Bernhardt column: Growing older gives me a chance to be cranky and entitled

  • Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013 1:08 a.m.

As I write this, I note with a small amount of pride that I am nearly 58 years old. That’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from 60, and thus entitles me to begin getting crankier and demanding things in life my way.

I’ve noticed that through the years, the older you get, the more you start demanding things be done your way.


I was managing the lobby for Piedmont Players about 25 years ago. The theater group had just changed the curtain time for all shows from eight-fifteen to seven-thirty.

At around 8 o’clock one evening, an elderly lady arrived with her party of twelve ready for a night of good theater. I had to uncomfortably explain to her that the show had been going for nearly a half-hour, and that I couldn’t seat her until the next break between acts.

She would have none of my excuses. “No one told ME that the show started at seven-thirty,” she complained. In fact, she demanded quite audibly that I start the show all over again, or she would be horribly embarrassed.

“I’m old enough to be your grandmother,” she piped, “so I demand this!”

To solve the issue, I had to zap her and her entire group with my taser. Well no, I didn’t, but the thought certainly crossed my mind.

So now that I’m getting older, there are a few things I want done my way.

I want a button installed on my telephone that sends an electric shock down the line to the next telemarketer who calls my house. I want nothing disabling, mind you, just enough to remind them not to call me again.

I want people to use English correctly, and pronounce words as they are written.

“Jeet yet?” is not a sentence, and “jeet” is not the contraction of “you eat.” “Have you had lunch yet” isn’t that hard to say.

And while we’re on the subject, if we’re not going to say the word “February” as it is written, Congress or the President should go ahead and change the second month of the year to “Febuary.” I’ll bend on that one since virtually no one is saying it correctly anyway. But don’t get me started on the word “ask.”

I want a coupon lane installed in all grocery stores, and bearers of coupons must use that lane and that lane only.

God bless all of you who use coupons. I use them myself sometimes. But I’m tired of getting stuck in line behind the lady who not only uses them, but wants to argue the validity of each rejected coupon with the cashier to the point that the manager gets involved.

That happened to me again just the other day in WalMart. I was standing behind the coupon queen with just two items in my hand.

If you can’t give us a coupon lane, at least give me the portable version of the shocker I want on my phone.

Finally, I want you people in restaurants to turn up the lighting a little.

I know you say you keep it dimmed for purposes of ambiance, but I’m wise to you. Unless I pull out my super-duper magnified reading glasses and my flashlight, I’ll never notice the small print on the menu that says adding cheese to my entrée will cost an extra fifteen dollars.

In some restaurants, the lighting is so dim I don’t know what I’m ordering half the time. It’s how I wound up with a bowl of cream of snail soup once.

These are but a few of the things I demand now that I’m old, cranky, and most of all – entitled. And yes, the older I get, the more things I’ll want.

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