The Gratitude-Attitude

Be careful what you ask for, because you might get it. It happened to me. Yesterday, my friend and next door neighbor Randy and I were discussing the fact that our kids are now driving cars, and we’re riding our exercise bikes. Randy is a lot younger than I am, but we’re both members of the Louie Louie Generation. So we started trying to figure out…”what is the subtle difference between growing older, and getting old”?  So we checked out how Big Louie sees it in my book “Staying Happy Healthy And Hot.” Getting old is when you sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there. Your knees buckle, but your belt won’t. You’re sitting in your rocking chair, but you can’t make it go. You get winded playing chess. That’s getting old. But getting older, can actually be a little fun. Big Louie says  “Trickery and deceit usually defeats youth and skill. It’s like the baseball pitcher who smiled as the batters ducked when he threw his 100 mile an hour fastball a little inside a few years ago. And now, even though the radar gun is showing only around 89, the smile is still there as he watches the batters screw themselves into the dirt swinging at his nice new slow slider.” 

It’s pretty obvious that the biggest difference between getting older, as Randy and I, and all members of the Louie-Louie Generation are doing, and just getting old, is in the attitude. People who are just getting old are what I call in my book, the “Dreary Drones” While Randy and I and all the members of the “Louie Louie Generation are just getting older. The secret is that Louie Louie folks have our “Gratitude-Attitude,” and the “Dreary Drones” don’t. We keep things in perspective. Instead of making up depressing lists of things we have to get done, we make lists of things that we’ve recently completed… and we look at them with great satisfaction…and we say…”Wow I’m good and I’m getting better.” We are not above sticking a post it note that reads “Out to lunch” on our foreheads, or putting our glasses on upside down to make people giggle, because we know that giggles are good. That’s different from putting on baseball caps backwards and driving nails through our tongues. That’s not our Louie Louie Generation Gratitude-Attitude…that’s just “Pimple People” dumb. 

Our “Gratitude-Attitude” can be kind of hard to explain to people like the “Dreary Drones” who’ve had theirs dry up and drop off…because they got old. It’s like the song Louie-Louie itself. It has attitude. Most people thought it was dirty. We knew it wasn’t, and we laughed at all the “Forces For Good In The Community” who were Shocked by it…”Shocked I tell you.” “Gratitude- Attitude” is good. It keeps us from wasting energy by over reacting. We understand that if you lend a guy $20 and you never see that guy again, it was probably worth it. 

Louie-Louie Generation folks accept the fact that our Gratitude-Attitude sometimes makes us take some chances. One of you Louie Louie Ladies told me that you showed up at someone’s door in the middle of the night last Tuesday, un-announced, ready, and breathing hard, and you gave him something he will be grateful for…maybe for the rest of your lives. And one of you sent me an Email that said you fell off the wagon and got drunk again last night. But then you said you woke up this morning and promised yourself you’d start all over again today. You said, “I did it before, and I can do it again.” That’s the Gratitude-Attitude at work. Instead of giving up, you woke up today, glad and grateful that you’ve got another shot at turning your life around, because you know your life is worth the terrible struggle. And oh my God, two of you found out you lost a son last week…in some country you can’t even find on the map. No words can ever match your tears. No words can describe the comfort only you can give each other. No words can give a voice to your tremendous pride in your son. You’re grateful for the honor of having a son like him, and grateful for the love you have for each other…because your love is the only power strong enough to help you go on with your lives…now. “That’s the Gratitude-Attitude at its most powerful best.” 

Dick’s Details, a bunch of un-important stuff for you to stuff in one ear so you can squeeze the important stuff that’s getting your underwear all twisted up, out the other ear, so you can warm up, chill out, and slip into something more comfortable.

The Catholic St. Brigid of Ireland was sainted in part because she performed the miracle of turning water into beer. That’s my kind of saint. If the answer is, “Take the windshield wiper off your car” what is the question. George Washington’s feet were size 13s. John Adams really did have big shoes to fill. Only about 10% of male hippos get to mate. And it’s ok if you tell them that’s because they’re ugly. You can’t insult them. They have 2 ½ inches of thick skin. That little ball inside the football official’s whistle has an official name. It’s called a Pea. Seems to me that there should be a penalty for peeing in the guy’s whistle. Oh yeah…if the answer is “Take the windshield wiper off your car” the question is “What’s the easiest way to avoid a parking ticket.” Only kidding officer.Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

Keep that good Louie-Louie Generation Gratitude-Attitude going group. It’s tough to remember it sometimes…especially when you’re a mom. If your kid keeps whining while you’re baking, and he says Mommy, Mommy can I lick the bowl ? Tell him no…flush it like everybody else. Teach the kid he should have some gratitude that you not only gave him life to begin with, you’ve let him live today although there were times when you were wishing there was such a thing as post natal birth control. I always get a kick out of listening to the change in a woman’s voice, when she’s been screaming at the kids, and then she goes to answer the phone. It goes something like this…”WILL YOU KIDS STOP DIPPING THE CAT IN THE TOILET” – Hello ??? One of the biggest changes a woman has to make is from being a mom to the kids, to being a temptress to her husband. There’s a story about that in the Night Connections personal audio cd.

The woman’s husband  bought her a black velvet cape a long time ago. She was always too shy to wear it. She felt it was much too dramatic for her.  But she reached around in the back of her closet the night this story happened, and slipped it around her shoulders. She put on her Valentine’s day perfume, fixed her hair and waited for him to come home. When she heard his car in the driveway, she opened the door, wearing just that cape, her perfume, and a gentle smile. And then she loved him. I mean she loved him. 

That’s another example of the Gratitude-Attitude. She stopped to think about all the other places he could have gone besides home to her. That made her glad and grateful. And was he ever grateful. And he still is. The story is called “The Couples Concert.” If you like it, you can just keep the podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just check out the “Night Connections” icon on the home page at  

And just for the record, I think there are very few sexier things than a tired woman with shining eyes, and a smile on her face because she’s glad to see her man. There’s nothing better than a woman with a warm attitude connected to a couple of warm lips, and a happy sense of humor. One of the things she said to him the next morning is, “I’ll never say you’re bald again. I’ll just tell you you’re becoming a person of scalp.” Louie-Louie Generation folks know how to have fun like that. We love fun. When we go to the movies we think it’s funny that a real man in a western will show no pain while taking a hideous beating, but he’ll wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds. And a detective in an R rated movie can only solve a case after he has been unjustly suspended from duty by a lady police chief who tried un-successfully to seduce him. 

But we’ve also been around long enough to know some other things. Like when my jeans are getting too hard to button, it means I shouldn’t complain…I have enough to eat. And the fact that I have to pay taxes means I have a decent job. And when I have to clean up a big mess after a party, it means I’ve had had lots of family and friends like Randy around me.

The Gratitude-Attitude. Keep humming Louie-Louie. It’s the difference between getting older and getting old. But do be careful of what you wish for because you might get it. I was telling my buddy Randy yesterday, that I sure wish I could have a teenager’s body again. And this morning, when I was shaving, sure enough  I found a pimple.



2 Responses to “The Gratitude-Attitude”

  1. ANDI says:

    “….though you may not drive a great big Cadillac….just be thankful for what you’ve got”…i’ve gotta work on gettin some “gratitude-attitude” myself 😀

  2. Ellen Ferranti says:

    Getting older just means having a better Gratitude-Attitude.