What Kind of Old Man Will I Be?

 

A couple of weeks ago, I was texting with my son, and he mentioned that he and the stand-up dame he’s been dating the last couple of years were thinking about settling down and having kids. He wanted to know what I wanted them to call me. “Grandpa, pee-paw, grandpappy? What?”

And that got me to thinking, I’m going to be an old man. The signs of the twilight that lies just beyond my horizon are already beginning to show. I sometimes watch reruns of 20+-year-old TV shows (Stargate SG-1, to be specific)  I frequently launch the wrong app on my phone. And just this last week, I had a chatty conversation with a bank teller!

I’m not as old as Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, or Madonna, so there’s still time to decide what kind of old man I’m going to be. And time to will myself not to be an old fool like this pathetic, senile husk. I have time to think about how to grow into the best version of Old Me, but what version will that be?

Basic Old Man — Drive 10-15 miles below the speed limit at all times, in the left lane when possible, with a turn signal on. Refuse to adapt to any new technologies. Make gross noises. Yell at kids in my yard! Occasionally make racist statements (such as, “I think people should be treated the same regardless of skin color”) that will make my grandchildren apologize and say, “He’s from a different time.” Pros: Never GAF what anybody thinks. Cons: All-you-can-eat buffets are not healthy.

Crazy Old Man — This is the old guy who has an encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories and a weird hostility toward squirrels. (“Lousy tree rats!”)  I don’t have the follicles to grow a crazy beard, but I have firmly stated that once I’m retired, I’m wearing nothing but kimonos and dashikis. It’s a good start. Pros: My increasingly eccentric behavior would not be mistaken for dementia and my basement could hold a lot of social worker corpses. Cons: Might get elected to public office.

Creepy Old Man — You know, the old guy who leers at young hotties the same age as his grandchildren. Pros: Might get a job at the Lincoln Project. Cons: Might end up sharing a jail cell with Denny Hastert.

Crusty Old Curmudgeon — I could do this. Really easily, I could do this and become more cranky and foul-mouthed with every passing year. I could project constant anger at the world while deep inside lies a heart of gold. Pros: No one will be sad when I’m dead. Cons: Might end up ranting about politicians on social media.

Cringe Old Man — This is the guy who can’t accept that he’s old. He tries to use contemporary slang, but does it wrong. He seeks to impose himself into groups of younger people. Constantly insists “Age is just a number.” Pretends to like dub-step. Pros: Are there any?

Hot Grandpa — There are some old guys who make being old part of their brand and it works for them. The one that leaps to mind is 85-year-old supermodel Wang Dushen, the other is Colonel Harlan Sanders, who launched his fried chicken empire at the age of 65. Pros: Old and successful beats old, bitter, curmudgeonly, and creepy hands down. Cons: Extremely high probability of failing and ending up as Cringe Old Man.

Robert Duvall — Now there’s an old guy who’s doing it perfectly. But I haven’t earned the life to grow old like Robert Duvall. I have a toughness to me, but it’s buried inside, shielded by layers of deflection and self-deprecation. There are neither pros nor cons. I will never be Robert Duvall.

Nah, thinking about myself in 20-30 years, I think I’d kind of like to have that smug humility associated with elder Buddhist monks. That edge of a smile in the corners of my lips like I’ve meditated long enough to figure out the universe. I’m in on the joke, but you’d never get it without years of contemplation. That would suit me.

As for my future grandkids, I will insist that they address me as Ojiisan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FKA-3uRdQY

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  1. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    “Cringe Old Man — This is the guy who can’t accept that he’s old. He tries to use contemporary slang, but does it wrong. He seeks to impose himself into groups younger people. Constantly insists “Age is just a number.” Pros: Are there any?”

    If are a white male, and you wish to run for office as a Democrat, this is pretty much required.

    • #1
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Victor Tango Kilo: and the stand-up dame he’s been dating

    Is it Krystyna Hutchinson?  Just asking . . .

    • #2
  3. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    I’m 2 levels away from achieving my Old Curmudgeon certification.

    • #3
  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I’m Pepére to my grandchildren, as my father was to all of his grands.  Pronounced peh-pay, if you are curious.  And I’m of French-Canadian ancestry, so, a frog.  You can guess what icon they’re going to tag me with when they get old enough to make the correlation. (:

    • #4
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I’m Pepére to my grandchildren, as my father was to all of his grands. Pronounced peh-pay, if you are curious. And I’m of French-Canadian ancestry, so, a frog. You can guess what icon they’re going to tag me with when they get old enough to make the correlation. (:

    Pronounced like this?

    That could get a person canceled, couldn’t it?

    • #5
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I’m Pepére to my grandchildren, as my father was to all of his grands. Pronounced peh-pay, if you are curious. And I’m of French-Canadian ancestry, so, a frog. You can guess what icon they’re going to tag me with when they get old enough to make the correlation. (:

    Pronounced like this?

    That could get a person canceled, couldn’t it?

    Why, yes.  But there’s another match, more modern, that I had in mind.  The one that upsets certain “special” people on Ricochet.

    • #6
  7. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    At 64 my theory about driving is I don’t have time to spare so drive as fast as possible.  I was propounding this theory to my long suffering bride when she was a passenger in the car and pointed out that “I could die any second”.  She asked “could you pull over first?”

    • #7
  8. Bunsen Coolidge
    Bunsen
    @Bunsen

    I have always considered myself an OG COC.  Plenty of time to refine it as my kids have not hit their 20s yet.  Seriously I think I would like to be called Pop as I called my grandfather.  He was bigger than life and it seemed EVERYONE in Decatur, ILL knew and respected him.  But a little bit of my buddy’s grandfather thrown in as he still drank a 6 pack everyday at age 96.  Granted it was NA but still the idea of drinking at that age is on my bucket list.

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Victor Tango Kilo: Crazy Old Man — This is the old guy who has encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories and a weird hostility toward squirrels. (“Lousy tree rats!”)  I don’t have the follicles to grow a crazy beard, but I have firmly stated that once I’m retired, I’m wearing nothing but kimonos and dashikis. It’s a good start.

    I have a head start on this, including long hair and a Gandalf beard. As for eccentric dress, I’ve done that for decades, at least.

    • #9
  10. Bunsen Coolidge
    Bunsen
    @Bunsen

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: Crazy Old Man — This is the old guy who has encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories and a weird hostility toward squirrels. (“Lousy tree rats!”) I don’t have the follicles to grow a crazy beard, but I have firmly stated that once I’m retired, I’m wearing nothing but kimonos and dashikis. It’s a good start.

    I have a head start on this, including long hair and a Gandalf beard. As for eccentric dress, I’ve done that for decades, at least.

    Black socks and Birks don’t count.

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bunsen (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: Crazy Old Man — This is the old guy who has encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories and a weird hostility toward squirrels. (“Lousy tree rats!”) I don’t have the follicles to grow a crazy beard, but I have firmly stated that once I’m retired, I’m wearing nothing but kimonos and dashikis. It’s a good start.

    I have a head start on this, including long hair and a Gandalf beard. As for eccentric dress, I’ve done that for decades, at least.

    Black socks and Birks don’t count.

    That ain’t nothin’, ol’ son:

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    It gets much worse.

    • #12
  13. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Duvall. But he was a Marine. I am not that tough. And drink too much port. 

    • #13
  14. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Doc.  I want my grandkids to call me Doc.

    Since my lovely bride is also an MD, she also will be called Doc.

    We will be a Grand Pair-o-Docs.

    • #14
  15. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    You know, the old guy who leers at young hotties

    We were eating at our favorite OBX restaurant tonight, and every time this one server passed the table, I had to be quick to look back at the table and ask “How’s your salad, hon?”

    But I don’t really feel that old, y’know?

    • #15
  16. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Victor Tango Kilo: Crazy Old Man — This is the old guy who has an encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories and a weird hostility toward squirrels. (“Lousy tree rats!”) 

    If I go this route I call them what sane Jonah’s dog Cosmo called them, Jacobin squirrels.

    • #16
  17. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doc. I want my grandkids to call me Doc.

    Since my lovely bride is also an MD, she also will be called Doc.

    We will be a Grand Pair-o-Docs.

    We need a visit from the Pun Police here, @rightangles

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    If I go this route I call them what sane Jonah’s dog Cosmo called them, Jacobin squirrels.

    Back before the squirrels took over his treehouse.

    • #18
  19. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Too old for fence jumping contests. I like fist bumps with the grandsons. I remind them that their Nana prefers hugs. Nana in Japan has the same meaning it does in the States.

    I’m lucky because my Japanese daughter-in-law believes that grandparents have a role to play in helping to raise their children. She dresses them for formal events to show their respect for those they have never met.

    Birthday Party

    May be an image of 3 people, food and indoor

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Victor Tango Kilo: I sometimes watch reruns of 20+-year-old TV shows (Stargate SG-1, to be specific)

    Me, too. Or anything prior to the age of woke.

    • #20
  21. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Nana in Japan has the same meaning it does in the States.

    Seven? 

    • #21
  22. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doc. I want my grandkids to call me Doc.

    Since my lovely bride is also an MD, she also will be called Doc.

    We will be a Grand Pair-o-Docs.

    We need a visit from the Pun Police here, @ rightangles

    …………………………………

    Thank you, Citizen.

    ahem ahem

    PUN PATROL!  LICENSE AND REGISTRATION PLEASE, AND NO FUNNY STUFF

    • #22
  23. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I’m Pepére to my grandchildren, as my father was to all of his grands. Pronounced peh-pay, if you are curious. And I’m of French-Canadian ancestry, so, a frog. You can guess what icon they’re going to tag me with when they get old enough to make the correlation. (:

    Pronounced like this?

    That could get a person canceled, couldn’t it?

    Why, yes. But there’s another match, more modern, that I had in mind. The one that upsets certain “special” people on Ricochet.

    You don’t mean this, I take it.

    • #23
  24. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doc. I want my grandkids to call me Doc.

    Since my lovely bride is also an MD, she also will be called Doc.

    We will be a Grand Pair-o-Docs.

    Don’t wear crocs

    • #24
  25. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Victor Tango Kilo: Basic Old Man 

    And jiggles change in Their pocket. They all do it. What the hell is that about? 

    • #25
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: Basic Old Man

    And jiggles change in Their pocket. They all do it. What the hell is that about?

    They are the only ones who still carry cash and coins.  

    • #26
  27. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    One of the things that get me about discussions of old age is the assumption that people have to embrace some senior lifestyle as they get older.  If you like a hobby in your 30s, there is no need to just stop it and embrace shuffleboard and prune juice.  My dad has always biked and played computer games.  He still does the same things he did since I was a kid.   Why does he have to become boring just because he retired?

    I imagine future retirement homes will advertise their awesome fiber internet and host LAN parties.  

    • #27
  28. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    I am considering buying a high qualty air rifle and varmit hunting when I retire.  

    • #28
  29. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    How about being a combination of all of them? For instance:

    Basic Old Man  – Occasionally make racist statements (such as, “I think people should be treated the same regardless of skin color”) that will make my grandchildren apologize and say, “He’s from a different time.” Pros: Never GAF what anybody thinks. (See Crazy Old Man, below)

    Crazy Old Man — I don’t have the follicles to grow a crazy beard. Pros: My increasingly eccentric behavior would not be mistaken for dementia. Cons: Might get Got me elected to public office. (But the dementia part: don’t bet on it.)

     

     

     

    Crusty Old Curmudgeon — I could do this and become more cranky and foul-mouthed with every passing year. I could project constant anger at the world while deep inside lies a heart of gold. Pros: No one will be sad when I’m dead. Cons: Might end up ranting about politicians on social media. (Or becoming the politician that everyone else rants about)

    Cringe Old Man — This is the guy who can’t accept that he’s old. Pros: Are there any? (N0)

    Hot Grandpa — There are some old guys who make being old part of their brand and it works for them. Pros: Old and successful beats old, bitter, curmudgeonly, and creepy hands down. (I’m not so sure about that.) 

    I too will never be Robert Duvall (unless I devolve into Boo Radley), but having achieved the age that the author someday hopes to attain, he’ll discover that these aren’t discrete choices. And for the record, my colleagues on the House floor call me “Grandpa”, and not because I’m the oldest person there. 

    • #29
  30. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):
    They are the only ones who still carry cash and coins.

    I guess I’m old already then.

    • #30
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