ruining our schools, and the power goes back to the states and the districts, I’ll consider voting to increase taxes. But the schools are indoctrinating our kids with lies about global warming, and lying about our history…I just can’t support that…let the buildings fall!!!

  14. Jack says:

    Great post. I love riled up fiesty seniors. I would add another category. That they shouldn’t drive. There should be mandatory testing at certain ages I think.

  15. I would like to warn you that my reply might be a mini novel in itself. Very sorry in advance.

    My father in law (FIL) is the most grouchy, grumpy, complaint ridden human being I have EVER met in my entire 28 years of life. He’s 80 years old and recently lost his wife (about a year and a half ago). He does nothing but COMPLAIN.

    His complaints include:
    His kids don’t give a shit about him. — Meanwhile he is at my house twice a week because his son feels sorry for him living by himself. All he does is occupy space on my couch or patio and complains about EVERYTHING from the temperature in the house, to the color of our walls, to the fact that our dog keeps asking to go outside….

    That he has no money and is going to die poor — Man man has acres upon acres upon acres of land in Greece with olive trees which produce a lot of olives and olive oil. He owns 3 apartment buildings in Montreal and has money in the bank. He confuses being CHEAP with being POOR. No, you have Money Mr.Tightwad, you just don’t like spending it therefore you FEEL poor.

    That he is sick and is doing to die by the doctors hand like his wife — Have you ever seen an episode of House? The patient has so many screwed up problems that any treatment they give them could cause another reaction which is always deadly? Yeah that was my mother in law. She was very sick for the majority of her life. Drs. were afraid to treat her because if they fixed one problem they caused 3 others. The doctors didn’t kill her…she stopped going to her appointments or going to the hospital because she was “sick of being sick”. Yep, she gave up on life! My FIL on the other hand is a freaking ox. There is NOTHING wrong with him other than diabetes. He goes for check ups every now and again and always comes out with a clean bill of health. He’s probably going to outlive ME!

    Kids and their lack of respect/care for safety Okay I’ll give him that kids don’t have a lot of respect for anyone. I recently blogged about that but the safety thing is absurb. He was at my house when I was having a pool party (he was sitting on the patio shaking his head at us having fun because we should still be in mourning) and he got mad that the kids were playing with a floatie. (Kids being between 8 and 16 and EXCELLENT swimmers). He went up to them and took the floatie out of the pool and yelled at the kids. I took the floatie back and threw it in the pool and told the kids to have fun. He got mad at me and asked my husband to take him home, husband refused because we were having a party! My FIL comes up to me to yell at me saying that they kids are trying to kill each other and someone is going to drown. I told him if the parents didn’t care how their kids were playing he shouldn’t either. Also, the kids can’t drown one another since they all know how to swim and to not go around making rules in my house.

    So thats my FIL in a nut shell, full of complaints. I can’t stand being around him. You can’t even have a conversation with him because he always HAS to be right and I can’t let someone be right unless they are. I always put him in his place and drop the subject. If he wants to argue with himself he is free.

    Okay, sorry for my rant but complaining seniors always make me think of my FIL (in case you can’t tell, I don’t like him much!!). I think that this post was excellent and well written and so very true!!!

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