Crabby Old Lady Throws a Grammar Fit
THINKING OUT LOUD: Memory Lapses and Unsuccessful Aging

A TGB READER STORY: Off to Buy Vitamins

By Deborah Cavel-Greant who blogs at Simple Not Easy

I'm on Facebook, it's how I keep up with my friends and family members. But the "targeted" ads I am served are a hoot and some days are more entertaining than the FB posts.

My favourite is the one about a 50-year-old woman whose dermatologist hates her for her age-defying beauty secret which makes her look 25 (and which she is willing to sell me).

I’m not interested because if I looked 25 people would expect me to act 25 and if there's one thing I love about being old it's that you don't have to apologize for being slow anymore.

Another frequent ad thrown at me is from a dating service that laments the fact that their "senior men" can't find "faithful senior women like you Deborah".

Since I’ve been married to the same old fella for almost 55 years, if I answered that ad I'd not be the "faithful" woman they're looking for would I? Besides their "senior men" (hunky bare-chested models dressed as policemen and firemen and doctors) - are all about 35! My sons are older!

Still hoping they have a merry and potentially wealthy widow on their hands (I gave Facebook NO information other than my name, age and hometown I left at age 11), they offer to move me into a high-end retirement home, then try to entice me to join a single-seniors-only cruise. I sense frustration as they try to find something, anything that I might buy.

An interior designer will come to my home and make sure it doesn't have that "granny vibe" we all fear. Sadly, I do not care for their recommended $12,000 sofa that looks like three metal ironing boards welded together into an isosceles triangle and covered with shiny fuchsia-coloured Naugahyde.

They are flummoxed. Abandoning the hope that I am a high-rolling, world-cruising-cougar, they test the theory that I am a crippled-up, penny-pinching old party pooper and offer to sell me the secret of how to get $35,000 of free money from the government because I am infirm.

When I don't even want to know how to get $35,000 of free-for-the-taking-money, desperation sets in.

It's well known if you are over 65, you are either decrepit or an elderly Olympian so they abandon all semblance of targeting and simply go with alternating stereotypes. They begin rotating advertisements for medical aids with those for hair-raising experiences.

Do I need a new electric wheelchair? No? Do I want to go sky-diving? No? How about standing out in the geezer crowd with a hand-carved cane from Borneo? No?

Surely I'd enjoy a life-changing (I read this as "life-ending") sledding adventure down the North Face of the Matterhorn? NO? Perhaps I need a medical lift or a potty chair to sit beside my bed? NO?

An all-inclusive travel package to Mozambique to run in a marathon? NO???

When I don't pitch my credit card at the screen, I visualize them hunched over their keyboards with knit brows, shuffling ads like a deck of solitaire cards. One, gnawing his thumb knuckle, says tensely, "Pull back a little, offer her (long pause) square-dancing lessons."

They watch with nervous expectation as the ad comes and goes, all Madison Avenue ad agency sweat under the armpits as FB stock ticks lower by the second. A vein in a temple pulses visibly. One swears, and spits out, “The old dame is holding out. She's still not buying ANYTHING!”

In rapid succession they promise to hide my varicose veins, cure my diabetes, lift my sagging bosom, reduce my dewlap and “turkey-neck”, ease my painful gout. This gives me pause. I don’t have any of these problems; perhaps Facebook has a "Coming Afflictions" application I have inadvertently signed up for? Should I worry about this?

But I crumbled when I got a message from my cousin Mack this morning. Facebook has apparently developed an app that does what no other web application has ever done before; transcended that final curtain which we have never peered beyond.

My dearly loved cousin Mack passed away last December. However, I got a message on Facebook from him today recommending a well-known brand of senior's vitamins.

They finally have me. I'm off to buy some. If those vitamins can make Mack feel well enough to post to FB from where he's gone, they might finally make a square-dancer out of me.

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[EDITORIAL NOTE: Reader's stories are welcome. If you have not published here or not recently, please read submission instructions. Only one story per email.]


Let us know how they work.

I really enjoyed this post. I laughed all the way through. Thanks I needed a great laugh.

Great way to spend the wee early hours.

My cheeks got a workout, and that's good enough for any exercise routine from the neck up.


Best TGB reader story EVER!!! Loved it! :-))

Best TBG Reader Story yet. Well written and funny. Love it!

Totally brilliant! I am forwarding it to all my decrepit friends. Many thanks.

Deborah , you are a hoot ! I ditched FB over a year ago and have never regretted it for a moment . I’m sure Mack is chuckling as well! Thank you for the laughs although I may have to consider caulking to bulk up the extra wrinkles .

Thanks for a deep breathing and facial muscles workout as I laughed and laughed!

Oh my...too funny!

Absolutely LOVED this! Thank you Deborah. I'll now stop being irritated by all those ads, and start being amused.

I loved your story!! I don’t do Facebook but the ads on TV give me similar vibes.
You are a talented writer.

Hilarious! So telling and so cleverly done. Definitely first prize in the laughs-per-sentence category.

Loved it Deborah. You're a great writer, funny and spot on.

Absolutely delightful! Thank you!

I’m sure I’ll find those ads more amusing from now on.

Funny, verging on droll. You might like Stephen Leacock.

Great story!Thanks for the laughs.i needed that.

Totally fun! Laugh and laugh again. You really know how to write funny!! Thanks!

There's a difference between us -- maybe a few!
I am a 95-year-old male whose only medical issues are "considerable" weight gain, post-ops re: lumbar and hernia, and with a wonderful heart valve taken from a cow!
My ads are for "silly" tee shirts (and I have bought enough of them to fill 2 large drawers in my chest of drawers), and male stuff, which I ignore.
By contrast, I put everything about myself online and do frequently get some "friend requests" from some very sexy Asian gals with no info except place of birth, like yours -- and since they are "bots", I ignore them.
Keep on hanging in and blogging; I did like today's more than some.

Wonderful! Thank you, Deborah!

Lots of fun. But it makes you wonder about all that information FB has about us. Is any of it really true?

I always knew FaceBook could be good for something - an hour of laughter. Thanks, Deborah

I laughed from beginning to end!! Wonderful story Deborah!
I also have never Facebooked; TMI (too much information).

What a charming series of events. We have all been there.

Funny.😃 Well stated! Thanks for sharing

Of all the stories I've read since this started, this is THE ONE!!! Thanks for several belly laughs.

To Emiel Meisel: To be clear, this Tuesday feature is always written by a TGB reader, not me.

I do enjoy the posts on this blog, that's why I read it every day but today's was a real hoot!
I gave up Facebook a few years ago not because I have anything to hide but I simply don't like their business model.

You have a wonderful comedic style, Deborah.  Thank you for sharing it here. 

As a retired nurse I know that laughter, however brief, changes us in mind, body, and spirit...always for the better. 

A Buddhist friend once remarked "Laughter is Carbonated Holiness".  I agree wholeheartedly.  

Perfect, real, laughed hard!

Love your comedic writing style.

So good! Laughed out loud! Facebook thinks they know all, but they clearly don't know what sassy senior women really want, do they? Well done!

Great story! Deborah didn't look at the ads with indifference or as annoyances but rather as sources of humor. Good strategy!

Oh, Deborah!
Thank you for a hilarious account of your FB ads. This piece is so well delightfully observed. You have a keen eye, lady, and a well honed sense of humor.

I am grateful for anything that makes me smile--well, today you made me grin, smile, chuckle and guffaw!


Ha! Great post. I'm not a big fan of FB either. I don't think I've actually bought anything pitched there. The only thing I ever "follow" are a few cat sites.

Well done! I'm a day behind in reading it, but glad I went back to catch up, it was delightful and a real mood lifter following an early morning drive in the dark in freezing precipitation with a carful of yowling cats in the back seat. Thank you!

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments! Charlene I love your Buddhist friends quote that laughter is carbonated holiness. I'm going to steal that!

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