Grumpy Old Man Syndrome, Deconstructed


Grumpy Old Man Syndrome is not listed in the DSM-V [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders], but it should be given its level of predictability.

As cited in the Huffington Post article [above], the disorder appears to present in men once they hit the age of 70, and then rapidly escalates until they die – or are poisoned by their wives, I assume.

The article states that “A 70-year-old man is a shadow of his former self – both physically and mentally. He then becomes invisible to those younger than him. He lacks a sense of purpose. He loses his firmness and assertiveness, and shrinks in stature and personality.”

Yea, no shit.

Needless to say, I’m writing about this because we Baby Boomers are next in line.

Just to clear the air of any misconceptions, though, I hereby state unequivocally that “I, Jay Rusovich, will not go down the road of indignity.” 

Too bad the same is isn’t true of most guys my age.

In some cases I get that their deterioration is tied to debilitating financial problems.

…i.e., “How the hell do I get back what I lost in 2008?”

But for everyone else, it’s resignation tied to depression.

Their “bad backs” are no excuse for transforming otherwise ambitious and confident men into creeping unics.

I hear about all their aches and pains as the pity party rages, but I know that deep down they realize it  only hastens the downhill tumble.

Everything at this stage of the game is in the throes of attrition.

Everything needs to be propped up

And the moment you take your eyes off the ball, rest assured it’s already down the rabbit hole.

No, you can no longer bounce out of bed like a Cirque performer and then dive into the world on a cup of coffee and a dream.

But you can stretch, have a healthy breakfast, brush your teeth, take a shower, comb whatever hair you have, and walk out of the house knowing that at some point during the course of the day you will hit the gym hard.

After all this time, the gym is the one place I can’t avoid if I want to keep my own life propped up, finances notwithstanding.

And no, it’ not a cakewalk.

No wonder there are legions of walking wounded waiting to die at the hands of lions.

Of course younger people dismiss them outright, stealing fuel from their already dying souls.

I’d rather die myself than live in their condition.


Irrelevance is the aging man’s crucible.

Using the metaphor for what it is, if you don’t carry the cross to the very end, you’ll die at the foot of the mountain with the rest of the herd.

No one will ever beat me down without a fight. I will go to the wall for myself because there is no one else to lean on at the beginning and end of every day.

The moment I can stand tall I will stand down, at which point you should know that I like long-stem white roses…