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The struggle between “us” and “them” is most pronounced across generations. The disparity between the behaviors of the young and the old is particularly evident, and both sides openly acknowledge a lack of understanding for each other that should ideally be bridged.
The peculiarities of the elderly continue to present a perplexing challenge, leaving the younger generation bewildered. Here are some examples of behaviors exhibited by the elderly that still confound the younger generation, as an online discussion revealed.
1. Delighting in Sharing News
No one loves to be the bearer of news more than an elderly person, as one online user found out. It doesn’t matter if the news is bad; it seems to delight them to be the first to break it.
They contribute, “I’m a window cleaner and have a lot of elderly customers. Over the years, I’ve found they LOVE to be the first ones to tell me one of the neighbors has died. To the point where if I say, ‘yeah, Thelma already let me know,’ they look genuinely disappointed and annoyed that they weren’t the one to break the news to me.”
2. A Little Gossip Is Good For The Soul
Another user noted that elderly people seem to love gossiping a little too much and will search for anything they can find out about the community and pass it on.
They narrate, “My dad is a baby boomer, and he literally walks around the neighborhood, daily, to find out new information from the neighbors so he can come to tell my mom; he’s so proud that he knows new info he can share.”
3. They Love People Over Things
Today’s world, with the corporate rat race and numerous screens, has rendered people anti-social and self-centered. The young are perplexed that older generations actually want to have conversations, even with strangers, instead of staring at videos on their phones.
One online user says, “My take on it (I’m not old enough) is that what old people value (most of them) is no longer money or adventure, they love comfort and people. Like it’s their last chance to connect, to interact, to feel. Money and anything else stays here, but perhaps memories and feelings not.”
4. The Ability to Do Nothing Very Well
The younger generation seems to be running late for something all the time. There’s always something to be done, and just not enough time. The older generation has time to do nothing, and they seem to do it very well and with no urgency.
One Brazilian Redditor shares, “In my country (Brazil), old people sit in front of their houses and do absolutely nothing for hours, just watching people and cars go by. This is more common for lower social class; for instance, my grandma and her friends gather every day at someone’s door and just sit there until the night comes (they are retired).”
5. Their “Old People Music”
Some songs just seem to be a favorite of the old, and no matter how hard the young try, they just can’t seem to stand it—until they get old, too.
One online contributor says, “There is this weird type of traditional Vietnamese music my parents said that only old people like, and they could not stand it either. A decade later, and apparently, they enjoy it. I await my turn in fear.”
6. Obsession With Watching News
Nothing separates an old person from their news, not even dementia. They love to know what’s happening around the world, even if it affects them in no way, and the younger generation doesn’t understand why.
An online user says, “My dad watches the news all the time and I can’t stand it because all [it] does is make him mad.”
Someone else narrates, “My wife’s grandmother was in long-term memory care for several years before her death. Towards the end, she didn’t know what day it was or if it was morning or evening, but she watched CNN 24 hours a day and would lose her sh** if somebody changed the channel because she wanted “to know what was going on.””
7. Telling Everyone Their Ailments
Bodily ailments are personal but not for the old. The body will automatically suffer a few blows as we grow older, and older people seem perfectly OK with letting anyone and everyone know the latest ailment or disorder that they’re experiencing.
One user says, “My MIL suffers from a “paper thin va***a”. The rest of us suffer from hearing about it.”
One user says old pay will always be “Telling anyone who will listen about their various ailments. Look, I’m 57, so I’m ancient by Reddit standards. But I vowed early on that I [will] not become one of these over-sharing old people.”
We’ll wait and see, Richard.
8. Ointments Are An Absolute Necessity
Young people see older people with ointments all the time, and it doesn’t make sense to them. One user found out soon enough why their grandparents always had some ointment at home.
They share, “Asian kid growing up with grandparents using Eagle Brand green ointment like it’s cologne. Never understood it. Now that I’m older, every muscle hurts after hitting 30!! And I’m using the ointment like it’s holy water!”
9. Complaining About Everything
It looks like as we grow older, our patience thins out alongside the hairline and the skin. Older people love to complain about everything, as one user found out.
They say older generations will be complaining about “loud explosions” even on a celebratory day like the Fourth of July.
Someone adds, “We literally had this one yesterday, only it was thunder. It was f****g thunder.”
10. Their Love For Fine China
The older generations’ love for fine China is like a religion; there’s a belief that every house needs fine China, and it should be protected at all costs. The problem is that the younger generation doesn’t care very much for fine China, which sometimes causes conflict.
Someone says, “I find this so strange. My grandmother, her sisters, and even my mom to an extent act like this [fine china] is a necessity for your home. It almost didn’t compute for them when I got married and insisted I didn’t need china as a gift.”
11. Reluctance to New Gadgets
Electronic gadgets, especially phones and computers, are evolving daily, but some older people have a deep resistance to the new toys on the market. Most will argue that the gadgets are complicated without even trying them first.
A Redditor says, “My mom still can’t use a smartphone or a computer and keeps getting scammed. She says it’s cause she isn’t a nerd and didn’t grow up with them. I told her the personal computer has now been around for about forty years. Doesn’t matter.”
12. Little Personal Space
Old people don’t seem to care much for personal space and will kiss and coo at strangers’ babies and rub pregnant ladies’ bellies. The younger people frown upon this intrusion into people’s personal space.
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