Originally Posted by Nords
On a more serious note, I wonder if this sort of behavioral change could be caused by a shifting of body chemistry similar to depression.
Maybe "depression" is the wrong word from the clinical perspective. I agree that there are plenty of reasons to get grumpy about aging. But perhaps the body tries to force that process along by no longer creating enough of the right kinds of endorphins or seritonins or whatever's appropriate.
I wonder if it's as easy as a shot from the "Optimism Gun":
The Practical Benefits of Outrageous Optimism | Mr. Money Mustache
Maybe my mother's health has something to do with it, but I feel that it is not the case. I think it's more with getting older. But heck, how does one separate the effects of aging and deteriorating health, as they go together?
I read the "Optimism Gun" article. I prefer to be a realistic person, and not so optimistic.
Anyway, I truly believe people all get grumpier as they age. And curmudgeoness is not a binary state, but a matter of degrees. We all get more impatient and cranky as we age.
But one can be ill-tempered and in a very bad mood without really being a curmudgeon (not that we have really defined that term). I will give an example as follows. This is a cranky guy who is not really a curmudgeon, and someone I never was, am, or ever will be.
We went to Home Depot today to buy some bags of manure to prepare for fall planting. As we waited in line at the cash register, there were two persons in front of us. There was some problem, and the customer being served was there for quite a bit longer than it should have taken.
Another customer came up behind me. He immediately complained that there was only one cash register open (this was at the garden/outdoor area). As this guy had only one item in hand, my wife signaled to me that we should let him go ahead of us. I nodded in agreement, and told the guy to go ahead. He thanked us.
When this guy got to the cash register, he wanted to pay for something that was out in front of the store, out at the curb actually. The cashier had problems looking it up on the computer. This guy was a foreigner, and we had some difficulties understanding him. Still, while he was getting more and more impatient and started to raise his voice with the cashier, we heard he said "On sale, Potting soil, 99c".
So, my wife and I looked at each other as we shared the same thought. Heck, we wanted to get some of that cheap potting soil too. So, we left our cart and took a quick walk outside to see what it was.
It was simply another pallet of the same bags of manure that we just picked up from back of the store. It was not potting soil, not on sale, and the price was 97c, not 99c. No wonder the clerk had problems looking it up. Meanwhile, this cranky and impatient customer was fuming.
So, we walked back in, and told the clerk that he could simply scan the bags of manure that we had in our cart, instead of looking up something that did not exist.
Good grief. Cranky as I could ever be, I would not be so impatient and ill-tempered, and made a fool of myself, particularly when I was all wrong to start out with. By the way, he was about mid-50, our age.
Amazingly, the cashier remained cool throughout all this.