Old people: You can’t live with ’em, you can’t live without ’em.

You can’t live with ’em; you can’t live without ’em.
There’s something irresistable-ish about ’em.

Rowlf the Dog, “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along”, The Muppet Movie

Each Friday, I post Flashback Friday, where I use St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen as a guide and usually ask the following questions: For what are you least grateful this past week? For what are you most grateful this past week?

Least gratefuL

Senior citizens: After this week, I admit I’m “old peopled” out. Monday night, my wife and I volunteered for a Senior Night Out at the senior center in town. Tuesday, we volunteered for the annual senior picnic that is held for “them,” from four counties. Wednesday and Thursday, I delivered meals from the senior center as I have been doing for the last few months. But that’s not all: where I work at the local library, the majority of our patrons are definitely over 55. As usual, I worked there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and today I will be there all day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where no doubt I will encounter more of “their kind.” To put it bluntly, they can be not only cranky, but cantankerous and know how to step exactly on the wrong place on my last nerve.


Senior citizens: Whaaaa? I thought I just said I was least grateful for them this past week and now I’m saying I’m most grateful for them this past week. What gives? That’s the thing about those over a “certain age,” they give not only headaches, but also smiles and laughs — and not just because of moments like yesterday. They aren’t always the butt of the jokes, but sometimes actually tell the jokes themselves and do provide the smiles from their own faces.

I try not to get political here, although I have a feeling as the 2012 election approaches, I’m going to have a hard time keeping my trap shut. That said, I have to mention an incident yesterday at a local restaurant that cracked me up. A man– yes, one of those men of a certain age– was sitting at a table across from us with a group of his “kind” when I picked up this snippet of conversation:

“Well, he was born in Kenya.”

At first, I thought he was talking about a Kenyan runner. Admittedly, I had just given blood and was waiting to get my breakfast. Then my wife gave me a warning wagging finger and said:

Do not engage.

I thought why would I engage? Then I realized who he was talking about. At first, I mentally prepared my comeback in my head…which surprisingly did not include any four-letter words. Then I mentally took a step or two back from the situation– and laughed (internally, of course). I did crack a smile, though. I couldn’t help it, because sometimes with people of a “certain age,” you can’t help but smile. After all, one day, for some of us sooner than later, we hopefully will reach that age (if we haven’t already) where we have earned the right to be cranky and cantankerous…and maybe can give a smile and a laugh to someone younger in the process.

So for what are you least grateful and most grateful this past week? What’s your take on senior citizens? Or if you are one, what’s your take on those of us who aren’t? Do we make you smile and laugh sometimes, or do we come across as cranky and cantankerous to you? 🙂

Quote taken from

3 responses to “Old people: You can’t live with ’em, you can’t live without ’em.

  1. Hey watch wtf you say about “old” people you young whipper-snapper! And I’m not friggin’ cantankerous. I liked your video. Here’s one I featured when I first started my blog 4 years ago…I think you’ll enjoy it.

  2. I am of a certain age. He wasn’t born in Kenya.

  3. The Generation Gap lives! Very cute story. Of course, there’s “senior” and then there’s “senior” – although these days, most 55-year-olds don’t think of themselves as “old people,” I remember when anyone over forty seemed ancient to me. And even though I’m definitely a person “of a certain age” now, I’ve been cranky and cantankerous all my life!