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Brian McNaught's Gay & Transgender Issues in the Workplace Blog

Archive for August, 2012

Grumpy Old People Like Me

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

A couple of years before he died, I told my father that he was a grumpy, old man. I said it as kindly as I could, because I wanted him to remember that I loved him, but his crankiness about everything was getting on my nerves. He was 80 and I was 45. Now, I wish I could tell him that I can much better understand his behavior.

My friends are all getting older and, like me, they’re getting more comfortable expressing their opinions. Younger observers might describe it as "crankiness," or "grumpiness," as I did with my father. Some of the so-called grumpiness represents a feeling of freedom to say anything we want without worrying about repercussions, like being sent to the principal’s office, getting fired, or not being liked. Some of the seeming orneriness is the result of the aches and pains of our bodies that we feel are falling apart before we think they should. Aging is harder than we imagined, especially the feeling of invisibility and irrelevance we have, and the sense that we better get out of the way before we’re run down by a young person who has places to go and things to do, and who thinks we just don’t get it. Read more…