When it comes to old people, I've noticed a trend of either being really sweet and down to earth or cranky and rude, with no in between. I've always heard that people's personalities are amplified as they get older. Meaning that those who were really caring and nice throughout their lives are the kind, old people you love to be around, while those who lived their lives in anger just become more miserable with age. Maybe it's because they are tired, impatient, don't care enough anymore, or are just plain over it. But it seems that all the older people I know are have become an even stronger version of their younger self.
Every time I visit my grandma's new retirement community, I am always amazed at the difference in personality between the residents that live there. I walk into the sitting area with my mom and see the usual cast of characters. We approach my grandma's table, saying hello to the women she has recently become friends with. One of them hugs my mom and there is a chorus of, "Wow, I see the resemblance!" She smiles at me saying how, "We love your grandmother so much, she's the greatest." To my dismay, I hear another woman a few feet away mutter under her breath, "Not really, we just put up with her." Now wait a minute, I thought. I couldn't believe she had just said that and I think I was too in shock to respond in my grandma's defense, but now I'm really wishing I did.
Between the politics and personalities of the residents, I've experienced them saying some of the meanest things about the other residents at that place. While it's heartwarming to chat with my grandma and her friends in the dining area, and I love when my grandma proudly takes me to her activities like their sing-alongs and exercise classes, it also amazes me how catty and cliquey some of the women there can be.
It's scary to see that people can carry that negativity with them throughout their lives. I'm not saying you have to get along with absolutely everyone, but there is no way to describe some of these women who are always causing problems besides nasty. You would think that type of behavior is reserved for middle and high school drama, but I guess it doesn't matter how old you get.
Showing respect is just a general way everyone should live their lives, but cliquey and catty become less of a behavioral trend and more of a personality trait if you let them. I hope I remember this as I get older because I never want to be that woman that I was so close to arguing with that day at my grandma's place. And hey, in the long run, it's probably better I kept the peace and didn't say anything.
The way you treat people becomes a habit, which is one of the many reasons why it's so important to live a happy life and be kind to people whenever possible.