If the icy sidewalks don’t kill the elderly, I will.

I am in a mood.  A MOOD, people.  It’s a good thing I am not armed, or have violent tendencies.  And lest we think that this is Daylight Savings Time related, it actually isn’t.  Wait, did you just correct me to say that it’s Daylight SAVING Time, not SAVINGS?  Well, prepare to be stabbed. 

I do hate to generalize a whole group of people, because I’m sure that somewhere out there is a senior citizen who actually is not completely befuddled by the U-Scan at the grocery store, and maybe there is even a retired person who does not complain when there is only one till open at said grocery store, but let me tell you, they do not live in my neighbourhood.  Or, if they do live in my neighbourhood, they don’t shop when I do.

I will say that I have all the time in the world for the teeny little octogenarian who is shaking as she counts out her change to buy her All-Bran and pound of butter.  That may be me one day.  I’m okay with that.  I’m also okay with helping the exeedingly confused old man find where the potatoes are located.  What I am not okay with is the new brand of seniors, the ones who are in their sixties and seventies and who are assholes, swimming in entitlement and without much to keep them occupied.

I wasn’t in the greatest mood while shopping anyway, since at the onset I had a very strange conversation at the strawberry display with regards to the on-sale, but non-organic strawberries in my cart.  I buy a lot of organic produce, but I buy non-organic as well.  I am at peace with what I feed myself and my children, but we live in a society, people.  If something seems offensive coming out of your mouth, then possibly it should be left unsaid.

Anyway, I lined up at the one till that was open, with my cart full of my usual weekly groceries, including organic and regular produce.  There were two people in front of me: a man and a woman, both in their late sixties, I would guess.  A couple – also in their sixties – came up behind me, and, seeing that there were OMG THREE PEOPLE in front of them, they shouted at the cashier.  Is there anyone else working here? they asked.  Upon hearing that the other cashier was on break, all hell broke loose.  First, the couple behind me huffily insisted that they would go to the U-Scan.  Even from my vantage point, I could hear the U-Scan clerk’s frustration at helping them.  No, don’t scan that item.  Put in the PLU code.  No, the first button.  THE FIRST BUTTON.  You need to put your items in the bag.  IN THE BAG.  NO, DON’T SCAN IT AGAIN.  They were still there, attempting to scan their own items when I left the store.  Karma, bitches. 

The second thing that happened when the admittedly slow-moving cashier (whose name is – I kid you not – Adrift) said that the other cashier was on break was that the people in front of me, evidently strangers, started bonding in the way of prisoners everywhere, united against the man.  Oh, the woman said, raising her eyebrows, things certainly have changed.  Times certainly have changed since our day, haven’t they.  The man agreed with her.  This man had only a flat of bottled water, and he said snappishly to the carryout woman – who is herself a senior, but evidently not able to afford to retire since she is working as a carryout at the grocery store – that he needed four more flats of water.  Could she run and fetch them for him?  He could only carry one flat at a time.  THAT’S WHAT CARTS ARE FOR, MOTHERFUCKER.  It occurred to me to say that but I pride myself on practicing patience and compassion, and so I stood their with my ujaiji breathing, focusing on the “Best and Worst Beach Bodies!” magazine in front of me. 

Well, once the carryout woman went to fetch the four flats of water for this overly-entitled man, he and the woman took up complaining again, keeping with the “times have changed” theme.  We didn’t even get a break! the woman said.  You know who else never got a break?  Children working in the Cape Breton coal mines.  Were you one of them?  No?  Then shut the fuck up.  Inhale, exhale.  Inhale peace, exhale happiness.

Well, they sure don’t make it convenient, do they? the man commisserated as the old carryout woman came back with a cartful of flats of water, for this dreadfully inconvenienced man.  And that, dear reader, is when I snapped.  I just couldn’t hear any more.  I have had it with seniors complaining about waiting in line at the grocery store.  I have been pushed far enough.  It’s nine thirty on a Monday morning – what else could you possibly have to do?  Do you need to rush home to watch The Price Is Right?  Maybe you could complain that Bob Barker isn’t on there anymore, or that your favourite soap opera was cancelled.  Maybe you have a busy day of calling in complaints to the city about your neighbours.  I don’t know.  All I know was I could no longer be silent. 

I cleared my throat, and said, very slowly and clearly, Everyone is in a hurry.  But really, what are we in a hurry for?  Five minutes here or there isn’t really going to affect anything, is it?  Is it REALLY?  Then I looked them right in their beady, old eyes, with my eyebrows raised into my hairline and a slightly psychotic smile on my face.  I stared them down; I did.  They both quietly looked away.  Giving someone the “furry eyebrow”, as my children would tell you, works.

I pushed my cart full of bagged groceries past the poor U-Scan clerk still helping the couple figure out how to type in the code for bananas, past a man who clearly should not still have a driver’s license parking his boat of a car in the handicapped space, past a woman who was shaking her head over the courtesy parking for pregnant women (In my day we certainly didn’t get special treatment just for expecting a baby!).  I think the “furry eyebrow” may now be a permanent part of my face.  I had better smile, quickly, lest my face freezes like this.


  1. *applause*

    I’m so glad you said something. I know exactly the type of seniors you are talking about – older baby boomers, mostly – and they are Complete Utter Raging Assholes, the end. I’ve been known to call them on their rude shit, too. Because something else there was (supposedly) more of back in the day was manners, and common courtesy, but they never remember that when they are pissing & moaning about how degenerate everyone under 55 is.

  2. The Baby Boomers are retiring! Woe is us!

    I cannot believe he sent the cashier to get the water. I am speechless.

  3. HA! I <3 you for saying speaking up!

    When my husband was on paternity leave, he innocently went shopping at our usual market on a Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, evidently that is their senior discount day. He all caps texted me that he was never going shopping on Wednesday again even if it meant we would all starve. It was almost two years ago and I think he still suffers PTSD from the assholery on display that day.

  4. I now have a greater appreciation for my town, because there are probably less than 15 people over the age of 65 here. It’s because of the weather, and the healthcare, and the way we frog march them out into the woods and let them die of exposure if they behave poorly. Want me to send you some MLS listings?

  5. You have just made the engineers I deal with seem preferable to seniors. I didn’t think they would be preferable to anybody…… I use the furry eyebrow at work a lot(it does work).

  6. Well that sounds like a lovely, lovely shopping excursion. Just lovely.

  7. Living in Woodlands I know exactly what you are going through!!!
    We are a minority here.

  8. I am not even slightly exaggerating when I say that I TEARED UP when you stepped in. Actual liquid tears in my actual eyes.

    Also, this post contains some masterful wordship (I was going to say “wordmanship,” but I have reached my limit of tolerance for man-oriented praise words). “Started bonding in the way of prisoners everywhere.” “For this dreadfully inconvenienced man.” The entire conversation of how things have changed—I can HEAR THEM.

  9. Yes. YES. No problem with seniors. Seniors like my Dad, who shovels his single-mother neighbour’s driveway and cuts her lawn and would give anyone the shirt off his back? Love ’em. Seniors who spread douchebaggery everywhere they go, act like the world owes them obeisance and then bitch about how inconsiderate YOUNG people are? Well, that ice floe is looking pretty good right about now, isn’t it? *huffy breath*. Thanks Nicole. I needed that.

  10. Gah…I think old people think they get a free pass to act like an asshole because they’re…old and perhaps are living to the tic toc clock of impending death.
    I don’t know…
    Sorry about the trip. I find the best time is going at 9 because those old people achy joints need time to lube up in the morning

  11. I hate going to the grocer store during the day for exactly this reason. And then they write checks! Who writes checks in person anymore?! Better luck next trip!

  12. I’d have been annoyed to. I’d have wanted to start pelting people with the strawberries.

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