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Old 06-12-2017, 05:53 AM
65 posts, read 39,749 times
Reputation: 137


My 86 year old father USED TO BE a big shot. He used to be the chairman of the board at the local country club; the "go-to person" for favors, a very successful businessman and one of the wealthiest people in the medium sized town he lived in. Everyone deferred to him and treated him like a king.

Now he lives in a retirement community in a larger town and he still tries to act like a big shot. But now most people think he is just a braggart and doesn't care about his successes from 30 years ago.

What is it about older people who think just because they were big shots years ago when they are young, anyone cares about that when they are in their 80s today?

Does your financial, career and social successes and failures from your younger days impact your persona today as a retired person?
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:34 AM
Location: The South
5,250 posts, read 3,649,924 times
Reputation: 7951
All I can say is , wait till you are 86 and then you will understand.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:13 AM
Location: Arizona
5,973 posts, read 5,321,927 times
Reputation: 18060
It is not all old people. What people did before is not usually a topic of conversation. People are more concerned with their life now, not the past. When you move to a retirement community it is a fresh start. No one knew you in the past and don't really care what you did. The ones that ask about it or talk about it do come off as braggarts or nosy.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:03 AM
Location: Close to an earthquake
890 posts, read 679,280 times
Reputation: 2390
There's no doubt in my mind that I am an average ordinary citizen of the middle-age man vintage; I discovered this long time ago. But I do remember wanting to be somebody when I was younger, and I really worked hard at it, believing it would be my ticket to eternal self-esteem and the fountain of success in the eyes of my family and friends who looked at me and my accomplishments.

Then I became a little wiser and discovered that I wanted to be nobody, an average Joe Blow, or an average ordinary citizen as the higher powers like to say. I discovered that trying to be nobody was much more difficult and, unbeknownst to be, has been a greater source of happiness, making me feel more comfortable in the company of other average ordinary citizens like my good friends Joe 6-Pack and Joe the Plumber.

There's nothing inferior about being an average ordinary citizen so I'll continue going about my life being just an average Joe Blow.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:08 AM
515 posts, read 307,409 times
Reputation: 2525
Small people who can never be satisfied. Always trying to fill the hole that they see themselves as.

Also, bullies, criminal types, and people with entirely too much perceived but unwarranted self-esteem. That's who does those things. Remarkably un-well-adjusted people.

And I don't consider being on a board of a country club as being important. And most things people see as "important." Whoo-, as the saying goes, -pee.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:11 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,864 posts, read 4,974,759 times
Reputation: 17353
Some people are egocentric. They need to constantly pretend that they are important. Usually, the ones who are the most needy for affirmation were actually the weakest leaders.

Although we might have to put up with that stuff while working in order to maintain employment, it quickly gets tiring after retirement.

I remember Ken Olson, the founder of Digital Equipment Corp who always referred to himself as an "engineer". That was enough status for him.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:24 AM
Location: Wisconsin
2,748 posts, read 1,711,066 times
Reputation: 8575
While I don't like braggarts who keep telling their worn out stories of former glories, around here retirees tend to be so self-effacing that you can be acquainted with someone for a long time and not know what they did at all. I do like to hear if someone did something noteworthy or had an interesting career.

But please leave me out of the conversations that begin, as someone I knew once said, "Oh, did I ever tell tell you that I knew Angela Lansbury's sister?"
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:28 AM
Location: Nebraska
1,886 posts, read 2,304,719 times
Reputation: 5327
I was in a position of power at my company. I ran every thing in my business world, even had power over my superiors. Working for decades for the same company and working myself up the ladder was something I was proud of and I should be proud of.

After retiring, I had trouble coping with regular life, no one ever asked me what to do or how to solve any problems. But, thanks to my wife mentally slapping me a few times, brought me back to day to day living.

I used to tell people how big I was in business, but, now I just tell people I worked 30 years for XYZ company. I seem to always run into people that know me from business but I can't remember them.

It took about 5 years to get back to what I was before I was anything. Now I'm just a normal person.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:43 AM
Location: Florida
4,377 posts, read 3,716,488 times
Reputation: 4116
Might be not a lot to do but talk.

In my community what you use to do does not come up in conversation on a regular basis. I would not mind if it did come up occasionally as it could be interesting conversation. The mix of people range from the CIA, Seals, Race Car driver, Doctor, Builders, Construction workers, inventor etc. Almost all professions. It would be interesting to hear some of their stores.

But as the OP is indicating what ever you did in the past is in the past and you are just a regular guy.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:53 AM
Location: New Mexico
6,624 posts, read 3,690,289 times
Reputation: 12447
At 86 there could be an issue of diminished respect and minimized contributions. Contact an oral history librarian and have him record his personal recollections. At that age he might have a lot to talk about.
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