Love letter #6

I promised myself that I would not put the elderly on blast. Seems that promise will be broken. It needs to be broken.

old people

Dear World,

I adore your elderly

Such sweet people with beautiful souls. Their soft, wrinkly skin, lack of original teeth, inability to move around like they used to, and their “perfume/cologne” of “X -denture cream” or “X – rub for joint and muscle pains” all tell a part of their story.  Tales from their past are usually very fascinating as they tell the younger generation about what life was like “back in the day”. Your elderly natives are so engaging and enthralling when they speak of the miles they would walk to get to school, how they made their own clothing, how they pressed their own clothing, how they made their footwear and even their beds! Truly amazing; in my eyes at least. When they start speaking about the cost of items when they were young, I think how relatively nice it must have been because the cost of living generally wasn’t bad at all. I remember hearing my grandfathers (may the both rest in peace) utter some proverbs that made perfect sense while others had me mind blown. My aunt and uncle spoke of these just the other day too. “Six a one – half a dozen di odah” ” dog a sweat and long hair ah hide it” and “every dog have him day and every puss him 4 o’clock”.

I find it rather adorable how they attempt to understand the technology of today while sheer frustration is shown on their faces. “We never had cell phones, game consoles, television or computers” (and that’s when the young ones start laughing) “we did everything the old fashion way – You probably don’t even know how to send a telegram or write a letter and send it through the mail”. Truthful – Your elderly are wise folks who speak the truth (most of the times). I love the honesty that comes from them. I really appreciate it.

My grandmother is a doll. Although very miserable, she provides such great insight on life. She taps into her “speaky-spokey” voice when we talk too. lol. I love it!! This woman endures so much physical pain, underwent minor surgeries, experienced minor strokes, can barely see and yet she moves faster than half of the youth combined. Grams is as strong as an ox I tell you. She’s always been independent and provides words of encouragement every time we talk. She has the loudest every thing for a little old lady. You wouldn’t even believe. Absolutely love this woman.

Truthful – Your elderly are wise folks who speak the truth (most of the times). I love the honesty that comes from them. I really appreciate it.

I can’t stand your elderly

They always say that “this generation nuh have nuh problem” “this generation this and this generation that”- whatever man. Things may be a whole lot different and better but we face our own battles too. What they call trivial matters, we take very serious. Leave us alone with our issues. We’ll deal with them as they dealt with theirs – in their own time.

I get very irritated when your elderly natives behave as though young people owe them something. They assume that because you’re young you should be at your best and in the best of health to render assistance at your expense all the time. No! It nuh work suh. We experience aches and pains too and sometimes they have to stand and allow us to sit. Yes, World, I said it. What you gonna do? Tell your elderly natives to hush up with their assumptions – “You young you know, come help me with this box/bag”“You young you know, your foot dem stronger than mine, get up and give mi di seat”. “You young you know, you mustn’t talk back at your elders”. Now I’m not saying that young folks of the world should turn a blind eye to elderly folks in need. Never will I say such a thing.  And yes, offering assistance without being asked is good too BUT  there is a manner in which asking for assistance and accepting or refusing help is done.

Assuming and demanding doesn’t go well with me. The words “Please” “Thank you” and “excuse me” should also be in the utilized vocabulary of the elderly. Being old does not take away the fact that manners takes you a far way. In the words of my sister Sherrie “not a baxide!” Some of the elderly in the world have too much pride and are rude. I have been witness to old folks accepting assistance and refusing assistance in a rude fashion. I’ve heard things like – “It tek yuh so long fi ask if mi want help? Kir out! mi nuh want it nuh more” and “mi look like mi wah nuhboady help mi? move outa mi way yah”. Really, World?! Maybe the denture cream is being used too much by your elderly. Something is wrong with some of them.

I’ve had encounters with a few. The most memorable – I was waiting in line for the bus behind an old man. He asked me to hold on to his spot as he was tired and wanted to sit. I agreed. The bus came and I had moved down into the line. He come back asking for his space so I tell him “sure, no problem, as soon as the people in front move up then you can have your spot” Now, World this old stood beside me waiting impatiently for only about a minute (I kid you not, World). I assured him his space would be returned and a couple seconds later, this insolent old man (wid him two teet dem and otherwise mash mout) looked on me and ask me if I was deaf. World, something snapped and I turned to ask him if he was blind. He must have been. There was no space at the time for him to return in queue. I got so heated. The man looks at me and says that I should step back and the arguing continued because he was chatting a bunch of foolishness while being rude and out-of-order. I had to put him in his place. There was no way I would be able to continue my day with peace of mind if I allowed him step on me (figuratively speaking). Don’t laugh, World. This is serious. Telling me bout I must respect my elders and how his grand and great grand children would never think to speak to him  like that. (Good thing I wasn’t in those categories – he would have probably died). I told him some things out there that day yuh si (none of which were rude and uncalled for by the way – but he had to shut up cause he knew he was wrong. Damn bright!).

Situations like the one I just shared with you are reasons some of your elderly natives are a pain in my ass. They say respect people and I say respect is given where respect is received.

Old folks of the world; love them but they annoy me so.

Signed with love,

Candice K.

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