snopes.com Post new topic  New Poll  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » SLC Central » Rantidote » Being old isn't an excuse! (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Being old isn't an excuse!
Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sara at home   E-mail Sara at home   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:
The people who I can't handle, who are inevitably over 70 (I would guess), are the ones who combine self-absorbtion and patheticness with a kindness and sweetness that might just be an act, but is a good enough act that I can't just blow them off the way I can the people who are nasty to me. My feeling is that the reason I've only seen elderly ladies doing this is cultural -- there was a huge cultural shift in the role of women in the 50s, after all, which might account for the fact that these women exhibit behaviors that I haven't seen so much in younger women. Or maybe it's a learned behavior, maybe they've learned that the sweet, sad grandmother act affects a lot of people the way it affects me (like the kids in Millions who wandered around getting stuff from people by telling them that their mother was dead). I don't know.

And Sara, I do understand that in some cases, there could be dementia involved that prevents these people from being fully in control of their behavior. But their whole attitude tends to scream 'victim' -- these are people who have given up, resigned themselves, and aren't even vaguely struggling to make their situtation better, and my experience with people who resign themselves to being victims is that they're not doing themselves any favors. So I'd say that mental issues or not, their chosen behaviors are contributing.

Can you imagine how disconcerting it is for when older people realize that the manners they were taught as young children is now considered an "act" and their way of behaving in publis is considered "victimization". I still don't understand if you see these women as having some character flaws or what. Character flaws which you believe has nothing to do with their age and which they should overcome. (We won't get me started on the psychobabbly that says everything is a "choosen behaviors" or even that others should choose to behave the way we think they should.)

And no, the changes you refer to came about in the late 60's and early 70's, not the 50's. Life in the 50's for women involved being sent back home to be full time housewives after many of them held down the country during WWII. A 70+ aged woman has lived through at least the recovery from if not the Great Depression itself, WWII, Vietnam, women's lib, and all their personal stuff. Some even lived through the flu epidemic of 1918. They've survived and adjusted to a lot of cultural shifting in their lives. They may not have liked it, but they survived.

--------------------
Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

Posts: 8317 | From: Reading, PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Little Pink Pill     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Good manners are not an act, using them to cover passive aggressive behavior is.

And to be fair, I don't think Kitten was saying everything is a chosen bahavior, but certainly we do bear some personal responsibility for how we behave, even when we are having a bad day/life?

--------------------
The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

Posts: 2684 | From: Budapest | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Para
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Para     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Kitten, if I had to deal with people like that regularly, I'd be keeping a stuffed animal at work for a post-trauma hug whenever I needed it. Maybe it's silly, but it got me through dealing with my grandmother when she started having spells of dementia.

I tend to feel a bit helpless when it comes to abusive old people in part because I was always taught to respect my elders as a kid. When you're an adult, you tend to expect to be treated.. well.. like an adult! Some older people though, will still see you as a know-nothing "kid". And well, it's insulting to be treated like an inferior person.

It's my opinion that some of the less-sociable elderly have always been snarky and misanthropic. Some have it thrust upon them by "life-altering circumstances" that they just weren't prepared to deal with. And some were already that way and time has given them a chance to raise it to an art form, be it consciously or not.

A lot of older people have it in them to not become bitter, manipulative people. But not everyone does. It might be dementia making them think (wrongly) that other people are rude and condecending to them, or it might be other things. They might just be that way.

In any case, the ones you encountered were not just distressing for you and the other customers. They were distressed themselves, even if they didn't have a good way of dealing with it. And good for you for doing your utmost to be the best salesperson you could be for them!

--------------------
"But what of the golden spider-duck and the squat crimson pig?"

Posts: 425 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kitten in the rain     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Sara, I said that the kindness was -maybe- an act. I don't know. Maybe she's just nice. But, as Little Pink Pill said, good manners used to cover passive-aggressive behaviors ARE an act, and that woman was, whether she intended to or not, using me. She discovered in me someone who was sympathetic to her plight, and from that point until she left, she latched onto me. She may have even done so unconsciously. Hell, for all I know, the moment she walked outside, she started kicking herself for breaking down the way she had. But the effect on me was the same whatever her motives, whether she was doing things intentionally or not. What I was writing about was that effect, the way that dealing with her and trying to help her when she was so determined not to be helped drained all of the life out of me. I'm not saying that I blame her for this, because I really don't think she was being malicious, but sometimes people can do harm without intending to, especially when they're so intent on their own suffering that they can hardly percieve the outside world at all.

The other issue you addressed was to dismiss my phrase "chosen behaviors". I do believe that people can choose how they approach living life, and I don't think that it's psychobabble to say so. It may be that our difference of opinion on this issue is the cause of our difference of opinion about the woman in the OP.

Posts: 533 | From: Davis, CA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 15 posted      Profile for Signora Del Drago     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm 65 years old, and I hope to DOYC that I never become so angry and rude. Okay, I'm already pretty angry because of some things that have happened in my life, but I really do not want to be the person about whom Kitten felt the urge to vent. Can't blame Kitten one bit, just please keep me from being that person who causes her to need to vent. I have at times succumbed to the urge to be rude to a clerk or to a cashier, but I have immediately apologized when I realized what I was doing. It's not the clerk's fault that I have a headache or am stressed out. When one is rude to me, I try to ignore it and will usually try to be extra nice to him/her. The thing that scares me, though, is what if I start to develop some sort of mental ailment that makes me be like the old woman in the OP, and I don't realize it? My uncle was the sweetest man you could ever imagine, and when he developed Alzheimer's, he became cranky and eventually became as mean as he had once been sweet. That transformation was difficult to see.

--------------------
"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Little Pink Pill     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Signora, I think you have described the fear we will all face someday.

But sometimes everyone is grumpy and lets it come out. The difference between a nasty person of any age and a just plain human one, however, is the difference between the one who simply doesn't care, and the one who, like you, goes back to apologize.

As for the effects of dementia or Alzheimer's, well, that's just something a store clerk isn't ever going to know. But your family will. Like your uncle and my grandma, they will see that it is a secondary force talking, not the person they know and love. They'll know you (general you) are at least trying, and, if they are a decent person themselves, will appreciate it and have grace for you.

--------------------
The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

Posts: 2684 | From: Budapest | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Menolly
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Menolly   E-mail Menolly   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Well put, both Signora and LPP. Signora, I was visiting Mom in the hospital and Dad was on his way. She was doing The Usual rapier-tongued bashing of people, then I'd tell a joke instead of answering when she'd ask "Don't you agree?" Finally, Dad walks in. She doesn't even say hello, but turns the bashing toward Dad. I blurted out "Well, Mom's ripping you a new one, Dad--she must be feeling better, huh?" Mom turned to me and said "You're next. You're going to be just like me in a few years." Scariest thing I've ever heard. THAT is my biggest desire--to prove her wrong on this pronouncement.

--------------------
Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

Posts: 1193 | From: Ohio | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 105 posted      Profile for Signora Del Drago     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Little Pink Pill, what you said is a comforting thought. I bet my family members will keep me away from public situations where I might be too abrasive to others if I ever get that bad, but they will still see the "real" me. That makes me feel a lot better!

ETA: Menolly, Barbara pointed out to me in another thread that maybe my mother was acting mean and being super critical out of fear. That could be what motivates your mother, too. I think we both have a good chance of not being like that, because we are both so aware. I'm going to have a talk with my children, though, and tell them of my fear. I'm sure I can depend on any one of them to "keep me in line," and I say that lightly, if need be.

--------------------
"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
YeeMum
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 02 posted      Profile for YeeMum   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think I would like to add.
I have experienced situations where DH's meds (or lack of proper ones) have made him an embarrassing fool. When I try to steer him away from the person he just has to squash, I have been the object of his wrath.
I wanna duck and run. It can be very difficult.
Not much help but when the brain goes there no-one can make much difference.

--------------------
Contact me for discounts
Charter member WNDMDC
"I am putting you on hold now.Listen to the elevator music and LIKE it."~My 'J'

Posts: 1816 | From: NE, Oregon | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 105 posted      Profile for Signora Del Drago     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
YeeMum, I feel for you. My son-in-law has to take a lot of meds, and at times he can be a real jerk. My daughter would know exactly how you feel. He even accuses her of pushing him and making him fall. Not true, he just falls a lot. You're right, nobody can make a difference under certain circumstances. Knowing a person can't help being a pain doesn't make it any easier. Seems like that might even make it worse. How can you tell off a sick person? I don't how you manage to cope.

*never-ending supply of hugs*

--------------------
"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Menolly
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Menolly   E-mail Menolly   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Signora Del Drago:
I think we both have a good chance of not being like that, because we are both so aware. I'm going to have a talk with my children, though, and tell them of my fear. I'm sure I can depend on any one of them to "keep me in line," and I say that lightly, if need be.

Being aware, good point. My son's already told me he sees little in the form of common traits between me and grandma. She's been truly hateful as long as I can remember. My husband pointed out that this was actual verbal abuse after he first visited with them. We (kids) were so conditioned to listening to whatever nasties she spewed forth without daring to react (or, God forbid, disagree), it didn't quite register what it really was. Sick, really. So I hesitate to apply Barbara's 'out of fear' response to her--I truly believe she is just used to being brutally spiteful and getting more verbose as the years go by.

*WHEW* Enough of my story. KitR, how is your situation going?

--------------------
Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

Posts: 1193 | From: Ohio | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  New Poll  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2