I may have discovered the answer to one of those questions that has perplexed mankind since our species first kicked the sticks out of the crib, to wit: Why do people get so cranky when they get old? I can now tell you…. it’s all the fault of Mister Time, or Mistress Time, if you prefer (there is a lot to be said for the idea of the Time Bitch, or She Who Turns Hair Gray, a name I’ve heard numerous women authors suggest for use…..).
Now, I know you’ll probably ask what is new about that, and I’ll tell you, if you’ll give me a chance…. don’t rush me, I just got up….
See, and there is the other reason for our cranky pants…. while I was writing the previous paragraph, lovingly polishing the phraseology, the subtle, yet simple answer that had come to me… went. Gone with the wind. Kaput, got thrown out with the bath, done a bunk…. Oh, wait, there it is…. never mind…
So, anyway, the Time Bitch gets us all eventually, and we get cranky because, not only does it HURT, but, here we are, with all this knowledge and experience that we’ve spent a lifetime learning, and these sneak attacks on our breath, strength, hair, and skin have added up to turn us into physical shadows of our former selves. All the things we’ve learned to enjoy doing are now proscribed, due to our body’s inability to meet the physical requirements of the activity. Our favorite forms of recreation or work are kept from us as no longer feasible. This, as you might guess, gets to be old quickly….like us.
So, we have to learn a new skill, called rationalization, also known to small children as pretend, or the world of make-believe. (Well, maybe not new, just a new application for it…..) We learn to say things like, “Oh, that’s okay, I’d rather sit here and read my book, really. You go ahead and swim over to Hawaii without me….”, or, “You guys go ahead, I’m just going to sit here and watch all the people. I don’t really enjoy xxxxing.” (xxxx, being, of course, one of our previously favorite things to do….)
We learn to pretend that we don’t really mind not being able to walk without a stick of some kind, or that places that used to be close are now far away (such as the floor….), or that we have to choose hamburger even if we can afford steak, because we can’t chew it….
So, don’t wonder any more about all those cranky old folks wandering around in the world. They’re just adjusting to the new requirements Life has placed on them, and it takes some practice…. In the meantime, I think I’ll try to get over my morning irritation with my body by diving into the WWW for some pearls… wan to come along? Let’s go Pearl…..
“Ever notice that fifteen minutes into a Jerry Lewis telethon you start rooting for the disease?” — Jim Sherbert
It’s a good thing for me I was raised without having to experience one of the more severe religions, because I’d probably have died from making myself feel guilty by now, for making fun of iconoclasts revered by the rest of society. Mother Teresa, Jerry Lewis, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Swaggert & Bakker et al, they have all felt the lash of my pen, pricking at them for their hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement. The pearl above describes my feelings exactly whenever I’ve spent more than five minutes watching one of Jerry’s telethons, which have been going on TV since I was seven years old (not quite an eon, but close enough….)….
The sheer effrontery of these people is what annoys me. All of them suffer from Grundyism, and to me, this is one of the worst human characteristics there is, common as it is. Grundyism, a term inspired by Robert Heinlein’s concept of the Mrs. Grundy’s of the world, is best illustrated by visualizing Mrs. Grundy, the prototypical nosy neighbor, peering with one eye around the corner of her parlor window, keeping a beady, judgmental eye on everything going on in her neighbors’ yards and houses, in order to provide her with ample supplies of gossip about which to spread innuendo and lies to her like-minded companions, Lady Nosy-Parker and the church secretary. Nothing that she does is ever a subject for her dissection in her daily phone and back-fence conversations, only the (in her eyes…) morally questionable activities that she observes in her neighbors.
Mr. Heinlein has suggested that the best way to deal with a sentence from one of these less-than-stellar characters such as “I know it’s none of my business, but…” , is to place a period after the word “but”, not bothering to be too careful as to worry about how forcefully that period is put in place. His attitude suggests that blood is acceptable, but mayhem is going a bit too far for mere gossip. Unless, of course, it is true, in which case, applying the period with a baseball bat, though messy, has been found to be gratifyingly cathartic, once the body is disposed of….. I suggest the use of lime and acid in combination; it is not fast, but extremely thorough….
Or, I guess, one could just say, “Go mind your own fucking business, you moron!” or some such polite suggestion, and leave it at that…..Offend them hard enough and they may watch you, but they will hesitate to talk about it…. I’ve found, personally, that an occasional wild-eyed stare at their house, mumbling and laughing maniacally, while fingering the sharp edge of an axe, to be fairly effective in keeping them quiet….. I love to see the curtains drop down over the window in a huffy rush…..
A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family. — Navajo Proverb
I love this statement. I’ve never seen it before, and it struck me hard when I first saw it. It is the kind of statement that reverberates…. it just doesn’t go into the mind and sit there, smug in its truth. It gently leads the mind to thinking about it, to examine it, and subtly yet firmly plants a thought that grows and grows, until its wisdom is not just clear, but shining.
In thinking it over, I found it could conceivably be used as a basis for a rant against the 1%, and I still may do so. But not just now…. I find it to be a soothing thought as well, and the mental energy of producing a rant would be counter-productive, I think. So, take note of this pearl…. it is one of the shortest I’ve ever made, with that characteristic common to all the shortest of them, to wit: it truly needs no help to make its point….. This is true morality, ffolkes…..
Integrity needs no rules. — Smart Bee
I ne’er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
My life and all seemed turned to clay.
And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start —
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.
Are flowers the winter’s choice?
Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
And can return no more
As an integral part of my eternal search for lustrous pearls, I save time by subscribing to email lists that will send me material. One of those is a poetry site, Poem Hunters.com; I started using their email service about two or three weeks ago, and have found their choice of poems to be very helpful, and erudite, as well as satisfyingly diverse. I’ve now been introduced to at least four new poets (new to me….) whose work I find to be very good. This is one of them…. enjoy!
Some mornings go better than others…. on those mornings, I kind of wish I still was putting out five pearls a day instead of three. Ah well, I also like it this way, and it seems to be working well, so, “it ain’t broke, so I’m leavin’ it alone….” Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.