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It's official - I had a birthday, I'm old and I'm a Curmudgeon.

Updated on February 14, 2013
Birthday! Bah Humbug!
Birthday! Bah Humbug!

It's official. Today is my birthday. I am now 53 years old; and have lived in portions of 7 decades. I have reached an age whereby I have applied for and been admitted to a very select club. The Curmudgeons Select Series United (CuSSed). My resume has been submitted, the rigorous standards met, and acceptance has been offered. I have been working towards this very point most of my adult life; and maybe even part of my pre-adult life. For many years I have carefully studied those which have gone before, those unafraid to stand out from the crowd by being different: in other words, being politically incorrect. There have been a few who I have idolized over the years, such as my Grandfather Asher. I cannot remember a single smile crossing his face in all the years I knew him. But he was quick with a hug when times required, just don't ever find one of those times while around him. He was more prone to hold you accountable for the stupid things you did when misbehaving, rather than hold you and whisper soothing words to you. Take the time I disobeyed him while he tilled his garden. I was plenty old enough to understand "No" and follow direction. I just didn't want to. So I followed along behind him as he walked along the just tilled rows, and walked right into an underground hive of yellow jackets. They were quite upset at having had their home tilled up, and swarmed around my bare legs (I was wearing shorts) and stung me unrepentantly until I realized what was occurring. I screamed loudly and ran back to the house as fast as I could. My Grandpa followed along at a more sedate pace, and when he reached me, sobbing and crying in my Grandma's arms, quietly let me know it was my own fault, and turned and continued tilling. I would not be the curmudgeon I am today without that sterling example given to me while still so young. I set my feet upon a path which I proudly stand today.

One whose works I have attempted to emulate over the years is the Master Curmudgeon himself, Walter Matheau. When I saw him in that wonder of wonders, Dennis the Menace, I understood him. He was exactly what I wanted to become - insensitive of others, desiring nothing but his own peace and quiet, unsupportive. A man can go a long, long way before finding such a role model. It saddened me greatly that he succumbed to something so ridiculous as simpering relief at the end, though. But as the movie ended, and he sat with a flaming marshmallow on his forehead, I was left with high hopes that he would once again attain curmudgeon-hood.

And his work in the Grumpier Old Man movies! Spectacular! The genuine warmth with which he delivers the lines such as "Nag!" to Sofia Loren; and "Putz" to Jack Lemon are examples to be followed by we older men. Now the part played by Burgess Meredith was good as well, but I think he had just a little too much good in him as evidenced by his singing that sickly sweet song "Dream a little dream of me" to that spoiled little girl. I mean, how can we take him seriously as a curmudgeon if he sings a nite nite song to a little girl! The scene whereby Sir Walter pushed Jack's ice fishing shack into the thin ice was truly memorable. Ah, if only I could one day attain such a wonderful place where I could do something such as that to one I called friend!

As it is, I must find ways to be curmudgeonly in my life were they lay. It may be at dinner, where everything is wonderful, but I find that the potatoes are cold. I must sometimes force down the obligatory "Everything is wonderful!" statement and give the cold, hard, honest truth. "Ah, the potatoes are cold, but I'll eat them anyway." It is sometimes hard to watch the smile leave their faces, but one must be what one must be. And I am a Curmudgeon.

I do find it difficult to be a Curmudgeon in the real world, however. Too many people take offense at the truth. One must watch one's step in the workplace. Generally speaking, others do not take kindly to such statements as "Yes, you smell horribly" or "I really don't care why you are late, the fact remains you are late. You're fired." or the timeless "Will you shut up? I don't care about your life outside of what you do here for me. I am the only thing that should matter while you are at work. Focus on pleasing me, and me alone." If only we could say what we really think!

It can be difficult at home, as well. Perpetually smiling faces surround; a wife who adores you can create cracks in your curmudgeon-hood through which honest emotions can creep, and annihilate all that you have worked for. Those consistently happy children who give you pause for thought that they might just be as good as they seem. Never mind the momentary selfish acts such as leaving you alone and cleaning up after themselves; it makes it hard to be upset at these happy, loving people around you. As a matter of fact, if I am being honest here (and as a curmudgeon, one must tell the truth!), I kind of like having hugs given for no reason, and hearing my wife tell me she loves me no matter what, and having my youngest son curl up next to me on the couch and say "You're the best Daddy in the whole wide world!" while watching a movie or cartoons. It tends to warm my ice cold heart the same way the ice melted in Scrooge's heart when he was forced to look at his life in a different manner.

Perhaps I am not a curmudgeon after all! Perhaps, like the Grinch, my heart has swelled three times today! After all, it is my birthday, and I received presents, both those purchased and those given freely in the form of love and adoration. Perhaps, I am loved! Wow! Can you imagine! It is my birthday, and Thanksgiving all rolled in to one big present! Happy Thanksgiving, one and all! Eat hearty, enjoy fellowship, and give thanks for that which you have been blessed! I give thanks for my wife, and my children; for the bountiful harvest from which we shall eat; and I ask blessings for those less fortunate than ourselves, those who may not have family to share this holiday with. We have friends of our daughter coming over, as they are married but have no family nearby. We have been chosen to be their family for the day. We have our 19 year old prodigal son coming for dinner, and he is bringing his girlfriend. I have been advised to be nice, and grudgingly will do so. We even have my mother-in-law coming for dinner. Yeah. Perhaps I can maintain my curmudgeonly behavior just a tad for her. After all, my birthday gift from her was a pair of sweats with "Juicy" across the seat of the sweats. They were on sale, she advised. Great deal, only $0.50!

I must respectfully decline the offer to join CuSSed this year.I find that I still have a ways to go to achieve true curmudgeon-hood. I love my family, and enjoy their smiles; I love my wife, and will do anything to assure she continues to love me; and I love to make people smile. I hope you are smiling now, fellow hubbers. I wish naught but the best for each and every one of you, and wish all a Happy Thanksgiving!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well let me the be the first online to wish you a Happy Birthday and a Happy Thanksgiving, all rolled up into one. You are a good man my friend, and I'm proud to know you.

      Blessings to you and yours today!

      By the way, I don't think you saw my tribute to you a few hubs back...Hubbers who have been my support system....I appreciate you.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      As you lounge in a pair of "juicy"sweats with a forced grinch face may I send the happiest of birthday blessings to you.

      From your descriptions with your Grandfather who so purposely pointed out your bee affliction, to one of my favorite icons Walter Matheau I commend you for providing such wonderful humor on this unique take toward birthdays.

      I proudly classify myself as a warm hearted curmudgeon as I can soo relate tot he Grinch and enjoy him most of all before his heart grew three sizes too big!!!! LOL

    • dailytop10 profile image

      dailytop10 4 years ago from Davao City

      Happy birthday! hehe

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Bill, thank you. I had not seen your hub including me, but I went straight there and I am humbled by you. Thank you again and again for all you have done for me: for your help in my written word, observations you have made have always been welcome. And a huge thank you for this today. Being included in one of your hubs is by far the best birthday gift of the day!

      Irish eyes, thank you for your wishes as well. I find it hard to believe you are a card carrying curmudgeon; you are far too kind for that.

      dailytop10, I appreciate the stop, comment, and birthday wishes. May all of you have a wonderful turkey day, and enjoy your families on this day!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I believe we males must always test the "curmudgeonly" waters after we pass half a century in years, Mr. Archer. I was no exception and was deemed to be well qualified for the position by my wife. :(

      SSSSS

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      And I wish you the same, though a day late. And happy birthday, too, you old curmudgeon.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I am definitely smiling. :) What a great (and fun) hub. Happy Belated Birthday Wishes! Hope you had a great Christmas and I wish you and yours a Blessed New Year. :) Sharing. :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the smiles. I love your wit and humor. Happy birthday!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      Belated happy birthday Mr. Grumpy! Hehehehe.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, phdast7! Our Christmas was a blessing, and we are hopeful for the New Year to follow suit. I pray you and yours had a wonderful Christmas, and will have a great New Year, as well. I appreciate the read, comment,and especialy the share! Take care!

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Why thank you, Rebecca. Wit and humor, eh? I thought I lost those items many years ago. Glad to know some of it still resides within. Have a wonderful holiday season, and many blessings to you. And thanks for the birthday wishes!

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you! Mr. Grumpy; yep, that about says it all.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Funny, and Interesting and a belated Happy Birthday!

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Sir! Glad you enjoyed it.

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