And That’s Why I Hate Old People

Filed under my uber-confrontational personality

So I’m walking up 43rd Street after work to Kamran’s apartment the other day. I usually walk up 41st, but I’m feeling lazy, and the incline on 43rd is much smaller. There’s an old woman on the sidewalk twenty feet ahead of me, and I’m thinking about how sad it is that her body has really lost all signs that it was ever attractive. I realize that a simple underwire bra would make all the difference in the world in keeping her boobs from making a slope down to and then blending in with her protruding belly underneath her grey t-shirt, but I suppose you get to an age where even having your Victoria’s Secret shipped to your home in an unmarked box seems like too much to bother with.

I’m feeling a little sorry for her, because you know her husband ran off with some Russian hussy years ago, and she’s really let herself go with only the dog at home to judge her. But then, just as I’m two feet behind her, she turns on her wooden cane and begins walking up the sidewalk. I swear this happens to me all of the time. The slowest-moving people–the gimpy, the elderly, the crippled–they all suddenly decide they have somewhere to be as soon as I’m about to pass them. A man who’s been wheelchair-bound for fifty-three years will without warning gain feeling in his legs the moment he sees the whites of my eyes simply to block me from walking by him. It’s incredible.

So I’m slugging along behind ol’ Droopy Boobies, thinking that I don’t really have anywhere to be and won’t bother her to move aside for me, when she starts talking to this guy ahead of her on the sidewalk. He’s perched on one of the low fences that surrounds all of the trees in Kamran’s well-manicured neighborhood, tapping something on his cellphone. He’s fit and in his late 30s, dressed in a clean t-shirt and jeans, with nicely styled hair that’s tossing in the breeze. I figure they must know each other.

Until I hear that the old hag is saying to him, “These goddamned illegal aliens. They move here and steal our jobs and then sit around on their fat asses talking on their phones all day.”

I’m . . . surprised. This man is very much white, very not fat, and entirely American-looking. And it’s nearly 6:30 p.m., so I’m not exactly sure why she’s upset about him not working. Although I suppose that when your life revolves entirely around the administering of your daily suppository, you lose track of time.

Just as she steps beside him, she says, “Illegal aliens think they can sit on their fat asses and we won’t notice,” but he doesn’t even look up. I take that moment to pass by her and hold my BlackBerry–which I happen to have in my hand, because I’m obsessed with it–up in the air so she can see it and press a bunch of buttons to spite her.

I’m walking fast enough to be a few feet in front of her at this point, so she hollers, “Fatass!


  1. Cristy says:

    And, you know she’d be the type that’d complain if you’d done the unthinkable and been polite or helpful, too. You just can’t win.

    • So true. I think I’ve had one good interaction with an elderly person here. All of the other times, I smile politely at them in the elevator, they stare me down like I’m an alien, and then they say things like, “Jesus! My phone won’t work, and I’m supposed to call my sister in Albuquerque.” It’s very frightening.

  2. Patio Green says:

    Oh, please ditch that infamous best friend and be mine!

  3. Beth says:

    She’ll be dead soon. I feel only a smidgeon of guilt for not feeling bad about that. But the world could do with one less bigot.

    • You know, you just made me realize why old people are so mean here: it’s because everyone’s waiting for them to die. Their kids are waiting on their inevitably huge inheritances (since you have to be rich to live here), and their landlords are waiting to take back their apartments (so they can renovate them and rent them for five times as much).

      Maybe I should show some pity.

  4. Sandy says:

    I saw the title of this entry and knew it would be forever mine. My theory is that old people lived through The War, so they think we all owe them. They can go straight to hell.

    • Hey, I’ve lived through three wars at this point! I mean, sure, none of them affected me in any way, and I only know, like, two people who went overseas to fight, but still.

      • Sandy says:

        Hey, I’m not saying they’re right, but when you have Tom Brokaw calling you “The Greatest Generation,” I think the ego gets an undue boost.

  5. Chante says:

    That was pretty amazing. She’s just mad that she has no more feeling in lower valley…..

    When she gets cremated, mix her ashes with the Wednesday morning trash pick up:)

    • I can’t believe you just spelled your own name wrong. You are my hero.

      And you’re also such a badass! After reading this, I’m really glad I’m not your grandma.

  6. Chantee says:

    I can’t believe I spelled it wrong too! Leave it to the future journalist to find my mistakes…..

  7. Jaclyn says:

    Old people suck. The old women at my church continue to call my daughter Emma when her name is Ella. It’s been Ella for the past 2 years. No name change. I especially hate an old man in a hat driving a pick up. I know you know what I’m talking about.

  8. Jessica says:

    I started reading your blog when Kel linked to it. This post is hilarious. My favorite part:

    “Although I suppose that when your life revolves entirely around the administering of your daily suppository, you lose track of time.”

    There is a neighbor who lives directly across from me. We’re in town houses to we basically share a patch of grass between houses. She’s an old, retired postal worker living alone who has nothing to do all day. She entertains herself by spying out her window and trying to find anything and everything she can get her neighbors in trouble for. Including calling the city because a piece of wood on the outside of our house rotted, calling the city because a neighbor had a business in there house, yelling at every neighbor with a pet and accusing them of not picking up after it. She’s even ripped up our flower beds. The worst part? She has a hearing aide. She likes to say nasty things to you and then pretend she can’t hear what you say back to her.

    • Whoo-hoo! My first comment from the famous web mistress!

      I used to have a neighbor just like this growing up. She’d call our house to tell us she thought she saw smoke (which was always a party with a bonfire in our backyard) or a strange car in the driveway (which was always anyone from a cousin in her new car to the UPS delivery man IN THE BIG BROWN UPS TRUCK) or saw a cat prowling our driveway. She lived at least a quarter of the mile away across a cornfield, which was the funniest part. She was a family friend, though, and we were a village of 2,000 people, so we had to love her.

      Ripping up your flower beds, though?! That’s crazy.