Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Retirement - Grumpy Old People

Looking forward to spring and doing OK

Woe is me.

We have a section in our paper called "Sound Off" which allows people to call in, air their complaints or even say something nice without giving their names. As you might guess, the former is more likely to happen.  To my great embarrassment, most of these people are seniors.  I know this because they either sign off as "A Senior Citizen", or have it somewhere in their rant.  They complain about their neighbors, their neighbors dogs and cats, politicians, public officials, teachers, other people's religion, illegal aliens, pot holes, people's driving, laws, no laws, the country is going to hell in a hand basket, and anything negative one could imagine.  We all have opinions and strong beliefs, but expressing your thoughts in a column where you don't have to take ownership of them seems cowardly to me.  With all this said, I have to admit that it is the first thing I read even though it is on page 2.  I compare it to watching a car wreck; you know what you are going to see will not be pleasant, but you look anyway.  Some people have legitimate griefs but they are not going to do anything about it except whine, whine, whine. One of the continuing subjects has to do with people not putting on their car lights when it is raining, a relatively new law.  A few of these S/Cs actually gave a count of the cars passing by their house that were disobeying this law. Imagine spending your limited time on this earth looking out your windows, watching your neighbors driving habits and accusing them of being terrorists of the roads.  Some of these sound-offs are fear-based and I understand as I have some of these concerns myself, but I can do nothing about yesterday, tomorrow is always a day away and what little I can control about my life (which includes my mood) is up to me. These people sometimes sign off with names like "Jeez Louise',  "Sick of it all",  and of course, "Disgusted Senior Citizen",  and I wonder if they ever have a good day.   I am not discouraging activism, as I am all for that, but being petty is so unattractive.

I wonder what happened to these people to make them so negative and mean-spirited.  Bad moods are something we all suffer, but when we let that and fear take over our lives, we miss so much.  This week I am going to go to the Philadelphia Flower Show which is celebrating French gardens.  Aah, there is nothing so lovely as a garden, it is so full of promise and joy.  Maybe I will call into Sound-Off and tell them what a fun day I am having; I am sure some grumpy old people will call in and say "Why aren't they celebrating an American garden."

Take the time to laugh today, it is good for the soul.


  1. One can only hope that they vented all their frustrations in one place and were then able to go about their day in a more cheerful mood.

  2. I think you should either cancel the newspaper, or tear out page 2 before you read it!
    Negative thoughts are contagious, the same way positive ones are.
    Thoughts become things...think the good ones!

  3. Oh, yes, your retirement mission can be to be happily subversive! Swamp page 2 with joy, say I.