Cumberland Times-News

May 4, 2013

The longer I live, the less I can tolerate

Maude McDaniel, Columnist
Cumberland Times-News

— The older you get the lower your tolerance level sinks. I may have written about these before, but nothing has changed so I’m going to try to change the world again.

I have begun to realize how much I used to put up with . Now I’m too old to stand it anymore. Here’s a tolerance tester I’ve struggled with for 40 years — torn blue jeans. With all my best efforts, holes and tatters seem in no danger of dying out. After all this time, you would think that blue jeans themselves would go out of fashion. And it is true that there are black ones now, and red, green and brown ones too nowadays.

Still, I read a new book last week in which the rebellious character proudly owned “torn jeans and slouchy hoodies,” so I guess they’re here to stay — both jeans and holes. But wouldn’t a REALLY rebellious character nowadays wear, say, purple rayon pants without a single hole in them to show how independent she is? Just wondering.

What my tolerance is not up to accepting is the ragged look, something like Tiny Tim in warm weather. I have seen certain overachievers wearing less jeans than hole, and that is a sight in itself. It’s also, I think, an insult to the poor, who I bet carefully mend every hole their jeans can come up with. Well, I don’t know that for sure. Maybe torn jeans make life easier for them. Maybe they like the look.

Not me. We do not wear hoop skirts any more. We do not wear snoods. Torn jeans should be on their way out by now, like all self-respecting fashiona. I think it’s a little creepy that the young of our time choose to look just like their parents did when they were young. Where is their self-respect? Why are they still wearing torn jeans?

Okay, and is there any line of work that hands out more prizes to itself, than show biz? I have had it with all these award shows that choose every possible reason to showcase — guess what? — show biz. Over and over again. We have the Tonys and the Emmies and the Oscars and the Frenzies (I just made that one up but it sounds right, doesn’t it?) And then we have the pre-Tony shows and the pre-Emmies and the Pre-Oscars, and even post-Emmies and Oscars which generally criticize the gowns and are the only ones in the lot that I watch.

And that’s not counting all the other award shows. All these are for actors and actresses, of course. When was the last time you saw an award show for “Best Blacktopper of the Year?” Or “Best Shot-Giver at Your Local Hospital — You Can’t Even Feel It Going In?” Or “Best Panda Artificial Inseminator of the Decade?”

Just wait for it, soon there will be The Best Oscar Show of All the Oscar Shows. or The Top Emmy of All the Emmy Shows. Showbiz has taken over the world!

Earrings. There are always two of them, but I inevitably end up losing only one. Short of cutting off one ear, can we invent a fashion that allows you to wear just one, or even mismatched earrings please? I promise not to be intolerant about it. I also marvel at the HUGE earrings people wear these days. Although deep down I have to admit I wish I could wear them — except that I know if I did, I would trip over them.

Do you mind mouthwash commercials as much I do? This is a good example of my buildup in intolerance, because I don’t remember being turned off 20 years ago by watching people pumping stuff inside their cheeks for 30 seconds at a time. Now, I can hardly watch a whole commercial through, and I don’t even know why.

And here’s another pet peeve of mine — the young couples on House Hunters who see a house perfect in every way, except it doesn’t have granite kitchen countertops. Or the closet hardware is out-of-date. Listen, kids, you can handle it, honest! Live with it for a while — or forever if maybe college educations for your children are at stake. When I think of the kitchens I have endured through my lifetime because something else, practically anything else, was more important — suck it up, kids.

I am also getting intolerant of old age. Keep in mind, this is the time when not only your energy runs out, but so do all your lifetime guarantees. I lie awake at night afraid that I won’t last as long as my lifetime guarantees. Wait, let me think about that for a minute ... .

Oh well. So far so good. When I get intolerant of living, I’ll let you know.

Maude McDaniel is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears on alternate Sundays in the Times-News.