Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why do old people waste time on crosswords

Ok, this is a pet peeve that has been building for a long time.  As a teacher I am off in the summers and I see tons of retired people sitting around doing crossword puzzles.  Sure, they have time to waste and do whatever, but WHY?  Why, when you are facing death would you want to ridiculously squander your remaining time? You may say, "Maybe they enjoy it", but you're wrong.  Most of them suck at it.  They can't figure out what a nine letter word for "stupid time waster" is.  Hint:  the answer is "crossword".
I have talked to some old people and they say, "I've already accomplished all my goals", so now apparently  they're just effing around until they die.  I call bull$$hit on this excuse too.  You never have to run out of goals.  Even at a late age there are real, significant, important things that could be accomplished.  They don't have to go back to work, but with the same mental effort they put into crossword puzzles, they might be helping to make the world a  better place.
This is really not a criticism of old or retired people.  It is the opposite.  I'm saying that they don't have to give in to the stereotype of being some ancient codger with thick glasses, obsessed with crossword puzzles and "The Price Is Right".  Old people should not give up on life like this.  They need to do a little more raging against the dying of the light.  They need to write their life stories.
Therefore, I will be supporting a law banning crossword puzzles, on pain of revocation of social security benefits.  Of course I joke, but only with half a smile.  The reality is that if you are just going to completely waste your golden years, maybe you don't deserve them.
I guess what I am saying is that I wish there was a polite way of saying to these people, you are still valuable in this world despite the fact that you feel you may have nothing more to contribute.  You could still think great thoughts.  I would be much happier to see them commenting on philosophy or even attempting to write doggerel on some web hangout for seniors.
I realize that these people don't want the stress of a full-time job anymore, but plenty of people retire to a life of leisure and still end up doing productive things afterwards.  One doesn't have to abandon all curiosity in the world and engage in made up activities to waste what light is left.

1 comment:

  1. haha i agree. I am actually in a Starbucks now sitting across from an old geezer working feverishly on a Crossword puzzle. I thought what a waste of time....Stupid man! Another pet peeve of mine is elderly who read newspapers. With years a few years, if that, left on earth, does it really matter if they keep up with the latest political BS? Why not go out, see the world, travel, talk to people who matter, do things...instead they waste their precious gift on life reading newspapers and John Clancy novels -- that, or doing crosswords. I am glad I am not the only one who sees this. Thanks for the great blog.