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. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Here’s something else: The Old Man’s Lament.  

    No matter how much you shake and dance,

    the last few drops go in your pants.

    I learned about it years ago in a prostate cancer group on usenet, where some people develop the problem prematurely.

    • #31
  2. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Arahant (View Comment):

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

    I guess I’m old already then.

    I must not have reached the old point yet then.  I have a solitary $1 bill in my wallet that has been sitting there for somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 years now – never being joined by any other currency.  I used to make sure I a had 2 or 3 twenties in my wallet before heading out on a business trip.  Now I pay no attention to that.

    Of course in the past 2+ years I’ve made a grand total of 1 business trip.  Kind of surreal for someone who has logged over 2 million miles on my preferred airline.

    • #32
  3. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Here’s something else: The Old Man’s Lament.

    No matter how much you shake and dance,

    the last few drops go in your pants.

    I learned about it years ago in a prostate cancer group on usenet, where some people develop the problem prematurely.

    If you shake it more than three times you’re playing with it.

    Saw that on a bathroom wall.

    • #33
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    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?”

    Heard on a podcast recently that Elon Musk aspires to die on Mars.   With the stipulation that it not be accompanied by the phrase “on impact”. 

    • #34
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    I’m a “you’re only young once but you can be immature forever” kind of guy.  

    I did have an epiphany on the occasion of my 60th birthday in February.  At age 50 you can delude yourself into believing you’re going to live to be 100. At age 60 there’s no longer any denying that you’re closer to the end than the beginning.  

    Was driving home from my uncle’s 90th birthday party last night, having a conversation with my 15-year-old son where I pointed out to him that I’m closer to my uncles age than I am to when I turned 30. 

    • #35
  6. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I’m a “you’re only young once but you can be immature forever” kind of guy.

    I did have an epiphany on the occasion of my 60th birthday in February. At age 50 you can delude yourself into believing you’re going to live to be 100. At age 60 there’s no longer any denying that you’re closer to the end than the beginning.

    Was driving home from my uncle’s 90th birthday party last night, having a conversation with my 15-year-old son where I pointed out to him that I’m closer to my uncles age than I am to when I turned 30.

    I probably mentioned this on another thread, but I’m getting old and have started repeating myself.  ;-)

    Watched a somewhat old movie a couple of weeks ago called “Return To Me”.  Storyline is basically that a young woman needs a heart transplant and gets it from an accident victim, then meets and falls in love with the widower of the accident victim.  Starred Minnie Driver and David Duchovney.  There was a comic side part where the woman’s grandfather is a part owner of an Italian-Irish restaurant, and there were 4 grandfather types were always playing cards and fighting over who the best singer ever was – Bing Crosby or Dean Martin.

    Shortly after watching, it dawned on me.  When the movie came out in 2000, my wife and I were pretty much in the late 30’s/early 40’s range as the 2 main characters.  In 2022 we are much closer to the grandfather types.  But they were having more fun!

    • #36
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