Now that I'm of a "certain age," I'm beginning to understand "elder truth." The fodder of late night comics and embarrassment of those decades younger. You know -- that cliche' of elders speaking their minds or asking questions without censorship.
My mother and her sister have recently found themselves expressing thoughts or making inquiries that they wouldn't have had the nerve to do years ago. And I find myself questioning my inner filter.
After you've been on the planet long enough, you've experienced and witnessed a lot. You've encountered representatives of different personality types. You immediately recognize situations and/or characters that you've experienced before. Your tolerance is waning. You no longer comprehend the need to be polite to bores or listen to young persons espousing philosophies based on limited life experience.
What the hell (see?). You start saying "no" when you no longer want to be the steadfast volunteer. You stop making up excuses when you don't want to attend social functions and just say you can't make it. You tell the young folks that their goals are ridiculous or their significant others are totally inappropriate.
You're old. People make allowances. Sometimes your honesty is considered refreshing and cute.
And sometimes, like Earl, you're reminded why we filter our thoughts.
There's something to be said for silence accompanied by a knowing nod. The speaker can interpret the gesture as understanding, agreement, or in any manner he or she desires. Meanwhile I'm thinking, "The new season of The Closer starts tonight. Yay!"