First, let me say, although I am religion editor, this is not really about religion. I may mention a religious situation that ticks me off but the gist of this thing is things that make me mad.
I am not a new senior citizen. I reached that designation many years ago. I thought I’d never become one of those typically grumpy, complaining, down-on-life persons you usually see portrayed in cartoons. But, I took a long look at myself not too long ago and all of a sudden realized that I may have turned into a Maxine … you know … that funny-looking cartoon lady who complains about everything. She’s on greeting cards and on Facebook, always with a smart alec remark about one of life’s little moments.
But lately, more often than I care to admit, things really tick me off and the anger sticks under my skin like a splinter.
Once I tried to do something about one of those things, but I was just laughed at by the Georgia Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau. Disappointed and insulted, I just started saving things up and decided when I got my courage up again I might try Bill Liss at Channel 11 (WXIA). So far, I haven’t.
To make myself feel better, I thought I might share a couple of my grumbles with you and see if it’s just me, or does everybody feel this way?
First, that thing I was going to try Bill Liss on: For several years I’ve been getting notices in the mail about “new benefits” available to me that will pay my funeral expenses. It’s worded to make you think this is a new benefit from the government … something you are entitled to in addition to any social security benefit you may get. Hah!
Of course, you and I know it’s a thinly veiled pitch for an insurance policy. It really made me mad to think of some elderly people who would not see through it, who would send for the info, call the number, and get sucked into something they really didn’t want or need. I started saving the notices … they came from all over … Georgia, Texas, Florida, Arizona … all telling me this was my last chance to file for these “benefits.” The more I saved, the madder I got. This was really deceptive advertising and that was my complaint. They were deliberately worded to fool some poor old person into parting with their money. But, what can you do? I don’t know.
Okay, set that one aside.
Another thing that set me off was the advertisement for one particular walking cane on TV. That has got to be the stupidest ad of all times, especially the list of things that come with it. You get the cane, the carrying case, the wrist strap and a genuine, certificate of authenticity. What, pray tell, is that? How can you authenticate a cane? Advertising people must think we’re really stupid. And TV advertising costs a lot of money. I can’t believe they’d waste money on such senseless advertising. You can buy the same thing at the drug store for half the price. Of course, you don’t get the certificate of authenticity. What a shame.
The advertisements for “risk free trials” really tick me off too. Those are deliberately worded to make you believe you’re getting something for free. And the one for the hair growing miracle goes it one better, telling you (at 2 a.m.) that those whose names begin with A-L may call now while others must wait until 9 a.m. the next morning. Those irritate me so much I usually mute the sound.
Another thing that irritates me is all the actresses who have had those bee-sting injections to increase the size of their lips. Do they know how ugly they look now? Meg Ryan just broke my heart when she did hers. She was so cute and had such a delightful smile. No more. Again, what a shame.
And the religious thing that irritates me? The lack of old hymns in church services these days. There was a big discussion on FaceBook about that recently and I was surprised to learn that nine out of ten people agree with me.
I do wish there was one church that would have a service for us old folks … just once a month would do. Have it in the early afternoon, sing the old familiar hymns, stick to the old familiar service and let us feel like we’ve really been to church. What would it hurt?
The mother of one of my old boyfriends was such a devout and old-school Catholic that she drove to the other side of the county to hear the service in Latin.
We old folks do have our needs and sometimes will go to great lengths to meet them.
Getting back to the ads, I know scams are not new. Maybe I’m just more aware of them now that I’m the target of many. How about you? Any scams and schemes that really tick you off?
Let me know and maybe we can do something about it.
Judy Kilgore is the religion editor for The Citizen. She lives in Newnan with her cat, Minerva.