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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Geezers and Coot Oh My!

Geezers and Coots, Oh My!

I have written a number of thoughts about geezers and coots, and I suspect that some of you have determined that I am using these terms as synonyms. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Geezer is an old familiar term, often use with the adjective “old” preceding it, though that is truly gilding the lily. Geezers are by definition “old”. Becoming a geezer is largely involuntary. One just “becomes” as geezer. The appellation is more common in men than women, but women truly become geezers just as men do. (I confess to a non-feminist habit of usually referring to female geezers as “geezerettes” but that is not really accurate, and is probably demeaning. It is a bit like calling women ‘humanettes” for being female humans. For such habits, I apologize.) Geezerhood is involuntary, and does not come at one particular age. It may come on at any age from forty to sixty years old. Geezerhood comes on when one is offered discounts by restaurants and movies merely for living as long as one has lived. Employers hold meetings to award praise not for items accomplished, but for the number of consecutive years of employment. Other symptoms are grey hair, (not the premature kind which can be explained away- snicker snicker), false teeth, a general oncoming lack of balance, little children holding the door for you, being identified for parking as “handicapped” for reasons other than amputation or accidental paralysis, rapid deterioration of eyesight, frequent painful twinges in knees, ankles finger joints, upper and lower back, a general drying of skin resulting in such anomalies as “smile lines”, “crows feet” “ forehead lines” “age spots” (really they are only overenthusiastic freckles) floppy skin at the back of the arm where triceps once dwelt, and that curse of all curses, “Jowels”, etc. (a complete list of symptoms would take pages, but you get the idea.) When any three of the above have occurred, one has reached geezerhood

Geezerhood is considered by some to be some sort of personal affront. Some fight geezerhood futilely for years. Some folks insist on playing tennis long after it has ceased to be a pleasant experience. Some jog, with frowning faces, near tears, and a pronounced limp. Others dye hair, expose themselves to major skin surgeries, snatch the door away from children who might hold it, curse the server who may add an age discount without asking, and would rather crawl to the door at Wal-Mart than use the handicapped parking tag provided by the physician.

Coothood is voluntary. Coothood comes one embraces the effects of age. Coots are Geezers with pride and acceptance. Coots ride the motorized shopping carts at Wal-Mart or Home Depot with abandon, sometime shouting “toot toot” at the other innocent shoppers in the Mall. Coots demand age discounts and shop with preference at those establishments that offer them. Coots march in “Coot Parades” demanding more civil and governmental recognition. Coots often join AARP just so they can write nasty letters to the AARP governing board (Not necessarily about any one topic) Geezers are frequently manipulated by the AARP, while Coots will try to manipulate such organizations. All Coots are Geezers, by the necessity of symptoms but those Geezers who fought against the onset of Geezerhood stay up nights trying to find ways to avoid Coothood.

It would be a mistake to assume that any one group of Coots are united on any topic or political principal. They come in all sizes and types. Anne Richards who was deposed as governor of Texas by our current president is an obvious coot, as is (and she might not admit it) Elizbeth Dole). I glory in my coothood as do most coots. Hurray for contrarianism (the one common identifier in coothood other than age.)


At 4:34 AM, Blogger Miladysa said...

Over here Geezers are men - and then there are old geezers...

coots are usually bald men...

women are not geezers but can be biddies or old biddies :]

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

I love it! I'm a "geezerette!" I get the discount offers too. I really prefer "geezer" and "geezerette" to "senior citizen." Somehow it just has a more human and less categorizing ring to it! :)

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

Manipulated by the AARP? LOL

Biddies ... hate that.

Send in the geez! Here comes the geez. Help, I've been geezed!

Ok, forgive me. It is late. ;)


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