On becoming a curmudgeon...

I have concluded that “curmudgeonhood”, unlike adulthood does not necessarily come from age.

I have been free from it until recently but now realize that it is often caused by the behavior of adult children (or in my case step-children).

If you are a doper between your mid-twenties and forties, think back a day. How attentive, kind and helpful were you to your mother yesterday?

He said, opening himself up for a barrage of “your Mom” jokes. Which some of us are too tactful and discreet to indulge. Just sayin’, is all,

And if Mom was horny??

I did refill her eggnog a couple of times.

Seriously, I was wonderful to mom. Turned computer room into Mother Guest Suite with mints on the pillow and a new book on the nightstand.

I was also wonderful to the kids, even when they texted their friends during Xmas Eve dinner (had to set up partying til 3am… so then one kid fell asleep during presents!) and forgot to register for classes, some of which are closed and broke expensive camera and lost their flight info (and we ran back from the airport to find keys). All with an attitude.

That’s why I’m exhausted now and heading off to the bar to watch the Eagles game.
By. My. Own. Bad. Self.
No, you can’t come, ya damn whippersnapper.

Parenting has been the single most fulfilling and rewarding experience of my life. And I wouldn’t do it again for all the Wowee in Maui.

I think of curmudgeons as having a generally negative attitude towards most or all of humanity, so if that mindset is being attributed to just a couple of people such as your own grown offspring, you really need to branch out your social interactions.

Was I wonderful to my mother?

I don’t know. I did whatever she asked me to do without any smartmouth. I helped out where I could. I gave her a Christmas present that I think she enjoyed. I gave her plenty of hugs and snuggled with her on the couch a few times.

But was I perfect? No. Because my mother isn’t perfect. Around this time of the year, she can be downright maddening. She either barks commands at you like you’re a soldier in her personal army or she talks to you like you’re three years old. She makes work where none is needed. You want to help her, but you also want to run away…

So I dunno. I can totally see how adult children can drive someone to a state of curmudgeon-ness. But sometimes mothers don’t make it easy.

I sometimes feel curmudgeonly, and I tend toward an anti-social bent in my social dealings. I can’t remember my last interaction with my mother - she died over 30 years ago. She never had a chance to yell “Get off my lawn!”

I can relate, however, to stepchildren making me feel a little curmudgeonly. But only a little. The kids seemed to like the presents.

How attentive can I be to my mom while I’m…

Aw, jeez. Nevermind then.

I was attentive enough to realize that she’s still dead and buried. I think Stephen King lied to me. Unless it’s one of them slow resurrectin’ pet semitaries.

They sent your mother to a farm, where she could play outside with the other mothers?

And, maybe, if you’re a verrrry good boy, you’ll get to visit her someday…

I’ve always been a curmudgeon, to my mothers dismay.

I’d always thought “curmudgeon” to describe someone easily annoyed but not actually bitter.

Bitter on the outside, sweet on the inside? Like a good ale?

Like me. Annoyance with a wink. And maybe a little trolling for effect. No trolling here–I try to remain open and honest, if annoyed, and as you know I’m a heavy user of emoticons to reduce misunderstandings. But I’ve been called a curmudgeon since high school and have welcomed entering my sixties so I can let my crank flag fly.

I like that. Not bad for a life goal.

I spent much time this summer sitting on my porch (with dogs, books and a blender of beverage). One of the best parts was yelling at the neighbor kids to “quit cutting through my yard*, ya whippersnappers!” [/old geezer voice]

*to be fair, they were cutting through the hole in the fence that I’d made for them (big population of nice kids behind our house, park with beautiful lake in front) …but still, “Git off’n muh lawn, ya rapscallions! I’ll sic these poodles on ya!”

Did they run off laughing and screaming, pretending to be scared? Because that sounds like fun for all of you.

There are few joys in life to equal other people’s kids. Who will fill the air with cheerful rascality, and then go home.

I’ve been a curmudgeon for years. Some acidity, but no real bitterness.

Before, or after, her fourth double bourbon?

This, with a side of not coming out and asking for what she wants me to do. And needing things done that very second for no logical reason at all.

Christmas Eve Day, 27 hours before anyone is going to be at the house. Mom wanders into the home office while I’m working and says, “There are some folding chairs in the closet.”
“Uh, ok.”
“We might need them tomorrow.”
“Ok. I’ll keep that in mind.”
“I don’t think there are enough seats.”
“Half the people sit outside smoking until present time.”
“It would be nice if the folding chairs were available.”

On and on and on, but she never just says, “Would you please get out a few of the folding chairs from the closet and set them up in the living room tomorrow?”