Atheist scruples 2014 – hey “old man”

This was in my list of search terms for some random reason.

should i permit my 12 yr. old granddaughter to call me “old man” instead of grandpa?

I see many possibly answers here and they all depend on how much people want words to matter.

If this kid wants to call him “old man”, perhaps he should start calling her Princess Fartface or something equally stupid. She’ll either find it hilarious, or she’ll start getting annoyed.

This can be used as a jumping off point to a lesson in respect, remind her that “old man” isn’t a respectful way to address a grandparent, even when it’s true.

The other option is to just be cool and roll with it. Maybe it’s just a phase and she’ll grow out of it. If not, I guess you also have to ask yourself if it’s truly something to get bothered over. Maybe it’s meant as a gesture of respect, albeit one that might not make a bunch of sense as the old man in the scenario, but so it goes.

We really enjoy watching Community around here and in many of the commentaries the actors, writers and directors talk about Chevy Chase, who played Pierce on the show, and his consistent lack of understanding elements of the plot, jokes, and random lines he’d be set to deliver. Pierce was also a character frequently confused and out of touch with everyone. Chevy left the show due to artistic differences (to be polite about it).

“[Chevy is] a befuddled old man, but he’s also the guy who calls you to his trailer and shakes the script in the air and says: ‘I’m not a befuddled old man! I’m sexy! I could be the star of this show! I’m not gay. You’re writing me as if I’m gay,’ ” says Harmon, noting that he’d use Chase’s outbursts as story fodder. “I’d say to him, ‘Do you understand that what you’re saying is funny and it makes an interesting character?’ He would kind of blink and stare at me and go, ‘Whatever, I just don’t think it’s funny.’ “

And Pierce’s lack of tact and understanding would be a running joke between characters, which probably served more to annoy Chase rather than pacify him, too. But the “old white man says” Twitter feed is still pretty funny.

So, to finish up, times change fast and etiquette is having a hard time keeping up. Sayings and types of behaviour we find funny these days may baffle, alarm, or irritate our elders in ways that seem baffling, alarming or irritating to the one trying to make the joke.


About 1minionsopinion

Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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6 Responses to Atheist scruples 2014 – hey “old man”

  1. Laurance says:

    Hey-ho, Minion…once again I’m the first one to reply.

    I’m 73. Want to call me “old lady”?

    It would depend on who is calling me that, and what the situation is.


    Why do nurses nowadays talk Elderspeak?? Nurses used to wear white uniforms and little caps and speak respectfully.

    But nowadays they all wear scrubs, and you can’t tell the nurse from the cleaning woman from the woman delivering meals.

    And they ALL call me “Honey”.


    And the worst of all, the VERY WORST OF ALL, is to be called “young lady”.

    I’m 7’ty stinkin’ 3 years old!!! I’m AN OLD GEEZER, AN OLD FART, AN OLD WITCH, AN OLD GRANNY!! I’m OLD!!!!! OLD OLD OLD!!! I’m NOT a “YOUNG LADY”!!!!

    Don’t those young nursies comprehend how damn insulting it is for an old woman such as myself to have my age invalidated and devalued with the term, “young lady”????

    Rant rant rant!

    So maybe the grandfather should ask the granddaughter what she means. Did she mean respect for age, or was she being a shitty kid?

  2. kbeck13 says:

    Good one. It all depends on how it was said. If she said it as a term of endearment, you could hear that in her voice. Otherwise, if she was being a little snot I’d lock her in the cellar and say, “Can an old man do that?” while cackling wildly. Just kidding. I like the idea of giving her her own ridiculous nickname. It could turn out cute like, say at a family gathering: “Hey old man!” “Hey Butterface!”

  3. Laurance says:

    I haven’t done it yet, maybe I don’t want to be rude, but I thought the next time some young woman calls me “young lady”, I should answer with “Grandmaw”.

  4. 1minionsopinion says:

    I don’t like when random strangers give me pet names, let alone some of my own relatives. I think it’s crossing a line, but I never really know how ask them to stop without sounding like a grouch. heh.

  5. Laurance says:

    Well, yeah, you’re a good bit younger than me, Minion. I find that as I get older and older I get more and more curmudgeonly. I can be a real grouch these days. I do wonder if it’s an effect of aging.

    When my Sweetie was in the hospital a nurse “honey’d” him. He said to her, “I’m not your honey. (pointing to me) She’s the only one who can call me that.”

    I seriously do NOT like this “honey” business. And I don’t like it when I’m vulnerable. I was in the hospital overnight for observation not too long ago, and I got “honey’d”. I did speak up once or twice, but I was feeling crummy and it was hard to deal with. I ended up letting much of it slide. In one of the cases the stinkin’ nurse had my name right there in front of her. She made sure that I was Laura Johnson and not somebody else – and then, even though she’d just confirmed my name, came on with this “honey” crap.

    I could write a letter to customer relations at the hospital, but I doubt it would make any difference.

  6. 1minionsopinion says:

    A lot of people can’t help it and do it because nobody’s been bothered enough to step up and tell them to stop. “It doesn’t hurt anything..” but it does strike a disrespectful vibe and is just a little too chummy. I’m not your honeypie. You’re a stranger asking me a question and I have answered it. Say thanks and go away…

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