Apr 10, 2011

20 Old Is Not An Excuse


angry old lady I have had my fair share of experiences with old people and not all of them are bad in fact many were/are inspiring while others are downright rude, obnoxious and mean. All my life I have been surrounded by old people heck I cannot look back at my life without seeing them stationed in every aspect of my life, the good, the bad, the ugly, the wonderful, all serving as teachers in one way or the other and representing some of the cornerstones to my philosophy. What bugs my ass are some of these older folks that feel that “OLD” is an entitlement that somehow exempts them from exercising good manners, respect and decency.


Recently I have been the unwilling recipient of what feels like “the entitlement of Old” phenomenon. It is a trend that seems to be picking up momentum or I have officially stepped into another dimension where being “Old” triumphs all and everything else is damned.


One day as I waited for the streetcar to go to work I was shoved aside by one old lady in her attempt to get into the streetcar first. I kid you not; I was literally body chucked slamming me into the streetcar. I did not see her; she seemed to appear almost out of nowhere as the streetcar arrived. I looked at her and said, “excuse me, please don’t shove me, if you would like to go ahead of me simply ask and I will allow you to go, but do not shove me”. To which she snarled, “am blind and old, I have to get in”. I looked at her, she stared at me and I said “for one you are looking at me right now so you are not blind, secondly old is not an excuse for rudeness, you have my permission to go ahead of me but please be mindful not everyone will excuse your behavior simply because you are old”.


Another time I boarded the streetcar and there was one seat left by an old lady. I did not want to sit straight forward because I had a few bags with me and it would have been uncomfortable sitting forward so I sat sideways which meant that my back was to her. I did not lean on her or touch her in anyway however within seconds I heard grumbling but paid it no mind as I chuck it up to her talking to herself however as I sat there I was able to make out some of what she was saying. The woman was cussing at me because she took it as a personal attack because my back was to her. She felt I deliberately slighted and dismissed as though she was not good enough because of the way I sat. I simply sat there quietly urging the streetcar to move faster. I said nothing as she continued her tirade of verbal lashings. I thought ‘this is not about you, this is about her, don’t engage, just let her talk, take a deep breath, one more stop and you are there’. I reached my stop, got up and made my way to the front of the packed car all the while her voice trailing me, as I exited the car we made eye contact and I said, “Have a nice day”.


I don’t know if it’s in the air, heck at this point who knows? It is just incredulous I mean I had one woman come into the streetcar that was virtually empty with dozens of seats available and chose to come and stand in front of me and demand that I get up and give her the seat I was sitting in. I thought to myself ‘oh hell no, Satan be gone’. There were at least 10/12 seats in front of me and another 15-20 behind. She looks at me and says “I want to sit here, get up and let me sit”. I looked at her, the empty seats in front of me, the empty seats beside me and the empty seats behind me; I took a deep breath observing the people sitting around in other seats to which she approached neither of them. I did not respond to her. I turned my head forward and kept my eyes straight ahead. She stood there beside me almost bearing down. I did not respond. I no longer looked at her. I simply sat there staring straight ahead and praying for patience and the will to keep my temper in check. Eventually she got the message and realized that I was neither going to move or respond to her and she chose to sit somewhere else. Now I know exactly what that experience was-I simply chose not to name it or acknowledge it.


I could go on but I don’t want to bore you to death regaling the abusive intrusiveness of these experiences on my psyche. My point is only that while I have tolerance and compassion for the elderly their advance age does not excuse their bad, disrespectful and abusive behavior. “Old” age is not an exemption of the human character of compassion and tolerance and it is not an entitlement with an all access pass to diminish others.


Link to Angry Old Lady Photo

20 comments:

  1. passing through and thought. . . .I have spent all my adult life being told to respect the old – I have been pushed, prodded, cussed by my elders – now IT IS MY TURN !!!!! LOL !

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  2. nope there is NO excuse for rudeness !! ~x~

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  3. Oh no, tell me that wasn’t a Rosa Parks moment? What is wrong with these old folks? At least you kept your composure each time and wasn’t disrespectful. Just be careful, cause the next step is for one of them to play they mad for you. Be safe & have a great weekend!

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  4. no excuse to be rude fo sure…………..you cannnot demant respect you have to earn it………………

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  5. I agree that old age is no excuse for rude, disrespectful, obnoxious behovior. I also agree that it is most probably the way these people were all of their lives. Girrrrrrrlllll, you have remarkable control!!! I admire that tremendously. One thing I dislike more than grouchy old people is stupid people – the ones who should have a sign on their foreheads reading "I’m STUPID"!

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  6. I am a Home Health Aide, and work mostly with the elderly. I can relate to what you are saying. Some of my patients are really sweet, and I love them, but then there are others…………………………… And I usually tell myself that if they are like that now, then they must have been that way when they were thirty. But sometimes I wonder. I know some of them DO feel entitled because of their age. They have even said so. And I have told a few that old age was no excuse for rudeness. That if one lives to be older, that they should have learned patience and manners by then. I can’t tell you how liked I am by this kind of patient. Some of them actually DO believe that because they are old, that they deserve MORE respect, and more favors than someone else. I do have to agree with Paul though, rudeness and entitlement are running rampant these days. Everyone seems to care only about themselves. Sad, and just think soon there will be more older people than younger people. Look what we have to look forward to. Good Post.

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  7. Honestly Fab if they are rude now, they were probably rude when they were young and middle aged also. I don’t think old age changes your personality that drastically. You seem to be handling well, keep on smiling.

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  8. yeah i absolutely agree, there no excuse for behaving in such manners, young or old, we all like to be treated with respect and honor, it is simple, treat people like you would like them treat you, isnt that easy?

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  9. Yes…the rudeness and lack of compassion in this world can be disheartening. But because you draw near to Him, His strength abides in you.

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  10. Lots of people feel entitled these days not just old people.

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  11. Makes one wonder if they grew that way with age or they were always that way eh?Hugs from Alaska

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  12. Bad, disrespectful and abusive behavior is not excusable at any age.

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  13. Old age does not confer any right to be rude.They can expect some consideration but cannot demand it.The young also shd be quick to recognise the slow reflexes in the old and allow them some concessions.Good manners is the outcome of good upbringing and is not a function of age

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  14. It's funny oh- some old people think they can get away with anything cause of their age- but that's because they usually do. Lots of them do it :(

    Good thing you gave that first old lady a good talking to.

    Adiya

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  15. I do have to agree with you although I will say on behalf of the elderly that I encounter much ruder behavior from young people than I do the old. I have never been on a city bus though, so there might be an answer there. :-)

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  16. Liked the way you acted on each occasion, silence is golden atimes.

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  17. After reading some of the comments I don't if I can add anything new. I think people are probably shaped by their life experiences and how they have dealt with them shapes their attitudes. In my line of work I have dealt with caustic old people and I have dealt with self important rude younger people. Age is not always the deciding factor.

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  18. I have a friend that always says... if an elderly person is grumpy in their old age is because they were grumpy when they were young! Getting old is actually enjoyable, I'm one, but some elderly haven't learned to laugh away things. They are not afraid to state what's on their mind. They become impatient easily and want things to go their way.
    Try not to take it personally. Not everyone can be as sweet as you. ((Seth blushes)).

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  19. Peace and many many Blessing. I want to thank you for stopping . I will be stopping by agian.
    Lisa

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  20. Hi Rhapsody, Oh my goodness, I had forgotten the bullshit that I also used to experience in using the “better way”. Good for you for standing your ground. I must tell you, I commend you for your patience and class in dealing with those “old farts”. I definitely need to acquire your kind of patience. Knowing the “hot head” that I am I’m not sure I would have been able to sit there and say nothing. Good for you!!!!

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