I have always thought of myself as quite open-minded, tolerant of other people's opinions and sympathetic to the other guy's point of view. My father taught me that there are two sides to every question, that disagreeing with a person does not mean being disagreeable. Live and let live and so on.
Ha! As I grow older, I find that I am not as open-minded as I thought, or as tolerant of other people's views, and that people who disagree are indeed disagreeable. In fact, I am becoming quite crochety. A female Andy Rooney!
The recent lack of dialogue in Congress certainly illustrates my point. I remember a day when opposing sides could sit down and, with some measure of compromise and common sense, work out knotty problems of policy and principle, each side giving a little, but both sides aiming for the common goal of the good of the country. What has happened to that great institution that its members act like a bunch of spoiled children fighting over who gets to be "it"?
Small things like TV and magazine ads still set me off. Have you seen the ads for "Senior Retirement Communities"? Most of the people look young enough to be my grandchildren. How happy they are! Off to the tennis courts, the swimming pools, the golf courses! Laughing over an afternoon cocktail with the other tanned and sexy members of this exclusive country-club society! The gleaming teeth, the shining silvery hair, the smooth sun-browned skin (no naturally brown skin here). Ah, the Golden Years! Just one thing missing...where are the walkers, the wheelchairs, the canes? Where is the often-present emergency vehicle, called to help someone in trouble? What have they done with the wrinkled ones, the bent ones, the bald or gray-headed ones? If you believe the ads, these communities are inhabited solely by the fit and healthy, but I have lived in a couple of "senior" developments and I know that such is not the case. I know that a greater proportion of the inhabitants are more likely to be gathered around the bridge table than the tennis court and are much more apt to be riding around the premises in their electric carts than rollicking around the golf course. Not to say, of course, that everyone is disabled or too feeble to wield a tennis racket. Just that there is a mix of people and a majority of them are not candidates for the Health Club Poster of the Year.
If anyone reads my blogs they are familiar with these rants. I am well aware of the larger issues of the day and that there more important things to get one's panties in a twist about than misleading advertisements, but sometimes these problems are so overwhelming that at this stage in my life I just prefer to peck away at the petty annoyances. I am beginning to understand Andy Rooney better than I used to, when I sometimes considered him just a tiresome complainer. It is a satisfying way to deal with some of the frustrations of modern life without harming anyone!