Thursday, June 24, 2010

To Hell in a Handbasket

It’s official – I am becoming a 21st century version of my parents; looking at popular culture and today’s youth and rolling my eyes, tsk-tsk’ing, and muttering in disgust. The imperatives I was given as a youth have apparently been bypassed as trivial. Maybe they have been replaced by cautions required by more modern and sinister issues, but couldn’t there have been an “and all of the above” clause that covered some of these sensible, old-fashioned, and more genteel lessons?

FLIP FLOPS were meant to wear around the house and to the pool or beach – not everywhere. They aren’t proper protection, they don’t provide healthy support, and they lead to dirty feet. We are raising a generation of young people who are developing hammer toes. (Honest; I read an article about the problem.) Suggest to your college-bound children that they consider podiatry…they’ll make a great living.

I saw a feature on a TV morning show about “What to say when your child wants PLASTIC SURGERY.” Hell no! That’s what you say. As a teenager, you haven’t even grown into your face or body yet. Whatever happened to counseling your children to be confident and appreciative of their uniqueness? You don’t need your nose to look like everyone else’s, or your boobs to look like Pamela Anderson’s. Never mind that that money needs to go into your college fund, kid.

GUM CHEWING should be done discreetly and mostly in the privacy of your own home. Why should I be subjected to the disgusting bovine-like cud-chewing I see every day – everywhere? Vacant stares, open mouths, and snapping sounds that make me want to demand (as my parents did of us), “Chew with your mouth closed”. This is more a female issue than male. Don’t women and girls know it makes them look cheap and mindless? It’s also rude to those in the vicinity. Might as well clip your fingernails in public and pick your nose. Seriously.

BAD GRAMMAR is now consistently making it into popular culture. Your vs. you’re, I vs. me, irregardless (not a word, folks) vs. regardless, their vs. there, then vs. than, and on and on… The fundamental issue is now complicated by the rampant use of texting slang. I understand the appeal of slang; it’s clever and generational. But how will young people effectively switch back and forth when it counts, like for a job with a paycheck. I fully expect to land more and more consulting jobs that involve written communication, since fewer and fewer people can write an educated letter, memo, or report today.

I know that I am becoming a curmudgeon, but I think it came with my AARP membership. I’m entitled to my opinion that we’re going to Hell in a handbasket, one rude, stupid, crass, self-centered step at a time.

What's your curmudgeonly complaint?


  1. As the song title from "Chicago" asks, "Whatever happened to Class?" I couldn't agree with you more - on every topic. I guess that makes me a curmudgeon too. But I haven't joined AARP yet - I refuse to admit I'm OLD!!!

  2. RE: AARP - I'm not above cashing in on the discounts. I got a great deal on my auto insurance through AARP.