After a trip to a shop to purchase a t-shirt bearing a team logo (for our nephew), my husband Bruce declared that he could see no possible reason to be interested in a hockey team, and a failing hockey team at that!. Then he added something to the effect that "an obsession with sports is a waste of time and talent that could be more usefully employed." (BYW, guess who couldn’t give a fig that ours is a TV/Olympics-free zone for the next two weeks?)
I pointed out that this grumbly point of view, so strongly expressed, made him seem a bit cranky. Cranky and old.
He countered that now he is 70, he feels as if he has permission to be cranky, and he is quite looking forward to it.
Think again buddy, was my comeback. I do not intend to live with a curmudgeon. End of conversation. No Grumpy Old Men in my bed, thank you very much.
Then I began to wonder if there is a stereotypical “grumpy old woman”. I don’t think so.
“Sweet old lady” is the more typical cliché -- not that I want to be known as one of those. But, in my experience, aging women do not often delight in complaint and controversy. Perhaps as girls we were all socialized to make others happy and keep the peace. If we now say something critical and controversial, it is because we have a point to make. We are not just complaining because it feels good. Or perhaps, compared to men, we have made retirement work better for us so that we don’t walk around with a chip on our shoulder when we officially have “nothing to do”.
As for Bruce (who is a successful and happy retiree), his irritation quickly dissipated. For now. What great good luck that he will not be taunted by displays of Olympic athleticism for the next two weeks.