Please don’t let me become that grandparent

Posted on December 30, 2011


World's Greatest Grandpa

Having just spent the prior week at your Grandmother’s, I have amassed quite a bit of material about which to blog. At 80-something and 90-something, your Grandmother and Grandfather are very good predictors of what you could expect from me when I get older (yes, there are older people than me, son). I say “could” because I am desperately clinging to the hope that somehow I’ll be different.

I love ’em and they deserve all the respect due our elders, but that doesn’t mean I want to become them when I’m that age.

As I progress toward an advanced state of ripeness, there are several things that you may notice. Any of these symptoms are to be taken extremely seriously. If the transition is allowed to continue unchecked, the results will be irreversible and here’s what you can expect:

  1. I will begin to say all kinds of wild things except what I’m actually thinking. Don’t get me wrong, though, because I’ll work hard to make my opinions known. So I’ll say, “No, it’s fine; Go without me. I’ll just stay here by myself. You should get used to being without me anyway. Oh, and if I die before you get back would you put the trash out tomorrow morning? It’s already starting to smell.” You’ll stay home.
  2. I’ll say how much I’m excited to see your kids then turn them down every time they ask me to play with them. Now, you should know that I’m not being mean, I just won’t have the patience I once had. Let’s face it, I’m 40-ish now and you’ve already nearly tapped me dry.
  3. While I’m not exactly sure whether it’s due to age-induced thriftiness or a fondness for weak coffee, I will reuse coffee grounds several times before tossing them out (actually, I’ll toss them in the recycling bin figuring that someone else may want to use them as well).
  4. I’ll pour a full cup of coffee but only drink a few sips at a time, reheating it in the microwave several times over the next few days. The result of so much evaporation will be a thick brown coating inside all my coffee cups.
  5. I will hover. This will make it very difficult for you to re-wash the dishes before using them without getting caught. I’ll catch you and ask what was wrong with the other four coffee cups you picked up and put back in the cupboard. You’ll eventually resort to sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night to wash the dishes.
  6. As we age we forget about all the times we’ve been ripped off, scammed and spammed, and we begin to trust everyone. Each time you visit I’ll have a pile of new, unused knife sets, coffee makers, exotic coffee of the month bags, vacuum cleaners, foot massagers and AM/FM clock radios. My computer will have every virus and spyware ever hacked.
  7. I will be unwilling to go to a restaurant unless I have a 2-for-1 coupon.
  8. Your mother and I will refuse to wear our hearing aids, insisting that they do no good. The result will be conversations like this one:

Me: I think the kids don’t like my coffee.

Mom: Thursday.

Yes, they went to that Roebucks Coffee place.

You may be right; I heard it’s supposed to rain Thursday.

No more pain than usual. Why?

Why what?

Pizza gives me gas. You know that.

Didn’t they just get gas?


The kids.

They’re at Roebucks getting coffee.


You’re kidding. Is that how much it costs these days?

9. You and I will also have conversations like this:

Me: Do you want breakfast?

You: No thanks. Not just yet. I’m just reading the paper.

There’s bagels.

No, thanks.


 We’ve got cereal. Here, let me show you what we have. We have Flax Plus, Rice Krispies and—

No, thanks. Really. I’m not ready for breakfast.

I can reheat a cup of coffee if you want.

No. Really. I’m fine.

I can make you some eggs. Do you want eggs?

I haven’t liked eggs for the last 40 plus years; you know that.

Things change.

That hasn’t.

OK. I’ll leave you alone.

You know, I could make some toast. I’ll just get the bread out of the freezer.

Fine. I’d love some toast.

10. I will develop an affection for pastel cardigans.

11. I will decide it is no longer necessary to look behind me before backing up in parking lots.

So, you see, it’s not pretty. If –or, heaven forbid, when–that state has been reached, I hereby give you permission—no, actually I’m begging you—to shoot me and put me out of both our miseries.