It happens to the best of us.

Dear Internet,

If you get to a certain point where you are no longer a child or even a young adult and you happen to have living parents you may notice one thing:

Your parents are not only getting older (after all, we all are) but they could very well become Old People. Not people who are old, but Old People. I mention this as a public service that others may recognize the warning signs while there is still time.

In sharp contradistinction to people who are merely old (even if very old) and which signs are wrinkles, greying/disappearing hair, arthritis, etc. Old People display traits which have nothing to do -- whatsoever -- with aging. There are Old People barely into their 50s, and people who are 90+ who exhibit no symptoms. The first warning sign, to which you must be ever alert is the hoarding of perfectly ridiculous items.

My father, Joke II, has taken to hoard "golf pencils." Why he feels compelled to have (wait, let me count) 16 stubby little pencils with no self-contained capacity for erasing is beyond me. My mother has bales, and I mean bales, of sugar-free sweetener packets. Mind you her pancreas lays waste to any field of sugar cane within a 100ft. radius just by scowling at it, and none of her friends would require such a sweetener. Still, she squirrels the stuff away. I mention this, because I just jettisoned almost all of the aforementioned and it magically resprouts, like mushrooms.

If you have loved ones whom you suspect that, through no fault of their own, might be turning into Old People, please be on the lookout for this symptom. Don't wait until someone you love starts riding public transportation recreationally* just "because it's free."

-J.

* That is, just for fun and not to actually go anywhere.

Comments

Stomper Girl said…
But you NEVER KNOW when you might need to write something down in an emergency and then you will wish you had a golf pencil!!


I'd never even heard of a "golf pencil" before I visited here.
Lucky (or maybe not so) for me I'm still trying to keep up with my parents. My mom and her 4th hubby to be are ballroom dancing and my dad is single and sailing around the Puget Sound with girlfriends and chaps half his age...when I become as active as my parents, I guess THAT is old in my family...
Joke said…
SG,

It's that de-rubbered, eraser-free pencil you get when you play golf so you can't erase your score.

Trig,

Your parents may be old people, but they are not Old People. That's very, very good!

-J.
Joke said…
P.S. I can understand having one or two such pencils. Maybe even 5.

But...16?!?!
CHICKLETTE said…
OK, does the hoarding of used aluminum foil and used cool whip bowls count?
Yeah this is my poor mother-in-law.
BabelBabe said…
chicklette - did she grow up during the depression? My mom did, and did the exact same sort of saving. Made me NUTS.

Joke, until they start wearing elastic waist pants, you may be safe yet....
crafty said…
Thankyou for explaining what a golf pencil is.
meggie said…
A Golf Pencil sounds a bit like the Keno pencils here. They are short little things provided free at the Clubs so you can fill out your betting slips.
I was waiting to see if we are Old People yet, but I dont think we are, thank goodness.
Kim said…
I went to school with Old People.
And uni.
Have worked with them too.
Absolute nutbags.

I am fond of referring to them as those who will ultimately see the kaftan as a perfectly good clothing choice to wear to Woollies, preferably with a big brimmed floppy hat, smacking their gums grumbling about the price of a loaf of bread. White. Sliced. Bread.
But the riding the bus simply because it's free is even better.
Joke said…
Meggie,

That is a relief indeed. Just to be safe, keep your eyes peeled for GOM starting to accumulate anything useless, such as string, rubber bands...that sort of stuff.

However, if someone is already up to dressing in an utterly pattern-blind manner, you may be too late.

-J.
Caro said…
Mine and husband's parents have become old people. It seemingly happened overnight.

My mother hoards clothes that I wore in the 80's. I think she has some stuff from the 70's too. Every closet in her house is full.

Then there are the mannerisms they all have, the slow walking, the slow driving, the health issues.

In another five years I will get the joy of being a sandwich generation member. I can barely wait.
Joke said…
The slow driving/walking and the health issues are par for the course. The hoarding clothes from 35+ years ago? That's priceless.

Advice: Raid the closet and go eBaying.

-J.
h&b said…
I don't like old people. They kinda freak me out.

And who are all these people who don't know what golf pencils are ?
No imagination.

We have about 16, because they're always in my husbands work pants when I do the wash, and then I give them to the boy to put with the rest of his pencils. Not that he uses them, being boring ol' grey and all that.

I try and sneak all the tees into the bin though. They breed.
normanack said…
When my hubby traveled 1,100 miles to empty out his parents' house, he rented a truck to bring all the stuff to our home so we could keep the treasure trove of worn-out towels and 30-year-old winter coats going.

We can no longer park in our garage.

Therefore, my husband is an Old Person.
My float said…
Golf pencils are like Ikea pencils, no?

My 90 year old grandmother? Definitely not an Old Person.

But my parents? They RE-USE TEA BAGS. Over and over and over again. Blergh. I throw them out when I go over, just for fun.
My float said…
BTW, by rights your father is Joke and you are Joke II.

Or, actually, if I remember rightly, your father is Joke II and you are Joke III.

Not that I'm splitting hairs or anything. It's your blog. You want to publish misleading information, go right ahead.

Wait.

Unless of course, your dad has a blog. Then of course he can be Joke II. (But only if he started blogging AFTER you.)

Hey, listen to me. Plumb crazy and it's not even the middle of the night!
Lazy cow said…
Golf pencils, a multitude. Check.
Golf tees, in many varying colours, check.
Tracksuit pants worn with regular black lace up shoes, to visit the TAB/bookmaker. Check.
Yes, my husband is definitely and Old Person, and he's younger than me!
BUT he can operate a dough hook on the KitchenAid with aplomb and his bread and pizzas - yum. And his favourite chef is Gordon Ramsey. So not so bad.

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