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I feel better just whining about it all
A look at the increasing hassles of life for baby boomers as they move from technology to the grocery deli islands, handicapped parking spaces and cramped airline seats. Life isn’t easy so why shouldn’t we complain about it?
By Ray Hanania
I’m not sure why I am not always happy with things. I find myself just whining about it all. I get upset easy because, I guess, I expect too much. Or maybe, I expect what should be given.
When I buy something, I give them my hard earned money. The money isn’t broken. It doesn’t fail to work. It is cash that I turned over. So, when I purchase something, I expect it to work and not fall apart. My money didn’t fail so why should th products I purchase fail?
Technology is the biggest problem. These new gadgets just don’t work the way they were promised to work. They don’t last long and it’s almost as if they were made to fail after a short period of use, like Apple’s iPhones. Or the internet. It doesn’t alway work. My only works. But what I pay for doesn’t work!
No one cares. It’s all about money. My money. Taking my money.
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But it’s not just technology. It’s everything. Every morning, as a baby boomer senior, my first stop is to one of the grocery store delis. I have three that I can chose from to stop at to purchase fresh deli salads in the morning. It’s either Mariano’s in Orland Park, Pete’s Fresh Market in Bridgeview, and Tony’s Fresh Market in Berwyn.
Generally, I like to go to Pete’s Market, which has my favorite chicken pasta shell salad. I love it. My mom couldn’t get me to eat Chicken Pasta salad as a kid, but now I eat it all the time. What’s up with that? But Pete’s doesn’t always have the Chicken Pasta Salad, and oftentimes the deli is not available when I get there between 8 am and 10 am.
That’s the problem. When they opened, it was like Nirvana, the perfect state of Deli Being. The food was fresh. There was variety. Now, it’s the same old same old. It’s still good but I have to be lazy and get up late and not have a job to enjoy the best deli offerings.
It’s the same at Marianos and at Tony’s Fresh Market, too. Every morning it’s like Ground Hog’s Day, The same selections. No one has any variety any more, although the Bolillo’s (fresh bread with sesame seeds) is phenomenal at Tony’s! I just wish I could find something to put in it. Watery tuna salad doesn’t work for me. I expect more, but I always get less. But the prices keep skyrocketing.
A car license plate renewal has jumped up 50 percent in Illinois. So has the cost of a PO Box at the post office. How does the Post Office even stay in business with the migration to email? I refuse to pay my bills online, or to allow utility and monthly billing services like cable take the money from my savings, checking account or credit card. I want to write that damn check and put it in the mail because the computer didn’t replace the check book the way they promised when the first desk top PC computers became affordable to the public back in the mid 1980s.
So, I end up buying hard boiled eggs and I make an egg sandwich. Yes, just egg and bread. No mayonnaise. I don’t know. Maybe eating the hardboiled egg in a sandwich harkens back to my childhood when my mom and dad bought their second home on Chicago’s South East Side, a two-story Georgian on Luella Avenue near Pill Hill. As they were moving in the furniture into the freshly cleaned painted house, my mom was taking hard boiled eggs out of a lunch box and giving it to my sister and I to eat for lunch as we sat on the front porch stoop.
The older we get the less we can enjoy food. The best tasting foods are the worst for us health wise. So we convince ourselves to “eat healthy.” What’s healthy these days? Nothing. Everything causes cancer.The only good thing about life today is that they have a pill for every thing. A pill to replace the those old pacemakers they used to implant in your body to manage your heart rhythm. A pill to lowest your cholesterol. A pill to keep your blood pressure down. A pill to off-set the rise in sugar to prevent diabetes. A pill to put you to sleep and to wake you up. No wonder pills cost a fortune.
The more I pile on the years and get older, the less I am able to enjoy eating red meat. So I graze like a cow these days, eating salads. They say they are healthy. Maybe. Chopped cucumbers with diced tomatoes with a few croutons and some diet salad dressing, is about the highlight of my day as a senior.
I don’t want a handicapped card either. Nearly every senior I see driving has one. We’re all old and tilting and leaning int he wrong direction more and more as we age. But that doesn’t mean I need a handicap card on my car dash hanging from my rearview mirror.
They should give the handicap cards to everyone over the age of 60, or maybe even 55. All that stuff about 60 being the new 40 is a bunch of bunk. I bet that more than 75 percent of th people who have handicap cards don’t really need a handicap card. It’s more of a convenience rather than a necessity. Oh, yes, there are some that do. They can’t walk. They have crutches. They have walkers. But if that’s the case, why are they driving? well, their kids are using them to chauffeur them around, and may be even using them illegally when they are not.
It’s also unhealthy for the seniors though to park close to the entrance of a store. The truth is seniors should be forced to walk further distances. It’s good for them to walk, even if it is a struggle. Don’t make it easy. Walk. The more you walk the healthier you will be. The further you walk, the more you will walk. It all makes sense not to have a handicap card.
So unless I am strapped to a gurney, I will not get a handicap card for my car. I will force myself to walk. And if I can’t walk, I’ll have a family member drive me around. If I’m in a wheelchair, maybe they can park close to the door so they don’t have to push me far to get into the fancy restaurant by parking near the door.
But I get it. It’s not just the location of the handicap parking spaces. It’s the size of the handicap parking spaces. They are wider. There’s more room for a person to pull out a wheel chair, open the door wide, and ease into it. The problem is most parking spaces are like airplane seats. They are too small. Who can fit into a 17 inch wide airline seat in the cheaper Economy Class. Actually, the word cheaper is misleading, like it’s cheap. They are not cheap. Airline tickets are too expensive.
You have to pay for everything these days. You have to pay to check in your bag, which is why so many people drag those big fat bags onto the plane and fight to shove them into the overhead racks. That’s so wrong. I feel like a sardine in those 17 inch seats with the 30 total inches of space between my seat and the seat in front of me. That’s called the “pitch.”
Yea, they are pitching us a bunch of bull. You’re squeezed into a toothpaste tube, crushed by the lack of space. No wonder people are screaming and causing trouble when the passenger inf front of you puts their seat back and their dandruff covered hair is now inches from your face.
And let’s not get into the diseases and viruses that are spread easily on an airline whether you are in Economy, Business or First Class. That recycled air is a petri dish of contamination. No wonder the Corona virus is speeding so juicily around the world. I carry “Wipes” and I wipe down everything, including the passengers squeezed in intimately next to me. You think those rich bastards in First Class are immune to the spread of viruses?
Do I have an attitude problem these days. Maybe so. But don’t blame it on me. Blame it on Larry David and the hilarious TV show on HBO, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Because that is exactly what I am doing these days, curing my enthusiasm for everything.
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