Monday, December 1, 2008

The Sweet Old Man

I'm in no hurry.

Waiting for you, Mr. REALLY OLD MAN, to cross the parking lot aisle to get to your car.

I see your elderly wife putting the groceries in the trunk of your car, as you slowly limp across the way. Or is that your daughter? You little devil.

You are so cute as I watch you walk so painfully slow. The car behind me honks, as I turn and give them the stink eye. I'm not worried about the fact that you are now slowly walking down the middle of the aisle.

How rude people can be, don't you think? Can't they see this very sweet elderly man taking his sweet time getting to his car? He can't help it if he moves incredibly slow. He's elderly and has lived an entire full lifetime. He's earned the right to move slow.

I find myself smiling, wondering what stories this man could tell me, as he is still walking in front of my car. He's not quite cut that angle to get out of the way, and I actually don't care.

I wonder if he's fought in a war? Or how many? Is that really your wife? (Really, she does look a little young for you.)

As my mind continues to wander, he finally cuts that angle and slowly waddles over to the direction of his car. Your female companion has finished with the few groceries she had. I smile as I think how they will go home and share some conversation over a game of chess or scrabble.

I realized...this man could be my Grandpa. This is why I could reach out and HUG him. So many things about his frame, and his age, that made me think of him.

My mind wanders off to fine memories about Grandpa and I find myself getting all warm and fuzzy.

Then I notice that this sweet man is reaching into his pocket. His hunched frame slowly waddles across the aisle, not quite clear of my small car yet. "What's he getting?" I think to myself.

HOLY CRAP!!

I realized that this old man is getting the dang keys to the car? His female companion/daughter/wife is now in the passenger seat and this man is walking towards the driver's door.

WTF?!?

This man couldn't even move with enough agility to button his own pants and now he's going to DRIVE?!?!?!????????????

S-C-R-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-C-H!!

Any fond walks down memory lane were quickly met with a halt.

Get me out of this dang parking lot before this man can turn the key!!!

Crisis averted... for now.

Whew!!

18 comments:

phd in yogurtry said...

It's scary, isn't it? But apparently, or from what I understand, the very old get in fewer accidents than teen drivers. Those are the ones that should make us stay parked in the garage.

Kathy said...

I always cringe a little when I see the elderly drive. My first thought is "someone should take away their keys," but it makes me wonder how easy it'll be for me to give them up when I'm that age.

So I just pray that they don't have an accident on their way home. And phd is right. They do have less accidents. That's some consolation.

wrekehavoc said...

heh. it is scary, and yet i wonder how many of the elderly have no other choice than to drive...

i remember one day, i stopped at the supermarket to get a quart of milk. i left one of my best friends in my car, as i was only going to be a second. i came out to a crowd of people looking at my car. not a good sign. my friend was hysterical. apparently, an older lady tried to park beside my car. she hit it, pulled out to try again, and hit my car again. and a third time. all the while, my friend in the car was apparently screaming her head off.

she had just gone home to fetch her wallet, which she had forgotten to bring with her to buy her groceries.

several people volunteered to wait for the police, as they saw it all go down. i was shocked.

yeah, i felt sorry for her, too, until she pulled out some southern charm on the police officer. "but offisuh," she said, honey dripping from her 80+ tongue as she pointed at me, "she was pahked on the lahn."

G-d bless the officer. "ma'am," he said in the most respectful tone ever, as i was quietly having a near-stroke, "it doesn't matter. she could be over the line, and you still don't have the right to hit her car."

ugh. so conflicted about the elderly driving.

BeeDancer said...

Welcome to South Florida Grandy! Imagine whole towns full of drivers like that...we've got 'em here

Joyce-Anne said...

Oy! Elderly drivers scare me and as a matter of fact, teenage drivers scare me too--oh well, I guess I'll have to avoid them all.

Michele said...

Gotta love grandpa! But it was an elderly man like that driving one year who caused me to total my car. Yep, I was doing 60 or so down the highway and he was sitting there with his blinker on. Well, you'd have thought he'd have waited until I passed before he turned across the lane to go down that road. BUT NO, he waited until I GOT RIGHT THERE and then he creeped and crawled and SLOWLY PRETTY MUCH STOPPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! It was either hit him OR A SEMI HEAD ON! Oh, the joy of choices....

:-|

LOVED this post, by the way. You drama queen, you!

*smiles and hugs*
Michele

Momisodes said...

Oy. Elderly drivers scare me. I'm just glad they usually drive SLOW on the freeways.

Mike said...

That was funny. I'm in the process of teaching my youngest daughter to drive. We avoid the older drives like the plague...

EastCoastLife said...

It's scary but the elderly need to go out of their houses occasionally too for fresh air. This man probably doesn't have children so he has to continue driving or else he might starve. :P

In Singapore, it is expensive to own a car. Our elderly have to take the public transport and they have difficulty climbing up and down the overhead bridges or the steps of the buses.

I would prefer to drive if I'm that old.

storyteller said...

You drew me into your experience and the end was a bit startling. It's hard not to jump to conclusions in such an instance, but it is quite possible that the elderly gentleman has all of his mental faculties and perhaps good reactions too ... but that arthritis or some other physical ailment is robbing him of his agility and mobility. My BIL can barely get around, but he's as good a driver as he's always been.

Simply Elegant Girl said...

I have an award for you on my blog.

Simply Elegant Girl

XUP said...

Damn those old people who won't give up the steering wheel until you prise it from their cold, dead hands. Old ladies have been killing people in bus shelters around here lately. If they can have a beginning of driving license, why can't they have an end of driving moratorium or something?

Byter said...

They're scary. I met an old lady before who drive her sedan like a pro-circuit driver. I makes my hair stand.

Extra Bytes|Popcorns and Opinions|Byterology

Grandy said...

PHD~ Not so sure I trust your statistics oh lady of cultured cream. ;)

Kathy~ I work in claims for a living...it's frightening the similarities.

Wreke~ I've had to do that.
Insured - But they were parked illegally!!
Me - But they were still just parked. It doesn't give you the right to HIT them.

BeeDancer~ Hey no fair! I went to Florida and didn't see Disneyworld??

Grandy said...

Joyce-Anne~ Oy is RIGHT!!

Michele~ I know it may not seem like it but you made the right choice. UGH!! Tough choices! Drama queen?? ;)

Sandy~ Not necessarily any safer that way.

Mike~ I don't think I will survive drivers' ed with my son.

ECL~ Good to see ya lady! It's been a while! I think climbing the steps would be tough on them...it would be tough on me!

Michele said...

Not in a bad way - the drama queen thing - just meant that your posts are always filled with such excitement that it keeps your readers hanging on for dear life 'till the very last word. (Maybe I shouldn't have used "drama queen" but you know what I mean!)

*smiles and hugs*
Michele

Grandy said...

Storyteller~ My ending was abrupt because that was how sharp it was for me. Sorry if I startled you.

Elegant One~ I have an award? I'll have to go check it out! Thanks for stopping by!! You've dropped your EC before but I do believe this might be your first comment. :D

XUP~ If I make it that long, I hope I can afford a driver, or that they will have invented cars that will do all the driving for you. You know, plug in the address and it takes you there. GPS on steroids. :)

Byter~ Ooohhh...I know a few women like that!! Teeheee...I'm guessing I might make one's hair stand on end too. Thanks for stopping by!

Grandy said...

Michele~ No worries girlfriend! I was totally teasing. I knew what you meant. ;) I'm thrilled you stopped by and didn't even realize you subscribe to the comments! Right on! I often wonder if people even know I talk back to them.