Friday, December 18, 2009

The Freedom of Geezers

I am crotchety beyond my years; I can't wait until I hit 80 and enter officially into geezerdom. Then, because it will be expected and accepted, I'll be able to fully express myself in public without really embarrassing my family. (Plus, I'll be able to back up my car without looking behind me and the people behind me will just scatter and shake their heads.)

For now, I guess I'll just have to keep my opinions to myself until I can blog about them. Like right now.

This week, I have attended two holiday concerts to see each of my two daughters perform with their classmates at the school where they are learning all about branded clothing. The community of students, their siblings, and their parents are very involved in the daily routine of school with many volunteers, constant activities, and a saturating presence of "family" at all times on the school campus. There are many opportunities to interact with other families which leads to the pretense of social cohesion and strong bonds of support throughout the community.

All it takes to break the pretense, however, is an event like a school concert with first-come first serve seating. Obviously, in such a zero-sum situation, claiming a good seat for oneself is akin to denying a good seat to one's friendly neighbor. According to my observations, that perspective did not seem to be prevalent amidst the early morning stampede of self-interested parents with video recording devices. The naked aggression I witnessed at each of these two concerts (staged, by the way, to spread holiday cheer and good will toward men), was frankly embarrassing.

At the conclusion of each concert, parents mingled and enjoyed holiday treats and generally restored the sense of community that is so obviously fabricated. Participating politely in the after party was hard for my inner geezer.

Geezers don't tolerate such social hypocrisy in silence; they prefer to point it out. I am looking forward to the day when I can do that and the negative repercussions of my honesty will accrue only to me.


  1. Anonymous12/18/2009

    I work in a setting where there are 30 strongly opinionated residential geezers - believe me, it works better if there is only one to sputter - 30 at a time is a bit taxing for us non-geezers - so try to remain socially reclusive and it will more impactful when you do choose to opine. Reitrof

  2. Anonymous12/26/2009

    I loved this one! As a educator, it is so tiring to try to "perform" for the public with enthusiasm and vigor. We plan these tremedous elaborate Authors Parties along with food and entertainment. The parents show up (usually late with toddlers in tow).
    The kids act as if the teacher and rules have disappeared... running madly down the hall and throwing food at one another. It is such a comedy scene that one crotchety teacher can only appreciate a good ol' geezer in the crowd that actually repremands the kid who is about to stab his classmate with a pair of scissors!
    Ah.....the life of a teacher...Organizing "FUN? activites" for the parents to see how well their child behaves and is doing in the school setting! Is this the right thing to do the day before a Christmas ( oops I mean HOLIDAY) vacation? NOT!