Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts   

For the record: I am not an old coot

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments
Author 72391
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Bob Gaydos

My chiropractor called me an old coot recently. At the time, I was lying on his table on my stomach while he used a snappy tool to somewhat painfully but successfully loosen my upper back, so I didn't say anything. Out loud.

To myself, I said something along the lines of, "Who the hell is he talking about?" Only it was a bit more vulgar.

For the record, I am not an old coot. Nor am I an old codger. At 79, yes, I guess I am chronologically old. And I have in the past been called a curmudgeon. You can't be a young curmudgeon.

You can, however, be a young whippersnapper, Doc.

Some definitions are in order before I talk about ageism.

An old coot, according to Oxford Languages, is "a foolish or eccentric person, typically an old man".

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English goes further: "An old man who you think is strange or unpleasant."

Not exactly complimentary.

The term "old codger", which some think is the same as old coot, is not. According to the Free Dictionary, "old codger" is "used affectionately to refer to an eccentric but amusing old man. codger. graybeard, greybeard, old man, Methuselah - a man who is very old."

It sounds a bit less insulting. But it's not.

Curmudgeon, according to Merriam-Webster, is "a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man". Dictionary.com defines it this way: "A bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person." No age is mentioned. However, other dictionaries pretty much define it as a stubborn, cranky old man. Your pain-in-the-butt, "Get off my lawn!" neighbor.

I plead not guilty to all three.

Back to the chiropractor. The label was applied to me with a slight chuckle in his voice, suggestive of the foolish or eccentric-person category. The conversation that prompted it revolved around me not doing something or other, which others felt would be in my best interests. The term is presumably meant to be affectionate, but it's dismissive. It suggests that the older person in question is incapable of making rational decisions for himself and for his own benefit, or that he simply cannot occasionally make an unwise decision on his own. That sometimes he's just a dumb ass. No, the term suggests that he does what he does because he's a foolish or eccentric old man. An old coot.

This assumption was further borne out when the chiropractor asked my partner to make sure I filled out my Medicare form before the next visit even though I was seated a mere 8 feet away from him and within hearing distance. Again, dismissive. By the way, I have excellent hearing.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Bob Gaydos Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Bob Gaydos is a veteran of 40-plus years in daily newspapers. He began as police reporter with The (Binghamton, N.Y.) Sun-Bulletin, eventually covering government and politics as well as serving as city editor, features editor, sports editor and (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

It’s time to un-dumb America

Look at me, would you believe 'the picture of health'?

Falling in love with squats, sort of

For shame, America, for shame

Alt-Right: A trumped-up label for bigots

On acting my age, whatever that means

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: