When the Hell Did This Happen?

Hi. My name is MaryAnn, and I’m a curmudgeon. Don’t know how it happened. Don’t know when it happened, but it most certainly has happened. I’ve done worse than turn into my parents. I’ve turned into the scary old lady who lives down the alley.

I have long suspected something like this was happening. There were warning signs: The glares at bicyclists who don’t bother stopping at all-way stops, the annoyance at car radios blasting music I don’t listen to, the absolute hatred I feel for people who are able to both walk and text. At the same time.

But it really hit home a week or so ago one evening after aqua aerobics. The swimming pool and rec center were being overrun by youngish parents and their hellions…uh, children…for an end-of-season softball celebration.

The women’s dressing room was filled with mothers and their old-enough-to-dress-themselves sons getting ready for the pool. Uncomfortable to say the least. And the space in the rec center between the locker room and the way out was filled with screaming children, running around and into people children, runny-nosed booger-eating children and their oblivious parents.

What the hell is wrong with people? Don’t they teach their kids how to behave in public anymore? Has this become acceptable public behavior? Am I really living in the dark ages of parental control?

It’s you, my friend Angi tells me. You’re a curmudgeon.

Takes one to know one, I wittily reply.

Yup, she agrees, as we weave our way through careening kids out to the parking lot and get safely locked into the car.

It’s really happened then? I ask. We’re curmudgeons?

Yup, she says again. Wine on the patio later?

Got anything stronger? I hear myself whining.

She smiles at me, silently telling me that it’s okay to be a curmudgeon. Margaritas? She asks.

Margaritas, I agree. And whine on the patio.


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