Apparently, the young and technically hip think we old folks don’t speak sarcasm:
9. “My mom is the best!” (followed by a text she sent you in which she appears stupid or tech-illiterate).
Because yes, we KNOW what you mean. But I think the Huff Po writer missed a beat about little tech errors made by older less saavy seniors. Psst, you may want to sit down, ok?
We don’t get it right every time because we don’t give a damn. Yep, you heard me; all the little tech toys are really a giant pain in our aging asses. So we don’t give even half a fuck if we get it right every time. “Good enough” is well, fucking good enough.
So deal with it. Or don’t. We don’t really care.
My bookshelves are over-full. Sometimes I think my brain is, too. So when they say:
8. “At your age, you are allowed to forget some things!”
10. “Wow! You’re sharp as a tack.”
…”they” likely get a really evil look from me. DO I forget things? Who does not? I memorize my passwords — and no, they are not four-digit sorts. But my mind typically does not remember fiction book plots for more than a few months anymore. It really IS as if my memory is becoming more selective – what matters and what is just “filler”?
Not every aging person is going to suffer dementia. And age is not the only memory whacker. Once, when I was 30, I underwent a particularly traumatic family event. When I got back to work afterwards, I was humiliated to realize I had completely forgotten the combination to my work safe! They had to drill it out and replace the mechanism! Trauma can clear reams of mental data, let me tell you — and it doesn’t even take a physical knock to the head! Even sleeplessness affects memory. And too much sugar — you soda-guzzling fools!
I do allow myself to forget. I have always, for instance, had trouble recalling the names of people I dislike. If the ancient Egyptians could eradicate names of unpopular sorts from cities and sculptures ? Why can’t I dis-engrave my memory on occasion? I hope, oh-so-much, that after November 8th? The news crews will STFU and I can work on forgetting Donald Trump, for example!
My mind – memory is going to be like my bookshelves: always busy and crowded, possibly dusty in corners, but never a peaceful empty room. That’s why, back in 2001 – we built an “empty room”! The Honey House IS my empty room, where I work to empty my over-filled mind. But I keep the tacks sharp, for people who say nonsense like #8 and #10. (Tomorrow, #9)
Huffing along with the Huffington Post bit on ageism. Oh, the places young fools will let their mouths take them:
7. “You are proof that 60 is the new 40.”
I do feel this one is the sort of stupid thing that gets said to women more than men. Because hey, you HAVE to be younger to be worthwhile as a woman, right? I don’t have to be 40 to be “hip” — as I said earlier, I didn’t have TIME in my life to be “hip” or anything else until I was at least 40.
Frankly, there are better things to be than “hip” anyhow. Mature. Wise. Realistic. Canny. Creative. Snarky. Effective. And all, absolutely ALL of those get better with age!
I continue to run down the Huff Post article ––
6. “You are still ….”
As the article says, this statements makes clear that being old is bad. But more? I think it makes the ones clinging to youth like a poodle to a drunk guy’s ankle feel safe from what they fear age IS.
And yes, be afraid. Because yes, I am still a:
Ass-kicking, name-taking Woman!
Do they think it is a compliment to say silly crap like:
“You don’t look 65 years old.”
I was told I didn’t look 17 years old. The 15 year old saying it thought I looked 30. Was I insulted then? No, because I admit my first thought was “Good, I won’t get carded at the bar!”
What does 63, or 65 look like, exactly? I suspect they mean you don’t look decrepit? Or perhaps you don’t yet look harmless? Actually, I don’t mind if they think I look harmless — they won’t see it coming then if I need to knock them on their asses, will they?
Me? I always reply to this kind of thing by saying, “Of course I do. I look exactly my age.” I wear my wrinkles like military time-in-grade stripes. I’m still here, still carrying on (calmly or not so much) when many younger than me are not. I look my age. Bite me; I still have teeth to bite back!
(No, not a real gun — I was mugging it up with a toy for “walk like a gangster’s moll” day!” While wearing the dress I made out of ties I stole from the Minotaur when he retired!)
Oh, the stupid shit young whippersnappers say – continues:
“She’s 75 years young.”
“You are only 70 … oh, you’re not old.”
Wow. Because to be “old”, as the article said, would be bad. I am old. Do you know how I know that? Because I actually have underwear older than some of the alleged “adults” I meet these days. I have shoes older than most of them, too. I’ve been married longer than most of them have been alive! And because I HAVE wanted to say “I’ve forgotten more than you will ever know!”
Worse? I think that last statement is literally true in many cases. Also, in spite of the fact that at age 40 I required the spinal surgery that wrecked my once truly impressive upper body strength? Life really does not begin till about age 40. All those posters and speakers saying “It gets better.”? About age 40 is when that happens. You run out of fucks to give about minor crap by age 40, amongst other reasons.
So, presently, I am 23 years into my BETTER life. In my original 23rd year, I got married and got pregnant. I like THIS 23rd far, far better! Even if the weight of my hair has made me whack half of it off since that picture when I was merely 50-something years old!
Continuing on with the Huff Post bit on ageism –
2. “My grandparents are so adorable.”
Hmmm. I came of age watching “Bewitched” you know? I might be Endora-ble? As in, touchy older witch who takes no bullshit without applying a sharp
Why DO people say stupid stuff like that? Because age, frankly, scares the hell out of youngsters. I mean, all those changes to the body that you can’t seem to stop. Pain, illness, disability! Ye gods and goblins – old age ain’t for sissies. So, if the whippersnappers can minimize it by considering us little shrunken gray heads that are “adorable”, it isn’t so scary.
Well, grow a pair, you twerps! That back there? It’s mine. It still looks that way. (Picture is from about age 57) About once a week, out and about, I help a person 3 decades my junior lift something they are struggling with because their heavy lifting apparently consists of 12 ounce cans. I constantly am told how “strong” I am — when I KNOW I am much less strong than I was at age 40. I’m not adorable. Thank Time, the creases on my face have ended people telling me I am cute!
I discovered something synchronistic this week – this article at Huff Post that I intend to dissect bit by bit over the next week or so. It is an article about ageism in day to day life. First thing it has? The way older women are patronized by popular permission:
When a waiter asks an older woman, “What can I get for you today, young lady?”
This has never happened to me in a restaurant. Admittedly, my chiropractor has said it to me, tongue firmly in cheek; but we’ve known each other and joked around for nigh on 20 years now. (Tho’ he is Republican – he knew I abhorred Geo. Bush the dumber and gave me a roll of toilet paper imprinted sheet after sheet with George’s face!)
I personally don’t know whether to class this as a sub-brand of misogyny instead of mere ageism. There is the presumption that all women in America want to be “young” ones because no other kind have value. And don’t get me started on “lady” versus “woman”. I always felt that “lady”, like “girl” was a bit too limiting a description. A “lady” would never stand in diaphanous veils by her own garden gate, would she?
And neither would I have done, when I was “young”. Age has either made me braver, or run me out of “fucks to be given.” IF a waiter ever says that to me? I will likely smile back and say “Son? Go get me the bartender so I can school his young ass in how to make a proper smoky martini. Because if you can’t tell I’m not a ‘young lady’ I don’t trust you to carry the instructions.”