Grandma’s Rant


If you came here looking for purty pic-tures of flowers, you had better move on. There is a bee in my bonnet, whatever that type of headgear is. I thought it was what the Brits call the hood of their cars. As usual, this bee has been spurred by television commercials in particular and a certain mindset noticed on the world wide web as well. It has to do with something they are trying to sell being referred to as …not your grandma’s (insert product name here). As though something that had once belonged to one’s grandmother was of less value than things being produced today. The stuff I have inherited from both of my dearly departed grandmothers is made of better materials than anything coming over from the vastness of mainland China today, and made with craftmanship not affordable by most today, either. Why can’t those whose vast years of living has taught them a wisdom not found in any other way be revered rather than ridiculed? Has one of these young whippersnappers discovered the fountain of youth? A way to not age with the passage of each ticking second of the clock? It will happen to us all, that grey hair, the laugh lines, accumulated knowledge.

Oh, they aren’t talking about MY grandmother? They are talking about ME! And my generation, you know, the baby boomers. That great wad of humanity that was born after the end of the second world war when soldiers came home and found plenty of jobs, reasonable housing prices and affordable loans to buy them and maybe even a car and television set. Many families even had a stay at home mom who took care of the house, the kids and cooked the meals. It was the way I grew up, as a child of that era and the memories of it are fond ones. It is vastly different today, for sure.

But really, why are sponsors insulting us? Is it because those with life experience have already chosen their brands and will remain loyal to them? Is it because all we represent in the marketplace is as buyers of pharmaceuticals and adult diapers, as noted by the vast majority of ads on the nightly news programs? Or is it because the wisdom that comes with years of living has taught us not to jump on board just because something is New and Improved? We are not an easy sell with flashy graphics and/or humorous pratfalls. We want quality at a reasonable price. Doesn’t everyone?

Let’s talk about gardening, then. My grandmothers were both gardeners, but in a much different way than those of today, including myself. Or was it? They passed along cuttings and divisions to friends and neighbors of their best plants. They grew vegetables from saved seed or seed from the hardware store that was sold by weight, measured out into a brown paper sack. There were mail order seed catalogs that were savored over the winter whilst they planned and dreamt of the perfect garden for the following season. Oh, wait. We still do that one, and our favorite seed catalog is a throwback to the days of old, too. They were not inundated with the latest and greatest named variety of a plant that seems more like an oddity than an improvement. They didn’t know about trends in plants. Depression era grandmas excelled at pinching pennies in every aspect of their lives. Making do, repairing and reusing any and all items was their way of life. Those lessons would help lots of young folks get by a little easier today, don’t you agree? So why dis the grandmas?

So next time television or anyone looks down their noses at their elders, maybe speak up for the values and knowledge that a longer lifetime of living has earned. We know stuff.

I just felt the need to get that off the brainwaves, back to regular garden photo programming soon. Whew, I feel better now.


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20 Responses to Grandma’s Rant

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Amen Sister. Love the bee in the bonnet photo, I mean the bee in the flower. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the rest of the week.

    Thanks Lisa. That bee is really enjoying that bonnet! You, too have a great week.

  2. 7aces/Darla says:

    Now, how to get this post in/on the media!!!
    I too have a couple of bee photos on my finally wordpress blog. Not so easy to figure out for me. Glad you feel better!

    Thanks for the support, Darla! I will add your new blog to the blogroll. You will figure it out, trial and error is the best way, or it was for me, anyway.

    Thank you for your visit and adding me to your blogroll.

    The pleasure is mine, Darla. I love your photos! I need to try and clean up the blogroll, it has gotten unwieldy! HA

  3. Carol says:

    Whew, I hope you do feel better now, that was quite a rant. But I agree what’s old should not be viewed as less than what’s new. Sometimes it is more and better.

    Thanks Carol. It could have been much more, it was toned down to show that I am a calm person. HA

  4. zen says:

    Advertising is full of one-liner crap that i can’t stand (and i fear becoming the curmudeon that i used to make fun of), but the automobile industry is frequently the group that pisses me off. At least they don’t hit me with “Not your grandmother’s sports-car” but they’re not much beyond it. My latest grrrrrating phrase is by Honda/Acura that is trying to sell both luxury and speed in the same car: “Aggression in its most elegant form.” Well, i’m here to tell you that there’s NOTHING elegant about aggression.

    Anyway, at least i got that off my chest on “not my grandmother’s internet.”

    Hi Zen, thanks for adding in here, nice to see you. This rant is directed against ageism at all levels. Those guilty of such must think they will never age themselves. I’ve got news for them… The car companies and the advertising agencies that make loads of cashola off of them must believe we don’t buy cars. If they only knew that we are the ones that can afford to buy new cars, well, that is another rant for another day. My grandmother’s internet, good one!

  5. Hear hear! Being one of the younger generation myself, I love and value the knowledge and wisdom of people who have had more time seeing and experiencing how the world works. People who assume that someone from a different generation (older or younger) has nothing to teach them are only depriving themselves of information, fun, and friendship.

    Bless you, my child! Your attitude is a shining example of how all ages of humans should treat and respect each other. I thank you again for including me in your old fashioned flowers meme. I learned alot from you and your friends. Wisdom and experience is priceless and meant to be shared, not spurned, as you well know.

  6. Layanee says:

    Go girl! Hopefully, with age comes wisdom.

    Thanks Layanee. We are not wise all the time, or even most of the time, but we do have experience!

  7. commonweeder says:

    Sometimes I fear for the younger generation if the media feels they will swallow that advertising.

    Same here, Pat. Are the young ones really that gullible? Not savvy to marketing techniques?

  8. Robin Ripley says:

    Well said. It’s time we all start pushing back about the ageism we encounter in the media and in daily life.

    Thanks, Robin. It seems to me that it is getting worse. Or am I just getting persnickity in my dotage?

  9. Ginger Goolsby says:

    Frances, all I can say to your marvelous rant is a hearty “AMEN”!

    Thanks for your support, Ginger!

  10. Leslie says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here…ageism is not a marketing tool. I, too, say AMEN!

    Thanks Leslie. I hope those ads come back to bite their makers and the companies they represent. Insulting anyone is no way to sell a product.

  11. I’m not sure when ageism became a part of our culture. Other cultures have a long tradition of honoring and even revering their elders (think of all those fantasy stories with the wise elder mentoring the hero/heroine tropes). If any generation can give the boot to ageism, it’s the Baby Boomers. They changed the world once, they can do it again.

    I wonder too, MMD. I remember that my parents were very respectful to their own grandparents, reverent actually. Maybe this rant was triggered by those books I have been reading, the elders hold all the cards and know everything and everyone knows it. But, it might have been those same boomers who started it. I remember the phrase, never trust anyone over 30! HA

  12. Love that you have a bee in your bonnet! I really admire and respect what older generations went through and experience….am getting older myself now too after all…yes keep speaking up you do it beautifully:~) Love your bee picture of course

    Thanks Foxglove. That bee is going at it, isn’t he/she? That’s the thing, everyone ages every single second. It’s not only some and not others, to me that means, we’re all in this together. We can learn from each other, all ages, so why discount the more experienced among us?

  13. Rant away Frances, I wholeheartedly agree! I’m tired of advertising BS in general, and tend to avoid it as much as I can. I think that trend illustrates the greater problem in our society at the moment, a tremendous lack of respect for others, especially our elders. Thanks to my grandmothers I can grow my own food, cook it well, and even make my own clothes. Given a choice of my grandmother’s apple pie, or a piece of plasticized preserved concoction in a box, grandma would win, hands down. Most of my friends lack life-skills beyond using a credit card, and their iPhone, which I personally find rather sad. We’re becoming a rather self-obsessed, iPhone, FB crazed generation, something that neither of my grandmothers would even recognize or understand, and I feel in some ways we’re losing our ‘human’ connection. If I could choose to be most like anyone on earth, it would be either of my grandmothers. They were both no-nonsense, resourceful, respectful individuals, and tremendously skilled. If Madison Ave wants to sell me something, it better be just like grandmother used to make!

    Tell it, CV! Advertisers, listen up, here. No-nonsense, respectful and resourceful are qualities to be taught, not to be discarded as rubbish. Self obsessed? Not the way to get along, for sure.

  14. I don’t really know why the wisdom of the ‘elders’ does not get much respect anymore. It seems the young and new are what captures attention. Or maybe it is a phase…I hope so! Great photo and rant!

    Thanks Sage Butterfly. The question “What’s the matter with kids today?” has been asked by the older generation for centuries, so maybe it is a permanent condition and it is our perception that changes.

  15. Sharon Parker says:

    Absolutely agree with you, Frances! Thanks for giving us some food for thought …..and perhaps action!

    Thanks Sharon. I appreciate your support!

  16. Lola says:

    I whole heartily agree with you. I’m glad someone has put pen on paper about this very subject and with words so eloquent that it can’t be misunderstood. Hoooooray for you. xoxo

    Thanks Lola. Pen to paper, that’s a good one! HA

  17. Sandra Jonas says:

    I’m right there with you on this….how dare they!!

    Thanks Sandra. I guess they think we are powerless pushovers!

  18. Lyn says:

    Good rant, Frances. Of course it’s insulting and stupid, too, but they have to do something to keep people buying all that useless junk, or they’d be out of a job. I try not to listen to adds anyway. And that photo is lovely.

    Thanks Lyn. One would think that insulting potential customers of a certain age who have money to spend would not be a marketing tool. All that useless stuff, that is a rant for another day!

  19. Rose says:

    You go, girl! Having worked with teenagers most of my life, I know it’s typical of that age group to think anyone over 30 is old-fashioned. Apparently, advertisers haven’t grown up yet. You would think they’d realize what a powerful group we Baby Boomers are. My grandmothers were pretty special people, and they knew a lot that young people are just now discovering–like “sustainable living.” I have to laugh at that term, because my grandparents didn’t need a college degree to know how to live sustainably. This is one grandma who isn’t ready for the home yet:)

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Rose. I expect all kinds of eye-rolling from the younger set who are not yet adults. The advertisers should know better than to alienate such a large segment of the buying population. I remember relatives reusing and recycling everything, they just didn’t call it that. They called it being thrifty. And they certainly knew how to feed their families on a tight budget. No drive-throughs or take out for them. Going out to eat was for special occasions.

  20. So true. Some cultures respect their elders much better than we Americans do. For the most part, I’m proud to be an American, but the disrespect or neglect of elders is embarrassing. We could all learn so much from each other — age shouldn’t be much of a factor, and if anything, experience should be revered.

    Thanks for visiting, Plant Postings. Disrespect in general seems pervasive nowadays, sad to say. Some might consider it edgy and hip to be so unkind, but to me it is simply rude and mean.

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