Sweet old lady is an oxymoron. It’s one of those myths, probably perpetrated by childhood memories of grandma, a rosy film smoothing over the lumps and bumps.
Age makes everyone cranky. Men get grouchy. Women get snarky. Old people are impatient and significantly less reserved about saying what’s on our minds. We don’t have much to lose, so why not?
Our body is not the only part of us that ages.
It’s possible the only people who find old people sweet are very young children. Everyone else gets the sharp edge of the tongue and the flaring temper.
American culture has little use for old folks. From the founding of this country, we have prized youth and energy. We give lip service to admiring experience and wisdom, but we don’t hire the old and wise. Companies fire workers the moment they can’t keep up with workers half their age.
It turns out, older, irascible guys and gals resent being told how to do their jobs by kids who couldn’t do the job, but have lots of opinions and theories. They are not easily managed and do not willingly gulp the company Kool-Aid. Yuck.
To make the cycle perfect, the Social Security retirement age has been steadily raised. You young punks are going to have to find a way to stay on the job until you are 67, 68, even 70. Probably it’ll get up to 80 eventually, with the not-so-subtle suggestion that you’d be doing the world a favor if you would please just die before needing benefits.
Statistics prove people are living longer, so it logically follows they should work longer, right?
The result? You’ll see millions of unemployed old people who should be able to take it easy, but have to find a way to keep working. No longer able to do what they did for 30 or 40 years, they will be unemployable. It’s already happening. Just look around.