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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