Grumpy old man

You have Oscar the Grouch? Who doesn’t like Oscar, the lovable grump who lives in a trash can on Sesame Street. There’s the two critics from The Muppet Show, Statler and Waldorf, best known for their cantankerous opinions and penchant for heckling. 

People of a certain age, remember Archie Bunker from All in the Family. He most certainly ruled the roost and could be obnoxious and hurtful. Archie hated the changing world, but underneath it all he had a heart of gold.

There have been some other great curmudgeons over time, everyone from Oscar Madison from The Odd Couple, Dr. Gregory House from House, Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec. to actors Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau from the movie Grumpy Old Men.

Looking in the mirror

I write all this because, I think I think I’m becoming one. In the past six weeks:

–I’ve whined about the challenges of travel.

–I’ve whined about the weather and snow, complaining when it snows, grumbling when it doesn’t. One minute it’s too hot, another it’s too cold. I’m rarely if ever happy lately with the weather.

–My wife asked about going out for a special dinner. I thought about it for a second, before saying “hey, why don’t we just stay home.” 

But, maybe there’s still hope for me yet. I’ve decided to turn a new corner to start to seek out the positives.

–When my son asked to come home for the weekend, his first weekend trip home since he went off to college in the fall, I didn’t complain or whine. I simply asked when, where, and what I needed to do to make it happen.

–When Valentine’s Day came, I didn’t whine about the silly man-made nature of the day. I wrote my wife a nice card and surprised her with a romantic night out with just the two of us.

–When my wife brought up a particular sensitive “honey-do” project that will require the help of a contractor, I didn’t automatically mention how much it would cost and challenges associated with the project, like I normally do in these types of situations, causing her to shut down and go silent. Instead, I talked about color schemes and how we might broaden the project and how much enjoyment we would get from the improvements. The difference was noticeable, her face lit up with excitement.

I still have a ways to go, to get past some of my curmudgeon ways, it takes time to drop old habits, but I’m slowly getting there. If you don’t watch, I’m going to go from Scrooge or even Eeyore and turn into a lovable Mr. Rogers or Tigger. Just you watch!

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37 thoughts on “Grumpy old man

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    1. I normally share my blogs with my wife in advance, except when one comes to me in the moment and then I just post them. As my luck would have it, she didn’t see this one before I hit publish. I’ll be interested in her reaction. If she agrees with my assessment. Ha, ha. I think she will, because it was a noticeable difference. I wasn’t a grumpy gus when it came to the particulars and the extra costs. I even got into the game. We’ll see. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Deb, she loved it. She wanted to keep going, to talk about a few other projects. Thank goodness work saved me. Ha, ha. No, it was nice to see her face light up. It was like it was Christmas morning. Ha, ha, meanwhile the cash registers were going off in my head, but I kept my mouth shut. Plus, she’s better with that stuff than me anyway. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s great that you choose to keep your wife happy, Brian! I remember watching Archie Bunker, he was a cantankerous guy but the show was always so good. I remember his wife telling the president on the phone how she liked his new vacuum cleaner, the Hoover! I’m 62 and have my grumpy days and I am a bit set in my ways too. You are not alone, Brian. 👍🏻😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yea, I try not to be too set in my ways, want to stay young. I’m not a big “we’ve always done it this way kind of person” either. I’m open to new ideas, I just hate that sometimes I can stuck for no reason. For instance, there’s no reason we shouldn’t look at a couple of the renovations my wife wants to make. It’s time, I’ve just been slow to admit it. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian, I have no doubt I complain about some things I never used to, but I’d just like to attribute that to having gathered so much “valued life experience.” Sounds a lot better than being assigned the title of a grumpy old man. That being said, I am very aware those around me are more than ready to lean into that stereotype of a guy with all-white hair, so I work extra-hard to keep any and all complaints in check…including to Mrs. Chess. Tigger is a worthy goal!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Personal growth! It’s okay to be grumpy sometimes. I think what we get grumpy about changes as we age. So maybe you’re not getting worse, you’re just evolving. You probably don’t get grumpy about some things that used to drive you crazy (as evidenced in your post).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I like that, I’m evolving. Can I used that on my wife next time she calls me a grump? Ha, ha, yea, she’ll call my bluff, but I like the idea. Yes, I agree it’s okay to be grumpy sometimes. I just didn’t like that I was complaining too much, and not seeing the good that exists. I’m getting there. Thanks for the advice.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Although I don’t know the American TV show characters, I vividly remember Sesame Street and The Muppets Show. I don’t think we got Sesame Street over here until my children were growing up. I’m guessing it was out in America long before we got it. I always had a soft spot for the grumpy characters, even though they somewhat resembled my father, who was always a grump.

    I’m glad to hear you’ve turned over a new leaf, Brian. Good for you. I’m sure everyone around you will be very pleased, not that you ever struck me as a curmudgeon in the first place. It’s lovely to hear that your wife is happier with your new changes. I guess I’ve got it easy; whether I am grumpy or joyful only affects Peanut, my cat! Wishing you and your family lots of happiness to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Ellie, thanks for your patience with me. I forget sometimes that WordPress gives me access to a global audience and I’m very thankful for that. I need to watch the references I make because sometimes they might not carry as far. Yes, Oscar the Grouch was a grumpy muppet who lives in a trash can and is always kind of sourpuss. I don’t know that I’ve been a sourpuss, but the story was just a reminder to me to see the good, the positive. If you haven’t figured out, most of my posts tend to be simple reminders to me (and whoever reads my posts) of things I should be thinking about or paying attention to. Ha, ha. And yes, my wife was pretty happy to talk about projects around the house. We have a few that we’ve been putting off and I’ve been the stumbling block. She’s pretty patient with me so I’m thankful. Anyway, have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you laugh too much to be a very good curmudgeon, Brian! But I think LA is right that some of this naturally comes with age – we start to see the pitfalls more easily, perhaps? However, your intentionality of reversing the process is inspiring and fresh! Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, your line about me laughing makes my day Wynne. I have a very loud laugh. I have a good friend who I used to work with who used to joke that she could tell where I was in the building thanks to my laugh. I’m a big believer in humor in all shapes and sizes in helping us get through and overcome challenges. I just didn’t like the past couple of weeks that I wasn’t laughing, seeing the positive in things. That’s all, just little attempt to be more positive . . . and hopefully laugh more too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like you are doing good! I think we all have our days where we can be like Oscar!
    I do like Eeyore, LOL! He isn’t as much grouchy as the poor guy is just so gloomy. You can’t help but like him and want to give him a hug to cheer him up.
    Enjoying your blog., keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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