Nothing’s really wrong, but I’ve got a bad case of the middle-aged, mid-week grouchies. And I need to vent. Read on. You might just relate. You might get a chuckle. At the very least, as my delightful 92-year-old second cousin Marvin used to say, “It couldn’t hurt.”
1. “My Boo”
Hipster slang for boyfriend or girlfriend
Come on, people. If you care about somebody, spit it out. Proclaim loudly, “I’ve got a boyfriend.” “Everybody, this is my girlfriend.”
But, “Hey, this is my ‘boo.'” ??? Who are you dating? Casper the Friendly Ghost? Barney Rubble?
The term appears to derive from the French beau, meaning lover, but “boo” makes me boo-hoo.
Recently Democratic Presidential candidate Cory Booker used the term, and I cried a little inside. On “The Breakfast Club” radio show, program host Charlamagne the God (I kid you not), asked Booker about his personal life.
Booker: “I’m dating somebody really special.”
Charlamagne: “Oh! So Cory Booker got a boo?”
Booker, laughing: “I, I got a boo.”
Personally, I like Cory Booker, but now I worry. If cornered by the Russians or the Chinese, and they say, “Boo,” What will he say or do?
2. “Congratulations. You Just Solved a New York Times Mini Crossword Puzzle!”
I don’t mind getting this message when I solve a NYT mini puzzle. It’s usually easy, meant to be finished in just a minute or two. It’s a nice way to end the day.
That said, failure to do so is a real bummer. Forced to hit the reveal/help button makes me feel like a real loser, especially when the “congrats” message appears before showing the complete puzzle. Why doesn’t a more accurate message appear, like, “Here you go, you big fat cheater-loser!” I may be inept, but I come to it honestly!
3. “Are You Still Writing?”
If you want to make my blood to boil, ask me that question. I’ve got a couple of (distant) family members who ask on our periodic phone calls. It is belittling to have them ignore how hard I work. Wordsmiths, like blacksmiths, work by the sweat of their brow and brain!
4. The Cashiers That Don’t!
Supermarket cashiers frequently make me smile, but some do not especially those who:
🛒 Don’t say “hello.” Hello, civility. Hello, customer service. (And, yes, I always say, “Hello.”)
🛒 Talk to fellow workers about their weekend plans while ringing up my groceries. “Hello. Please watch the prices. Mistakes do happen.”
🛒 Bag my groceries as if a linebacker, instead of a little old lady (me) is going to haul them in and out of the car!
When the word is used as a positive adjective, as in “Kate Hudson looks ‘freaking awesome.'” Maddening!
Gossip magazines are especially guilty of this freaking (used correctly, in the negative) trend. It literally drives me crazy. (Of course, overuse of the word “literally” drives me crazy too.)
Now, I understand my opinion on this is controversial. It may alienate me from several friends, but I don’t think adults over the age of 38 should write LOL. It’s a young person’s thing.
We of a certain age suffered through grammar classes where we were force-fed literary terms including onomatopoeia – words formed from the sound associated with what is named. At the time, I deeply resented having my free expression controlled by “The Man,” but I admit becoming literate has served me well as a writer and as a human being.
Of course, many of the skills I acquired then are obsolete in today’s Twitter/Instagram world, BUT if we middle-agers bring back onomatopoeia AND tee hee, ha-ha, giggle and guffaw our way through texts, tweets, and emails, perhaps we can retake the literary landscape.
7. And the Biggest of My Middle-Aged Grouchies …
… The constant avalanche of negative stories about aging that bombard us. Just the other day I scanned this mirthless storm of oy vey and oh no headlines:
“Congress Looks to Abuse in Nursing Homes”
“The Latest Theories in Alzheimer’s Research”
“When Going Digital Makes Health Care Harder”
“Coming to Terms with My Turkey Neck”
“Obituary Writing 101” (OK. This one, I admit, sounds helpful. I ‘m going to read it.)
I’m not saying getting older is a joyride, but honestly, as with any age, there’s good and bad. But like they say, “laughter is – still – the best medicine.”That’s why I write this column to add a little sugar to help the aging medicine go down!
Whew! (Onomatopoeia, thank you very much!) So, having vented my petty and silly gripes – and hopefully, given you a chuckle or two along the way, I’ve cured my own case of the mid-week, middle-aged grouchies. Now, onward with the day-to-day business of Muddling through Middle Age! Thanks for listening!
And a personal note: Thank you to the many middle-aged muddlers who emailed asking why there wasn’t a blog post last week. I had a “good” excuse – I was in the hospital with pneumonia. I’m home now and on the mend. Thank you for asking and caring. Like I said, onward!