Cultivating Eccentricity by Alienorajt

Cultivating an air (or even a full-blown hurricane) of eccentricity should be absolutely de rigueur, in my opinion – especially in those of us past the first flush of youth but still this side of the grave. And, frankly, the more bloody irritating the better! What’s the point in having quirks, foibles and disgusting habits if you don’t use them to shock, embarrass and annoy your loved ones? Wicked waste of talent!

I read this and thought “By George, she’s got it!”

After a certain age, charm is a waste of time. Being nice to people just gets you ignored and classified as a “harmless old lady,” which is far beyond annoying and ventures in the realm of things that make me go psycho.

Being odd is annoying, but properly applied, it is an equal opportunity irritant. Blurting out non sequiturs at the dinner table …. particularly pungent and slightly risqué non sequiturs … can liven up those boring family dinners. It will, at the very least, cause the teenage grandchildren to blush and stop texting for a few moments. Your own adult children will say cool stuff like “MOM, please!”

I don’t know what “MOM, please!” really means. Please what? “Throw me another line?” “Hey, Mom, got any more witticisms up your wrinkled old sleeve?”

Whatever it means, at least, they temporarily lose the attitude that you are an encumbrance to their youthful coolness. So I say go for it! We’ve lived awhile. We have stories to tell. Our kids and grandkids think they are ultra cool. We know they are just too young to get it. They haven’t been whacked over the head by life as much as we have and thus haven’t achieved the requisite degree of cynicism needed to survive “sliding down that razor blade of life.”

We’re doing them a favor. Someday, they will thank us.



  1. Garry Armstrong January 12, 2014 / 12:25 pm

    The old circle of life game. At 15, I so much wiser than my parents.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 12, 2014 / 12:37 pm

      My cynical mother was a lot righter than I ever imagined. And I was not even close to cynical enough.


  2. Doobster418 January 12, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    I tried to come up with a particularly pungent and slightly risqué non sequitur in response to your post, but you know as well as I do that once you get to our age, the sun rises in the east.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 12, 2014 / 12:36 pm

      Maybe you aren’t old enough? It really helps to be collecting social security. That makes all of us pungent and cynical. Not sure about the risqué — that may be an individual thing.


      • Doobster418 January 12, 2014 / 12:56 pm

        These days I find that I’m more risqué averse than I was when I was younger. Oh wait, that should be risk averse. My bad.


  3. alienorajt January 12, 2014 / 1:04 pm

    Superb! A wonderfully scathing and funny piece, Marilyn; I smiled wryly throughout. Love the bit about the teenage grandchildren and texting: so damned true! As for your bit about non-sequiturs, that had me laughing out loud (or LOLing, as these texpert teens would, no doubt, thumb at one another!)!
    Great stuff – and thanks so much for including bits of my own little sally into the gardens of cynicism!



    • Marilyn Armstrong January 12, 2014 / 1:13 pm

      Your sally got me started. I wasn’t planning to post today because it’s Richard’s day, but you were so funny and wise, why not? You resonated 🙂


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