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Affronts to Old People #10 – Being Treated like a Moron, a Baby or a Household Pet

Earlier this week I attended my Doctor’s office to have him take a gander at my latest mole.

Visiting Dr. Shand for a mole check is a regular event for me and generally makes for a decent afternoon outing. His waiting room is tastefully appointed, well populated with infirm seniors and has a fine selection of magazines from the 1950s. Throw in some wine and cheese and it would be a damned decent cocktail party.

In fact, the only drawback to a visit with Doctor Shand is his receptionist, Doris.

I don’t care for generalizations but young people tend to fall into one of two categories – those that are terrified of seniors and avoid them at all costs and those that treat old people like damned babies and fawn all over them. While I can tolerate the former, Doris is a prime example of the type of pandering nincompoop that falls firmly in the second group – and who really chap my ass.

From the moment I enter the office Doris is all over me – yanking the coat off my back, calling me “sweetie”, asking if I have a “boo boo” and generally treating me like some feckless 5-year old who’s lodged a handful of coins up his nose and can’t get them out. It’s demeaning and humiliating – especially coming from some dimwitted young person whose primary responsibility is to refrigerate urine samples.

I don’t know why it is but it seems that as soon as you hit eighty, people give up any pretence of treating you as an equal and start speaking to you in combination of gibberish and baby talk as though you’re some wildly incompetent, overgrown toddler. Honestly, you half expect them to whip out a breast and offer you lunch for Christ’s sake.

They stick their damned foolish heads 6 inches away from you, grin like a complete idiot and then – assuming you’re deaf as a post – proceed to scream in your face at the top of their lungs. Well, it may come as a surprise but not all old people are hard of hearing. In fact, very few of us are. Most are just fed up with listening to idiotic young people and have decided to tune them the Hell out.

And if the baby talk and yelling weren’t bad enough, the Doris’s of the world always feel the need to put their hands all over me as well – pinching my damned cheeks, patting me on the head, rubbing my “tummy.” I’m an old man for Christ’s sake, not the Buddha. If you feel compelled to molest something go buy yourself a cat and leave decent God-fearing old people alone.

Look, I understand that in most cases these people are just trying to be helpful but treating an 80-year old man like a child or a household pet is insulting, degrading and damned presumptuous.

So do me a favour. The next time you want to be “helpful” why don’t you show me some respect and assume I have all my faculties intact until I prove you wrong. If you’re lucky, I may just extend the same courtesy to you.

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117 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:08 am

    You never said if Doris is good looking or not. You could take advantage of the situation by asking assistance to some Depends changing. You never know what could develop.

    • 12:26 am

      Many thanks Tricia,

      First off, I’m not looking for any seedy liaisons with baby-talking, urine-collecting nincompoops. I wouldn’t care if she looked like a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth.

      Secondly, she doesn’t look like a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth. If anything thing she looks like a cross between Spencer Tracy and Ernest Borgnine. (More Borgnine than Tracy actually). She has a face like an old boot and the upper body of a professional linebacker. Her forearms are thicker than my legs. Apparently she used to drive a Snapple Truck and has a fairly sordid past.

      And finally, I sure as Hell don’t need diapers and if she requires assistance in that area, she can find some other “sweetie” to give her a hand. I’m not interested.

      Nice to see you Tricia, I hope you are keeping well.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • 2:48 am

        omigosh!! doris got out of the snapple truck-driving game and went into the medical field? :shock: good lord, i hope she washed her hands!

      • 8:26 am

        I never thought I’d hear about Doris again. she pops up in the most unlikely places!

      • 8:58 pm

        Ernest Borginine…!!!

        Good Lord! Now I’m going to have nightmares!

  2. 12:09 am

    That Shand family is certainly packed with overachievers. Doesn’t Dr. Shand have a brother who’s a lawyer?

    I’ll be back later with something more insightful…

    • 12:32 am

      Many thanks CLT.

      Wish I could make the same promise…

      And, yes, the Shand family is quite well known around these parts. Doctors, lawyers, accountants – you name it and they have one of their offspring offering the service. Decent folks for the most part. They just have an unfortunate habit of naming their lads “Skippy.”

      All the best,

      Don

  3. The Celtic Queen permalink
    12:12 am

    Don what can I say except that you’re absolutely right. My mother had to go to the local council and my daughter went along with her as she’s not that good at getting up about anymore. It was a minor thing about getting a new bin as the other one got mangled under a truck. The lady behind the council kept directing all the questions to my daughter and even asked her to sign for the damned thing . Well mother nearly exploded and went for the jugular. She like you commands respect. She’s not dead yet and until such times will ask for, seek out and sign for whatever she has too. I don’t even get to talk to her in any way that she finds condescending. I certainly don’t mean to but there are times when I get told off too like I’m 5 years old. She’s 83 and still the school teacher. Perhaps that has something to do with it.

    • 12:38 am

      Many thanks Celtic Queen.

      That’s just the type of demeaning interaction I’m referring too. It drives me round the bend. In my view, going for the jugular is an entirely appropriate reaction and your mother is justified in doing so.

      More power to her.

      All the best,

      Don

  4. 12:17 am

    You should ask Doris for some of her milk. If she’s going to treat you like a baby, go all out. Sit on her lap and wet your pants. She will soon stop treating you like a baby.

    • 12:50 am

      Many thanks Ahmnodt,

      That’s a damned disturbing image, lad, I don’t mind telling you. Me sitting on her knee? We’d look like some particularly disturbing ventriloquist act.

      While my current plan of repeatedly saying “stop treating me like a damned baby” doesn’t seem to be getting any results, I think I’ll give your suggestion a pass.

      All the best,

      Don

      p.s. I can see that this breast milk reference of mine is going to end up causing me some measure of grief.

  5. cupcakeswithfish permalink
    12:20 am

    Amen! The same scenario plays out in restaurants. I’m tired of waiters and waitresses asking me what my 83 year old mother would like to eat. Last week I reached my tipping point and snarled, “I don’t know why don’t you ask her?!”

    • 1:09 am

      Many thanks cupcakeswithfish,

      You’re damned right – restuarants are no better. Fortunately, all of my relatives under 70 tend to leave me alone so I don’t have to endure waiters asking them to speak on my behalf. Still, I see it often enough in others.

      Many thanks for visiting,

      Don

  6. Laura permalink
    12:25 am

    Wait! You’re 80? And.. you breastfeed? I’ve obviously not been paying enough attention.

    • 1:14 am

      Thank you Laura,

      It’s an important part of bonding. Plus I find enfalac too tangy.

      All the best,

      Don

  7. 12:30 am

    Mr. Mills, as always, you speak the truth.

    I wonder, however, about Doris. She fondles you, touches you, and is possibly ready to whip out a breast? As an intelligent oldeer man, sounds like you may be able to have some fun.

    • 1:20 am

      Many thanks bmj2k,

      I’ll point you to my reply to Tricia and its description of Doris the receptionist.

      I trust that after reading it you’ll agree that Doris “whipping out a breast” could result in any number of unseemly outcomes – but that “fun” would not be one of them.

      Best regards,

      Don

  8. 12:47 am

    Hmm, Mr Mills, maybe she knows more than you realize. How big are your moles? I’m just saying!

    • 1:26 am

      Many thanks Frigginloon,

      Nice to get a “breast-free” comment and I appreciate your interest in my moles. They are unremarkable in size but if you use a pen and connect them all I’m told my back appears to resemble a relief map of Peru.

      Dr. Shand was quite fascinated.

      All the best and thanks for visiting,

      Don

  9. 12:58 am

    Ogden Nash:
    When the senior citizens are sitting around projecting the image of a well adjusted social group,
    The old men will rise up and knock them for a loop.

    Nuff said.

  10. 1:06 am

    Doris?!?!?!?!

    How young can she really be? There hasn’t been a child named “Doris” in the last 50 years.

    • 1:38 am

      Thank you morethananelectrician,

      I suspect there may have been one or “Doris” hatched sometime over the past 50 years but you’d know better than I. I try not to get introduced to anyone under the age of 65.

      And her name may be Donna or Dorothy or Horace or Delia or Dorcus or something along those lines. I’m hard of hearing and her name tag is almost indecipherable. She sure looks like a Doris, though.

      I have no idea how old she is. Somewhere between 18 and 50 is about as specific as I get when it comes to guessing a woman’s age. Regardless, she’s a damned young person and an infuriating one at that.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      All the best,

      Don

    • 8:34 am

      I beg to differ Mr Morethananelectrician. I work with a lovely young Chinese girl who calls herself Doris. I have a suspicion that Asian immigrants to our country have access to a 1940s baby names book and that’s where they select their English names. Doris is really Hae Jung which rolls off the tongue beautifully, but she said she wanted the same name as “a popular blonde actress”

  11. 1:19 am

    Dear Don,

    Your post indicates that it would not matter much if Doris is drop dead gorgeous because she is utterly devoid of common sense. Cheer up Don, one must look at the bright side of it all. Try to envision your next visit with Dr. Shand and Roger the receptionist (20 something receptionist that is 6′ 4 male, 240 lb male) greets you instead. Surprisingly, he behaves exactly like Doris.

    Clearly, things can always be worse. Thank you once again for another discerning post about the young ones. It’s good to know that we are not alone and that there are others who feel the same way.

    Kindest regards,
    mcnorman

    • 1:47 am

      Many thanks mcnorman,

      And thank you for understanding the origin of my distaste for Doris. Her behavior is an affront to me and every other senior that enters the office. Her looks (or lack thereof) have no bearing whatsoever on the fact that I can’t tolerate her patting me on the head or calling me “sweetie.”

      And to be honest, I’ve encountered my share of “Rogers” too. They tend to be less effusive and slightly more dismissive but the condescending attitude is more or less the same.

      Many thank for the comment, mcnorman. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Best regards,

      Don

  12. momromp permalink
    1:53 am

    I really hate when people point out an old person and say how “cute” he or she is. First, I don’t know many old people who are physically cute, frankly (I’m sure you are an exception, sir). Second, I agree with you…only the following should be pointed out publicly for their exceptional cuteness: kittens, puppies, some toddlers and babies, and maybe hamsters (if you’re the kind who find rodents cute).

    • 2:52 am

      Many thanks momromp,

      A very sensible comment. Old people are many things but I share your assessment that we are not cute. There may be a few notable exceptions but I can assure you that I am not one of them.

      Personally, I would like to be rid of any public displays that include baby talk, gushing or the use of the word cute but I realize that may be a tad too strict for others. Given that, I suppose I can live with us limiting it to kittens, puppies and some babies. As for Hamsters, they’re rodents, which makes them marginally less tolerable than cats, so I’d have to say “no.”

      All the best,

      Don

  13. 1:57 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    Always a pleasure to read your latest post.

    You say that pandering nincompoops really chap your ass. You’ve mentioned in other posts that different things also chap your ass. May I suggest that the next time you see Dr. Shand for a mole checkup please have him check the condition of your chapped ass. You don’t want to have that area get too chapped. It can be quite painful. You may also want to mention to Doris that you’re visiting Dr. Shand because of a serious chapped ass condition. Just let her try and touch you there. I think you will be justified in whacking her with your cane. After that, I bet she will either treat you with more respect next time you’re in the office or she’ll just stay the hell away from you.

    Kind regards,

    Carol

    • 2:56 am

      Many thanks Carol,

      I’ll make the phone call tomorrow and set up an appointment. My ass has been exceptionally chapped as of late. (I wouldn’t normally discuss this but as we’ve established before, you have some measure of medical training so I feel it’s not inappropriate).

      And, as you point out, if Doris is foolish enough to extend her cheek pinching to this particular region, she’s clearly cruising for a bruising (as my old mother used to say).

      Many thanks for the concern and the sage advice.

      Best regards

  14. 1:59 am

    Donald,

    I hear ya there old boy , shouting never gets anyone anywhere !
    I tired it once while visiting China .
    No matter how slow or loud I spoke , those bloody people never understood a single word I had to say.

    until next time , take care Don…..~David

    • 2:59 am

      Many thanks David,

      I’ve always found that the louder people speak at me the less inclined I am to listen.

      All the best,

      Don

  15. 2:35 am

    Mr Mills,

    I was raised to treat my elders with respect not treat them like a 2 year old. I imagine if we ever met, I’d hand you a highball and we’ve have a toast and a damned great interesting chat! No yelling. Promise! ;)

    • 3:05 am

      Thanks kindly Sherri,

      I haven’t had a highball since 1973, I believe it was at a “Gemini 4″ space walk party at a neighbours house. That was one Hell of a night. You’d have enjoyed it Sherri. Charades, dancing, fine music and plenty of highballs and good company.

      All the best,

      Don

  16. 3:00 am

    hey don,

    sorry to change the subject…i said SORRY TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT. can you hear me now? good! some of us are still waiting to hear about your brother elgin, the one who looks like an owl. you must have lots of exciting stories about the mills brothers, and we’re all sitting at the edge of our seats waiting to hear them. please hurry, because sitting like this is very, very bad for our circulation.

    • 12:05 am

      Many thanks Nonnie,

      You came through loud and clear. I have a few interesting Mills Brothers stories but most feature York. He was always falling out of trees and getting his arm stuck in the farm equipment.

      Elgin was the most serious-minded of the lads and usually the one responsible for ensuring we did our chores, overseeing our checkers games and extricating York’s limbs from the aforementioned farm equipment. He was a stern task master and not a Hell of a lot of fun.

      I’d never thought of scribbling down the details of our exploits. I’ll have to give it some thought.

      All the best,

      Don

  17. 3:07 am

    Oh, Don! I just loved this post and it made me laugh out loud more than once. My favorite part has got to be your suggestion that if they want to molest something they should get a cat. My cat Smokey is older than you are (in cat years he is now 124) and he doesn’t want to be molested either. Beings of a certain age should have some respect accorded to their personages. I can’t stand baby talk and it doesn’t matter whether it is Doris gibbering at you (or
    another member of the Council of Elders) or somebody addressing my very sweet dog Ruby, the sound of that simpering sickening sweet mispronunciation of Terran English just sets my teeth on edge. I have a 13 inch long meat cleaver that I used to kill chickens with and if anyone starts talking baby talk to me I believe I shall dig it out of the food room and hone it to a sharp edge and take it to my next appointment with that saccharinity. Hopefully no one will be tempted to use baby talk to me for at least another 30 years or so. As a matter of fact, I believe that I will start carrying that cleaver with me before anyone starts that nonsense. Then I can just cut out their tongue immediately and save all of us some annoyance.

    I suppose this sounds bloodthirsty, but what the hey. Keep up the good work, Don.

    • 12:12 am

      Many thanks healingmagichands,

      Glad to hear we are on the same page here – after all I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of a 13″ meat cleaver.

      Now that I think of it, I believe that meat cleaver may be the answer for all of us. I imagine that if seniors started showing up at the doctor’s office or the bank with meat cleavers in their hands, people will be far less inclined to call us “dearie” or pat us on the damned head.

      I’m going shopping tomorrow!

      All the best,

      Don

  18. 3:30 am

    Where is this doctor. I want Doris to rub my tummy too.

    • 12:13 am

      Thank you bearman,

      I’ll send you the address but, remember, you’ll need to produce a suspicious mole as well.

      All the best,

      Don

  19. 3:35 am

    NINCOMPOOP! I haven’t heard that since 1973. OH, you are great! just great!

    • 12:14 am

      Many thanks A. Woz,

      It’s always been one of my favorite phrases…

      Thanks for stopping in.

      Best regards,

      Don

  20. Susi Spice permalink
    5:20 am

    hey grandpa!

    ah yes the over compensating wannabe dogooder for nothin trick…I can kinda of comprehend where you are coming from. Its like when people who dont speak english with a perfect accent get spoken to as if they are deaf and dumb. Usually because a person has an accent does not mean they are deaf.

    I have always been raised to respect my elders, offer assistance if needed and treat them as I would my own parents. So all through school working in the service industry I never once treated any of my elderly clients with such disrespect. I find it really really annoying when younger people have no respect for their elders be they 100, 80 or 50 years.

    • 12:19 am

      Many thanks Susi,

      Glad to hear you treated your elderly clients well. It’s not that difficult – as you know it’s as easy as treating us like anyone else.

      You were obviously raised very well, Susi.

      All the best and thanks for visiting,

      Don

  21. YellowRoses610 permalink
    5:26 am

    Warning Don: I consumed Five Suntans. (A suntan is a drink with five shots of Rum and five shots of orange juice).
    That Doris woman sounds like she needs a slapping. Or at least a cane shaken at her.

    A man can’t stand for that sort of thing. It’s not just the old people that get insulted by the medical profession. When ever I have upset stomach, or bowels, or weight loss or gain, they interrogate me on if I am pregnant. As I have stated many times, no it’s not possible for me to be pregnant, because I don’t have sex with men. But this harpies treat me like I’m a little slut. I’m anything but! I’ve only had “Romances” In my life. The first two are mere school girl crushes. And dam nit, I’d be smart enough to use protection if I was up to sluttery. Even then my old man would beat me with in an inch of his life, (And with his bare hands, I might add. Well actually his bear hands but that’s a long story.)

    I say Don, don’t stand for that manner of bullshit! It’s a disgrace to decent folk and an offense to the gods. People, (Particularly wiser ones) must be respected. It’s Bad Karma to do other wise.

    I have your back on this if you need some one to help confront this rude woman, I may be small, but I have big prescience, and am always here to help a Damsel in distress. Or in your case a Mansel.

    Let us unite and chastice the rude health care works for great justice!

    But Gasp,Evil is still afoot, away, to the willamson mobile!

    • 12:23 am

      Jesus Rose,

      25 shots of rum? That’s a third degree burn not a suntan. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to sleep it off and aren’t feeling too grim today. I’d lecture you on the evils of excess, Rose, but you’re probably not in much of a mood to listen to lectures.

      Regardless, I appreciate the sentiment and the offer of assistance. I think I can handle Doris on my own, Rose, but if I do find myself in need of help I’ll certainly know who to call.

      All the best,

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        12:29 am

        Oh I’m fine, I got seven hours of sleep. I woke up feeling chipper. If you eat well drink water and take multivitmen you can avoid a hang over. Besides, I’m decended from Willam Wallice, I’m required to drink.

        You know where to get me if you need me, I’m always up for a good fight.

        Also, did I see you at a Barnes and Nobles? I could have sworn it was you sitting in one of those comfy leather chairs.

        I’m probably the idiot you saw jumping. I was trying to reahc a book on the top shelf, because those sales boys ignore me. Maybe I need to be louder? Or more agreesive?

        • 12:48 am

          Glad to hear you’re alright.

          I’d be sick for a week – no matter how many Flintstone chewables I gobbled beforehand.

          I’m afraid that wasn’t me at Barnes and Noble. I get my books from the library these days. I’ll have to ask them about getting some leather chairs though – that sounds quite nice.

          All the best,

          Don

          • YellowRoses610 permalink
            12:33 am

            Ah. Kind of Glad to hear it’s not you, as he was staring at ym chest when he though I wans;t looking. Old pervert.

            To clear things up I don;t always drink like that, I just passed my first round of College tests. Infact I almost got A’s ….with out studying.

            Also. prehaps you should mention wondering you have “Swine Flu” to heR?

  22. 6:38 am

    I’ll bet if you pinched her on the ass a time or two she’d keep her distance. I also think a head pat deserves a couple of boobie honks.

    What is it with people these days? Nobody respects personal space. Recently, someone I didn’t know was touching all over me and I told him to knock it off. He asked if I had been molested as a child. No, and I don’t plan to be now. Dumbass.

    • 12:28 am

      Thank you yellowcat,

      I’d consider your advice but, honestly, I think it would just confirm her assumption that we old men are nothing but doddering old fools and pathetic lechers. She wouldn’t stop; she’d just scold me like I was some runny-nosed 7 year old who’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. And if she started wagging a finger at me, I don’t think I could be held responsible for my actions.

      All I want is to be treated as an adult and, as you point out, have people show some respect for my personal space.

      All the best, Don

      p.s. this person you know sounds like a prize jackass.

  23. 1:50 pm

    I am glad to hear about Doris again, sounds like she’s stayed out of trouble. The image of Doris pinching your cheeks and rubbing your tummy is not a sight I would want to see. I suggest you avoid getting on her bad side.

    • 12:31 am

      Many thanks Fundamental Jelly,

      It’s not a sight that anyone should have to see. And certainly not one that I should be forced to endure.

      Thanks for visiting. Always good to hear from you.

      Don

  24. 2:33 pm

    Tell Doris to keep rubbing lower, Don, and give her THE SNEER, with a twist of Jack Nicholson smile, just to see what her Snapple experience dOES for her in that arena. When in doubt, always experiment with tha test dummy. Don’t be gentle. Now I know my father-in-law wasn’t deaf at all; he could always hear me fine, but his wife? She couldn’t get him with a bull horn and a stack of Marshall amps. It’s all good . . . I’m already practicing “THE SNEER”. Great post, and one of the sharpest comedy minds out there (I’m not condenscending or trying to pinch your cheek; you have a brilliant wit). Thanks.

    • 12:27 am

      I’m going to break in with a perfect Zapp Brannigan quote:

      Zapp (while being scrubbed in the shower by loyal assistant Kif):
      Lower… uh, lower… lower… TOO LOW!!!! … uh… lower…”

    • 12:53 am

      Thank you Dan,

      The sneer? I’ll have to start working on that. I have a decent scowl, a well defined frown, a half-way decent stare and a workable glare and grimace but the sneer isn’t something I’ve worked on much.

      Until now. I’ll get to practicing at once. It’s all in the lips, right? And the attitude.

      Many thanks, Dan. Always good to have you stop in.

      Regards,

      Don

  25. Gnash N. Teeth permalink
    5:25 pm

    Ahhh, Mr. Mills, well said!
    I was actually raised by my grandparents who were in their 60s when I was born (spring chickens!)and have a healthy respect for our older citizens. In addition, we had quite the social life. I saw dozens of funerals before the age of 8, and, if you’re of Irish descent as they were, the occasions were quite the social event. The men would eventually start seeing double, and a kindly older female who still drove would chauffeur all of us women & children home to wait & fume over cold suppers later.

    But I digress.

    They departed this earth in their 90s (good midwestern farm stock) and were good for a raucous political debate nearly to the day they stepped out. Never was I remotely tempted to speak “baby talk” to these seasoned elders, and it used to severely get my goat when others did.

    I am currently friends with a recovering stroke victim in a nursing home (I care for her cat) who gets the sickening high-voiced chatter from aides half my age & a quarter hers. It drives me crazy, as she & I have great conversations about politics & other “damned fools” when the young perkmeisters are out of the room. You tell ‘em, Mr. Mills–make a stand against the infantilization of our finest citizens!

    • 12:59 am

      Many thanks Gnash N. Teeth,

      I truly appreciate your sharing those stories with me. I enjoyed reading your comment a great deal.

      Please pass on my best regards to your friend.

      All the best,

      Don

  26. 6:27 pm

    Mr Mills

    Geez louise….some young receptionist is pleasant to you and you blow up like a god damn 85 yr old water heater…whats wrong with someone helping you with your coat or being coo’d over by a young girl. If that is the case she ought to tell you to come in and sit the hell down and dont make a comotion with your god damn hearing aid or air tank or whatever else you old folk have these days. Mr Mills you cant have it both ways either you want to be left the hell alone or someone to fawn over you…….zman sends

    • 1:06 am

      Thanks Zman,

      To be honest, I’d prefer she told me to sit the Hell down and keep my mouth shut. At least that would be an indication that she viewed me as an adult.

      Ask yourself Zman, would you rather have someone dislike you because of your personality, or discount you entirely because they just assume you don’t have one.

      All the best, lad.

      Don

      p.s. these days, we old folks are carrying nitrous oxide and x-ray spectacles. (You asked…)

  27. 8:06 pm

    All I can say is that it’s darn better treatment than us younger folk get sometimes! Rude, I tell ya, rude….is what we get. I’ll trade ya!

    • 2:04 am

      Many thanks just jill,

      Not to worry. We older folks get more than our share of lousy treatment and pitiful customer service too. It’s an epidemic.

      All the best,

      Don

  28. robinaltman permalink
    8:24 pm

    That’s just yucky and gross. I have an ongoing argument with my husband, who’s an eye doctor. Most of his patients are older (cataracts, you know), and I hear him call them to see how they’re doing. He calls women “Dear”. Blech. He doesn’t call men “Dear”, but he’s pretty patronizing. I yell at him, make gagging sounds as he talks, stick my finger down my throat. . . nothing stops him. “They love me!” he assures me.

    I imagine them getting off the phone, turning to their spouse, and saying, “That Altman. He’s a good doctor, but what an asshole.”

    • 2:09 am

      That’s too damned funny, Robin.

      In your husband’s defence, at least he follows up with his clients. The last time I saw young Doctor Shand he offered to send me the results of my blood work by Twitter. He’s a good Doctor, but…

      Thanks for the laugh and tell your husband to smarten the Hell up.

      All the best,

      Don

  29. 9:08 pm

    Don;

    I know it must be a pain to deal with Doris. (I’m only 45…but I’m starting to see it already…the damned 20-year-old girls are starting to patronize me like I’m some old guy.)

    But being treated differently because you’re old also can have it’s advantages.

    For example, you can say whatever you want, and get away with it.

    Like one of my Mom’s friends. He’s pushing 80…says really stupid things. Nasty, mean things, at that. This is NOT a wise, old man. This is basically an ass-clown that never grew up.

    If he was 25, he’d probalby get punched in the head for acting the way he does. But instead, people just shrug, and accept it…”…because he’s OLD”.

    • 1:26 pm

      Many thanks Friar,

      I agree that there are advantages to being old and that complete freedom of speech is at the top of the list. With every passing year I feel a little less inclined to edit my thoughts and am more likely to just say whatever the Hell I want. It’s very liberating.

      Not that it should be considered a license to be an assclown.

      I remember, many many years ago being in the city on business and there was some fashion shoot being conducted on a busy downtown street. There were models everywhere and all kinds of commotion. There was one old fellow in a wheel chair not far away from me and I watched has he slowly wheeled himself over to one of the models and pinched her on the behind.

      She turned around in a rage, ready to slap but when she saw the old man in the wheelchair all she could do was bite her tongue and storm away. I’m not sure that there was a point to any of that but the story of your mom’s friend reminded me of that old guy and his itchy fingers.

      All the best, Friar.

      Don

  30. Kate permalink
    10:18 pm

    I’m with Friar and Zman. Take advantage of the situation. When you’re old you can give ‘em beans and say and do what you like and get away with it. So put on the red beanie and the purple coat, enjoy the attention and make wicked comments. Oh wait, you do that already…:)

    • 1:27 pm

      Many thanks Kate,

      Red beanie and purple coat? You just described my brother York. I don’t know that I’d feel entirely comfortable going that far but I will be sure to make my opinion known to others.

      Nice to hear from you Kate. I hope you’re keeping well.

      All the best and thanks for visiting with me.

      Don

  31. 12:32 am

    Don,

    I hear you loud and clear on the inappropriate condescension of the medical community towards the eldery. Of course, it’s not just M.A.s doing this. At some point, most people begin to treat their parents like children. I would imagine this occurs after a few diaper changes, which always seems to be the catalyst for sudden role reversal.

    But why do we insist on babying our babys? They’ve got to grow up sometime. Why not have them start now?

    I flat-out refused to baby-talk to my kids. It seems to be working as neither of them have ended up in a correctional facilty or daytime talk show. Of course, they’re five and three, but I set the standard high. If I talk to them like other human beings, then I would expect that they be tried as adults for whatever criminal activity my lax parenting forces them into.

    My one concession? I refer to myself in the third person an awful lot.

    “Let dad help you with that.”
    “Dad will be right in there.”
    “Help dad find his paraphanelia.”

    And so on.

    It’s like being a pro athlete, only without the financial problems (such as where to spend all that money) or the incessant crush of fans.

    • 2:32 pm

      Many thanks CLT,

      I commend you for refraining from baby-talk with your children. My old dad refused outright to speak to me or my brothers until we were 7 and were capable of holding a decent, adult conversation. He had no time for foolishness and he never “dumbed down” his language when he spoke to us. If we couldn’t follow along, we could look it up later.

      Continue to set the standard high – but I’d work on the 3rd person thing.

      All the best,

      Don

  32. Clifton L. Tanager permalink
    12:50 am

    Don –

    I have been dealing with exactly this sort of nonsense down at the VA hospital. Women of all ages and unattractiveness have been treating me as some overgrown and incompetent child while I wait to have my various ailments and phantom limbs treated.

    I’ve tried to make the point that I have lived several years longer than them at this point and have made more poor decisions in the past thirty years than they will in their entire lives.

    They just give me the “Aw, look at the man-sized baby. Isn’t he cute when he’s grumpy? And incontinent?” They thrust the latest issue of the AARP Newsletter into my hand and tell me have a seat. They often inquire as to whether I’d like to have a “comfort pillow” to sit on, as if every elderly gentleman was composed entirely of inexpensive term life insurance and hemorrhoids.

    Little do they know, but I had a colondectomy two years into my stint as a Mine Detector in the Korean War. Drastic times called for drastic measures after I found my third mine in a row. I was airlifted to the local M*A*S*H* unit, where a crack team of drug-addled surgeons and various med school washouts performed an emergency procedure during a harrowing thunderstorm/mortarstorm.

    This type of surgery had never been performed before, but the boys went to it with gusto, casting aside caution and hours of medical training in their brave attempt to save my lower half. Twenty-six hours later it was completed.

    Due to their quick action and brief moments of clarity, they saved me from a lifetime of colostomy bags and bland food. I consider myself fortunate to still be able use most of my excretory system, although I do have to remember to cross my legs when I sneeze. (Apparently a few pages of the “Highlights Guide to Exploratory Surgery: Goofus and Gallant Edition” had become unreadable, mostly due to their use as “filler” when cutting their hash supply.)

    If a man can go through all this and still maintain his dignity, no one answering a doctor’s phone and reading his personal mail should be allowed to take it away.

    Sincerely,
    C.L. Tanager

    • 2:32 pm

      Many thanks Clifton,

      Those damned war stories of yours never fail to get my blood pumping.

      I’ve said it before, Clifton, but the world needs more men like you. Even after your 11 back surgeries you still have more spine left than any damned young person today.

      You needn’t worry about maintaining your dignity regardless of how many emergency or elective surgeries you endure – and matter how many organs or limbs swapped, sutured or outright removed.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 4:28 pm

        Mr Mills

        I dont get it, man gets a pipe and a nice looking hat and he gets preferential treatment with comments like the spine thing. I will admit Mr Tanager is a man among men but there are some young folks that will stand up for themselves….zman sends

  33. 2:02 am

    Mum says that we shouldnt drink wine as it leads to loose ladies. Or loose ships. I cant remember which one, but i know that it sinks ships or ladies!

    HOORAY FOR MR MILLS!

    You should have raised your voice to the doctorbs so that he could get a taste of his own medicine! LOSTL!

    Bob

    • 2:33 pm

      Young Bob,

      Wonderful to see you back, lad. And as plucky as ever I see.

      You be sure to listen to your mother, Bob, and stay away from the alcoholic beverages. A boy like you needs to keep his limited wits about him at all time. It’s a dangerous world out there and I’d hate to see you fall victim to loose women, loose morals or loose ships.

      I’ll be popping over shortly to read about your latest adventures Bob. I’m looking forward to it.

      Don

      • 9:24 am

        Hello again Mr Mills!

        I always listen to my mum, because everytime that i didnt, strange and sometimes bad things have happened! Its just not worth the risk! LOSTL!

        I try and stay away from the alcohols, but sometimes people hand me a drink and i drink it all up! I once had a Shirley Temple and WOWSERS was i dizzy! As like you say, it can lead to loose women, morals and ships. And NOBODY wants that!

        I see that you already did pop over, thats why i thought i would come on back and say hellos again! HOORAY FOR YOU!

        Bob

  34. Mary permalink
    2:29 am

    Last time my grandfather was in the hospital (he’s back out now and doing well, thank you), I noticed that half the nurses, some of whom were actually younger than me (I’m only 26), would come in and use these sweet little condescending voices when talking to my granddad. Sure, they were trying to be helpful, and were not nearly as annoying as Doris sounds, but I was ready to throw something at the next person so to come in acting like that. Granddad might have seemed really weak at the time, but HELLO, he’s obviously sick, and he doesn’t eat anything while he’s there, because the food tastes like crap. So stop treating him like a little kid and help him get well instead.

    And if one of the little nurses was dumb enough to pat his cheek or stomach, she’d end up with my grandma’s cane up her ass. Bet the little nursie wouldn’t try that again.

    • 1:26 am

      Many thanks Mary,

      I’m glad to hear your grandfather is doing well and out of the hospital. I detest those places but I don’t suppose that’s uncommon for a senior (or anyone else). I must say that your grandfather should count himself fortunate to have the support of a wife who has a cane and who isn’t afraid to use it. It comes in very handy.

      All the best and thanks for sharing that,

      Don

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      1:12 pm

      Surprise surprise some old men like those kind of nurses though lol

  35. Shafali permalink
    4:36 am

    Dr. Mr. Mills,

    Does Doris read your blog?
    How about jotting down the link of your post on a piece of paper and giving it to her?! This might bring about a change in her attitude…who know what works with these mollycoddling “nincompoops”!

    Thanks for letting me know that you liked the mice doing the trapeze. I’ll send you the pdf of the Divine Pierced One soon:)

    I just wanted to let you know that I save your posts to read it during my tea-break. They make me look forward to the eighties. When I am eighty, I am going to be a crabby old fart too:)

    Warm Regards,
    Shafali

    • 1:31 am

      Many thanks Shafali,

      I don’t imagine that Doris reads the blog. I don’t promote it among people I know – I’m concerned about the local young people finding out and seeking some measure of revenge on me. Besides, I’m not optimistic it would work anyway – Doris would probably just chide me for being “such a cranky pants on the internet” and disregard the whole thing.

      Please do send the pdf just as soon as you can! I look forward to receiving it. And thank you for the kind words, Shafali, I appreciate them very much.

      Warm regards as well,

      Don

  36. 9:37 am

    As insulting as it would be, I think I’d use the situation to my advantage if I were you. You could get up to all types of tomfoolery if you’re not responsible for your behavior. Then when you see that they take offence at your actions, then you could ‘become’ totally lucid once again, and tell them off appropriately.

    • 1:34 am

      Many thanks Scott,

      It’s an interesting approach but at my age I don’t really care what anyone thinks of my behavior anyway. And I never need too much of an excuse to tell someone off.

      All the best, lad, and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  37. DJ Mills permalink
    2:20 pm

    Mr. Mills,
    That sounds horrible, I can’t imagine how I would react. I have a couple of woman who come into my office quite frequently, they work in the daycare down on the first floor. They are always talking to the front desk workers in some overly perky, over emphasized baby gibberish. I imagine it’s a force of habit for them to talk like that, but irritates the hell out of me. The office staff gets impatient with them and I have to intervene. That’s when I end up looking like Homer Simpson running around screaming, trying to choke them (by them, I mean the customers and the staff). I don’t know where I’m going with this, so I’ll stop.

    Here’s how I would handle the situation, return the favor. Be condescending and patronize them right back. I’m sure that would get the point across quite quickly.

    In all fairness though, it’s hard to tell who you are dealing with when it comes older people. I can assure you from personal experience some of the older people coming into my office expect to be babied and catered to. They expect nothing less than for us to butter their toast. But damn it, I don’t play that game, I treat everybody equally.

    There’s only two exceptions when people get special treatment:

    1-You come in my office, don’t speak a damn bit of English, and are a general asshole about it. I can deal with people who don’t speak English, and I can deal with assholes. When the two are combined, things tend to get ugly.

    2-You’re a daycare worker

    Wow, I don’t know what I’m going on about here. I apologize I can’t stay on topic and that I’m going on about nothing. That’s the last time I drink McDonalds coffee. I think they put something besides coffee in there. My normal cup of Chock Full O’ Nuts never does this to me.

    • 1:42 am

      Many thanks DJ,

      I have to say I like that suggestion a great deal. In fact, it could be quite effective if I rounded up a whole bunch of Dr. Shand’s patients and we all agreed to go in at the same time and treat her like a god damned 3 year old. She may not change her ways, but to borrow a phrase from the damned young people, it sure as Hell might “freak her out.” (My generation calls it “gaslighting.”)

      I’m going to have to get to work on this immediately. Many thanks.

      As for your problem with daycare workers – well, obviously I can sympathize. But try to remember that anyone who works with damned babies, infants and toddlers on a daily basis is either insane or fast on their way to getting there. They could snap at any moment – so use some caution.

      Good to hear from you, DJ, and thanks again for the excellent suggestion.

      Best regards,

      Don

  38. lianamerlo permalink
    8:28 pm

    I’m not sure if I’d rather be an 85-year-old who is treated like a 5 year-old, or what I currently am, a 25-year-old still treated like a 15-year-old…
    I can’t tell you how many times salespeople have come to my door and asked, “Are your parents home?” I only get recognition from the damn girl scouts.

    • 11:11 pm

      Thanks very much lianmerlo,

      Damned girl scouts are always sniffing around my house looking to pry a few dollars out of my wallet. They seem to think an old man is an easy touch.

      I appreciate your situation but I maintain that your situation is much better. The gulf between 25 and 15 isn’t nearly as vast as 85 and 5. Besides, your situation is likely to improve. Mine – not so much.

      Thanks very much for dropping in.

      Best regards,

      Don

  39. 11:38 pm

    Your blog is hilarious! It really cheered me up! At first I thought that Doris was a rather old name for a ‘young’ person, then I realised you were eighty. How horrible to be patronised like that – I hope it doesn’t happen to me! Already, a bus driver tried to help me down the bus steps a couple of weeks ago! I’m not disabled either.
    You referred to an afternoon at the Docs as a decent outing lol! I hate going to the Doctors it’s full of miserable people going on about their latest illness (half of it imagined) I usually come out feeling worse than when I came in. I tell you, I would lash right out if someone rubbed my tummy like a Buddha (hilarious imagery there!) and pinched my cheeks! No wonder you’re outraged!
    Kind Regards
    Lynda (a past young person) (echostains)

    • 11:16 pm

      Many thanks Lynda and welcome,

      I certainly hope it doesn’t happen to you either. All the more reason to start mobilizing seniors now! We need to put a stop to patronizing attitudes, condescending remarks and smug nincompoops everywhere.

      That bus driver helping you isn’t a good sign. It’s the thin edge of the wedge, you mark my words.

      All the best, Lynda, and thanks for stopping in.

      Best regards,

      Don

  40. 2:44 am

    Don,

    I’m not sure what bothers me more; the fact that this so-called younger woman fondling your tummy was named Doris, or that you had an usightly mole growing from…well, you never did mention where it was growing from, but safe to say that doesn’t make it any less unsightly.

    I wish you would have let me know, I would have sent you a special home remedy so you wouldn’t have had to suffer like that:

    It takes a couple of treatments, but if you just gouge the affected area twice a day, and before you know it, that aesthetically-unpleasing mole of yours will just be a distant memory. (I’ve never used it myself, mind you, but it recieved excellent reviews on Home and Garden Magazine, a publication which, from what I’ve read of it, seems to be specifically catered to seniors with a lot of time on their hands.)

    As always, you are a legend among legends, Don. If legends would have been around back in your day, that is.

    Your mole-less friend,
    Bschooled

    • 11:23 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      Now that’s a damned medical treatment I can get behind (figuratively speaking).

      No invisible gamma rays and gobbledegook MRI/EKG nonsense – just a giant piece of steel you can use to rip what ails you clean off. That’s the kind of medicine old Dr. Shenkleman used when I was boy. If the treatment didn’t entail cutting it off, digging it out, taping it up or burning it off, he had no use for it.

      Perhaps I’ll forward that link to Doris and suggest that she could give me a hand putting it to use.

      All the best Bschooled

      Your soon to be mole-less friend,

      Don

      • 1:48 am

        OMG! You’re not going to believe this, Don, but Dr. Shenkleman was my Great-Great Uncle!

        What a small world…

  41. Le Geant permalink
    4:19 am

    My old dad spent the last 2 month of his life in hospital, alternately intubated and asstubated (I’ll leave the latter to your imagination, it’s exactly what it sounds like). The last day I saw him alive, he said “Son, don’t ever let them take your pants.” Words to live by. Regards,

    Le Geant

    • 11:24 pm

      Many thanks Le Geant,

      Words to live by indeed. A smart man.

      Many thanks for that. I expect that’s a phrase I will remember for a good long time.

      All the best,

      Don

  42. 1:31 pm

    Two of the images in the excellent comments to your great post will live with me for sometime. A “boob hoot” being similar to a 7 year old with his hand in a cookie jar; daydream time…

    • 11:25 pm

      Nice to hear from you Dave,

      When you stop to think about it, there are a few similarities. Dream away…

      Hope you’re well.

      Don

  43. 4:12 pm

    It’s the crunchy paper gown that drive me nuts, not to mention that we must lie on paper and in the 60-degree examining rooms, get a paper blanket for warmth and privacy. It’s like a starched paper towel.

    Frankly, if they’re going to use all that paper on me anyway, I’d rather be shrink-wrapped.

    • 11:29 pm

      Thank you merrilymarylee,

      You’ll get no argument from me on that one. In addition to the discomfort and lack of privacy, I didn’t look great semi-reclined in a one piece paper robe when I was 25. And at 80, it’s even less attractive.

      All the best,

      Don

  44. 10:53 pm

    Face facts, Don.

    There is obviously a need in society for people who can be yelled at, subjected to unnecessarily expansive hand gestures, and generally treated like imbeciles incapable of grasping the simplest of concepts.

    These people are known as ‘seniors’, ‘pensioners’ or ‘foreigners’, and they are to applauded for taking on this role, thus protecting the rest of us from such behaviour.

    • 11:24 pm

      Nobbly, I thought they were known as Albanians.

      • 9:14 am

        I’ve already got that covered in the ‘foreigners’ category.

        Unless you’re Albanian, of course…..

    • 2:38 am

      Thank you Nobbly.

      I fully agree that there is an ongoing need for people to treat like imbeciles but why thrust that dubious and ill-fitting honor on seniors and pensioners (or foreigners) when it is such a natural fit for damned young people? They’re natural born imbeciles…

      Nice to see you, lad. Thanks for stopping in.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • 9:30 am

        Ah, but they’re mere apprentice imbeciles – full of youthful enthusiasm for trying out their stupidity.

        To be properly imbecilic, you need years of experience. Take politicians as an example – thoroughly clueless, yet mostly old and in need of a good shouting at.

        • 5:02 pm

          I always thought that to be properly imbecilic one needed to be Albanian.

          • 6:07 pm

            There seems to be a lot of anti-Albanian sentiment floating about.

            You’ve not had an unfortunate encounter with someone from there have you? One, perhaps, that left you lighter of pocket than before?

          • 6:09 pm

            Or are you getting confused with Albarn, who comes across as a head-up-own-arse musical imbecile?

            • 6:14 pm

              Crap! I honestly thought his name was Damon Albanian… Or, I could be confusing Albanians with Albinos. My mother told me to never trust an Albanian Albino.

              And then she’d strike me. Memories…

              • 10:36 pm

                Albanian albinos?

                Oh, they’re all white weally.

                (sorry…I’ll get my coat)

                • 11:07 pm

                  Ha! So, it’s official: We need to get someone to follow you around and provide drum rim-shot stings.

  45. 12:21 am

    Don, once again I agree with you. People need to remember that just because someone is older than they are, doesn’t mean they’re past their prime; with age brings wisdom and all that. I say give Doris a taste of her own medicine – treat her like a 5 year old and see how she likes it. She clearly hasn’t listened to your repeated attempts at asking her to stop, so perhaps she’s simply showing her maturity, as well? Good luck with this and look forward to reading more!

    All my best,

    Tara

    • 2:40 am

      Many thanks Tara,

      I appreciate the support and the very sound advice. I fully intend to give Doris a taste of her own damned medicine the next time I find an unfamiliar mole.

      All the best,

      Don

  46. 3:09 pm

    My “primary care physician” is around two hundred years old, and treats me like I should to be treated: with respect. My urologist’s nurse laughs and says, “My, that’s kinda wrinkled,” As if a sixty-five year old thingy is going to look any other way. Damn young punks.

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      2:23 pm

      Jammers aren’t they all a bit wrinkled, 65 or not? I suppose a urologist’s nurse would have seen a few more than the average woman but I wouldn’t let it worry you. I was watching ‘The Statement’ last night with Michael Caine and I couldn’t believe it where the Jewish men were all told to ” Drop their dacks and show their PR..KS”. I suppose they were checking for wrinkles too.
      Good movie though.

  47. 12:32 am

    I get annoyed when I see someone acting like that to your generation.

  48. Marshall permalink
    2:44 pm

    Thank you ever so much for your view. i am currently writing an essay on equality and diversity with the elderly. your view on things certainly made me chuckle but did not highlight anything i didnt already know. please try and be open minded and see that not all us ‘youngsters’ are as narrow minded as we are portrayed.
    take care

  49. Anonymous permalink
    6:18 pm

    I am a Senior and was at a parade when a younger woman ran to get a chair for me…I said I’m not tired and she kept repeating sit down and I finally said YOU sit down…she’s was actually insulting me…Young at heart

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