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Trying That Russian Medicine

, , , , | Right | September 3, 2018

(I am picking up groceries with my family. While we are checking out, I notice an old man behind us in line with both hands bandaged.)

Me: “Excuse me; can I help you check out?”

Old Man: “Why? Is it because I’m OLD?!”

Me: “Um…”

Old Man: “You young people assume I can’t do anything just because I’m old! I’m still perfectly capable of unloading my own— Oh. You were talking about my hands, weren’t you?”

Me: “…yes.”

Old Man: “That’s okay, then, young lady. I’m fine as long as I can hold my vodka in one hand and the TV remote in the other.”

(He proceeded to make conversation with me while I hid behind my uncle, mortified.)

She’s One Of The Good Ones

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 26, 2018

(I work in a hospital. I am a cis woman, but since I am tall and broad-shouldered with short hair, I do occasionally get misgendered by young children, and adults who aren’t wearing their glasses. This doesn’t bother me, particularly because about half the time people are specifically talking about how “tall and handsome” I am, and I will happily take that compliment. When I tell people about these incidents, they usually either apologize or reassure me that I’m very pretty and feminine. However, this elderly gentleman blows my mind with his response.)

Elderly Patient: *to a group of ladies dozing in their wheelchairs by the television* “See? These ladies aren’t nearly as lucky as me; I get a beautiful young woman to stroll around with me, and there aren’t any handsome young men to take them walking!”

Me: *jokingly* “Well, if you’re not wearing your glasses, I can pass for a man!”

Elderly Patient: *completely serious* “Oh, are you trying to tell me something?”

Me: “Oh, no, I just meant with my hair—”

Elderly Patient: “No, no, I think you’re trying to say something. Which do you prefer?”

Me: *very conscious of being in a somewhat conservative, faith-based workplace, where I don’t know most of the staff yet* “Oh, I mean—”

Elderly Patient: “Because let me tell you, it doesn’t matter to me if you prefer one, or the other, or both. None of that matters as much as being a good person.”

Me: “I completely agree—”

Elderly Patient: “You know, I’m 97, and I know I talk too much. I can see I’ve embarrassed you. No, don’t say I haven’t, because I have. But you know what? We’re all individuals in this life. It doesn’t matter which one you want to be. As long as you’re trying to be a good person and not hurt anyone, none of the rest of that matters.”

(For the ten minutes that it took us to walk back to his room, I received something between a lecture and a pep talk about my intrinsic value as a human being, regardless of my supposed trans or non-binary identity. I have heard some awful stories about how people treat the LGBTQ+ community, but this gentleman gave me hope for humanity.)

This story is part of the Awesome Old People roundup!

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The Bagging Is Flagging

, , , , , | Right | May 9, 2018

(I am waiting in a rather short line at the grocery store. There is an elderly woman in front of me, and a mother with her adult daughter in front of her. For a short line, it is taking a good ten minutes for the cashier to finish scanning the items. The customer hasn’t started bagging the items yet; the bagger is on a different lane at the moment. After watching what is going on for several minutes, the elderly woman taps the daughter on the shoulder and asks sweetly:)

Elderly Woman: “Excuse me, sweetie. How old are you?”

Daughter: “I just turned 21!”

Elderly Woman: “Then get off your a** and help your mother.”

(I choke back laughter. The mother is sputtering and ANGRY, but she can’t get the words out, which is so funny to me.)

Cashier: “At least someone said it.”

(The bagger from the other lane comes over, bags the groceries, put them in the cart, and wishes the lady a nice day. The woman and her daughter leave quickly.)

Elderly Woman: *to the cashier* “I’m sorry about that, darling. It irks me when kids these days expect other people to do everything for them.”

Cashier: *to [Elderly Woman]* “It’s okay. I remember their faces.”

Me: *erupts in laughter*

Must Have Been Red-Driving Hood

, , , | Related | September 21, 2017

(In the drive-thru, we offer free, expired, plain doughnut holes to customers for their dogs. Often they are quite tough, as they are old. Note: a fresh doughnut hole only costs $.25.)

Customer: “Could I grab a doughnut hole for my dog?”

Me: “Sure thing.”

(He then gave the crusty doughnut hole to his elderly grandmother in the passenger seat and drove off.)

Senile Selling Point

, | Working | July 4, 2017

(My grandmother has advanced dementia at this time. I’m a teenager. I’m taking her round the supermarket, collecting food (which I or my mother will later cook for her). We have to get the exact same food every time, or she won’t eat it. We go to the fish counter and I wait for a bit, just in case she’s able to communicate on her own today. After several minutes of her staring at nothing in particular – not seeming aware of where she is – I point to the salmon.)

Me: “Would you like some salmon today?”

Grandmother: “…”

Shop Assistant: *glares at me, then looks at my grandmother* “What would you like today?”

Grandmother: *stares at food, then at me, then starts playing with some toys in a bag*

Me: “Would you like the salmon? That’s the one you usually get. It’s on the list, see?” *shows her the list, which she stares at for a while without recognition* “Let’s get some salmon, okay?”

Shop Assistant: *annoyed* “She can decide for herself!”

Me: *to Grandmother* “How about the salmon? It’s this pink fish here.” *points* “Would you like this one for your dinner?” *Grandmother looks at the fish*

Shop Assistant: *angry* “You kids need to start treating your elders with some respect. She can decide for herself. She doesn’t need you bullying her into getting something she doesn’t want.”

Me: *ignoring him so that I don’t get into an argument and agitate her* “This fish here. This one is for your dinner.”

Grandmother: *stares at the fish a bit longer, then slowly nods*

(The assistant glared at me, wrapped the fish, and attempted to hand it to my grandmother. She didn’t take it. He wouldn’t give it to me and just put it on the counter before storming off. This happened every time! Early on, I tried to explain she was senile, but he didn’t believe me…)