Despite being a mediocre 35 years old, I want to take a moment and let the grizzled old man come out in me via this post. Let me be clear, I am not mad or upset about anything. Today is actually a great day. I have softball game later and that is always fun. The weekend is coming up and who doesn’t love the weekend. Rather, I should inform you that the grizzled old man side of me is a side that I actually look up to and admire. The grizzled old man in me is a settled version, confident and content. Think the Grand Turino version of Clint Eastwood. Many may not know this about me, but at heart, I think I secretely desire to be an old man. That may strike as odd since I’m typing a blog, but old men can do what they want, even if you deem it inconsistent. So deal with it.
I think the grizzled old man comes out in me most when faced with technology. I admitted in my about page of this blog that I am somewhat technologically ignorant. To quote the about page, I believe I said that you should be impressed with this blog in the same way you are impressed by a monkey who can paint. Its not that the painting is good, but its good because of who pulled it off. But I am for my age, remarkably technologically ignorant. Its not that I don’t utlize technology, but I use it for its simple function. Youtube exist to watch videos and show me how to do real tasks that I otherwise would not have known to do. Need to replace a water heater, watch a video, then replace water heater. I watch movies on the Netflix. I have a smart phone. So I am not a caveman, just a simple man.
When I go to a store and the clerk swipes my credit card on an Ipad and then asks if I want them to email me the receipt, I grizzle. No, I want you to hand it to me. A receipt is the proof that this transaction just occurred and the terms of said transaction. When you hand it to me, the transaction seems complete and final. Unless I don’t like what I bought, then I’ll bring it back to you using guess what, the receipt. I like to feel the receipt in my hands, it makes thing feel official. Without a receipt, then what am I going to shove in the various cup holders in my car. If you email me the receipt, then how do I know that I really purchased said item. Who is to stop you from calling the cops and saying I stole that ice cream? What will I have in my defense if not a receipt. All because you were too lazy to print my off a receipt like has been done for many generations.
But my disdain for technology goes further. I recently had to endure an upgrade to Microsoft Office 2013 and let me be the the first to say that I don’t like it. Not because it doesn’t present with more efficient processes, but its because with the older versions I only used them for simple tasks to begin with. Now, my 3 simple functions are not where I remembered them to be and things look different. Office 2013 with all its hootnannies, wingjings, and thingamajigs is more than I ever needed. Moreover, the emphasis on E-documents bothers me. When I read a document, I like to have it in my hands. In fact, if any of you want to print this blog post off and read it on paper, well that’s just fine with me. You see holding the paper with its razor sharp edges is thrilling. You see a papercut as a threat, and I say a papercut is proof you are alive and holding something real.
Lastly, I think being an old man represents a certain level of competence. Some of my TV hereos are not from sitcoms or other actual shows. Rather, its those men from the Viagra and Cialis commercials. Thats right, its the men who live by the tagline, “The age of knowing how to get things done”. Seriously though, mentioning Viagra and Cialis has surely got to boost my internet search results. I’ll need an expert to weigh in on that. Anyway, the commercials go as a Man is attempting something and then faced with an obstacle. Then with wit, savvy, and swagger, they adapt and overcome because this is clearly not the first time they have faced this challenge. And what’s the worse consequence for this level of competence? They have to take a pill sometimes. Well a little operational control in that area in the form of a pill seems ok with me.
So finally, here are my 3 steps to being a grizzled old man.
1. Be a Combat Veteran. Sorry old non-combat vets, but you can’t be grizzled without the taste of foreign dirt in your mouth. You can be grumpy, but grizzled is a privilege reserved for the few.
2. Be uncomfortable with changes in technology. Its not that you have to avoid technology or fail to use it, but you just have to not like it and feel uncomfortable with it.
3. You have to be competent at stuff. I have numbers 1 and 2 down solid, but number 3 will require years of training.
So sooner or later, I’ll have my way and win the prize. Grizzled old man status. Agree with me in this pursuit and maybe I will actually let your grandkids play on my lawn.