Several weeks ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts addressed to my aging peers. You can read the most popular one here. Today I want to address aging from a different perspective: The attitudes and actions of others toward us, your aging friends and family. This will undoubtedly be a rant.
- Never, never, never refer to anyone as so many years young. First it’s stupid, “years young” has no real meaning. Second it implies that there is something wrong with being “so many” years old. There isn’t. Being 70 or 80 or 90 years old is a good thing. It means one has lived long enough to have had great experiences and gained wisdom. Don’t denigrate that by saying some one is 85 years young.
- Don’t, don’t, don’t address us as “sweetie” or “honey” or “darlin'” unless we are your spouse, child or lover. In other words unless you would use those terms with us if we hadn’t achieved the age we have achieved. This is particularly offensive when it is a member of the opposite sex. When you call me by an affectionate term you wouldn’t call a stranger, you are assuming I’m safe; that I won’t see it as a come on. Well, that’s just wrong. What would a young woman say if the grocery checker referred to her as “sweetie.” She might slap him. In my opining the grandma should too.
- You don’t have to shout when you talk to us. . . . Well wait, maybe you do.