Friday, January 27, 2012



Okay, so I’m getting older! Everyone is. Each day we live, we become a day older, and we can’t stop it. But does the younger generation have to treat us differently? My mother used to tell me often, when she was eighty, that she was old, not stupid! She said, “After we age, younger people seem to think we’re too dumb to come in out of the rain... and it doesn’t bother them to let us know it every chance they get either.”

I laughed at my mother then, thinking that, indeed, some senility had set in, but, although I’m not even close to eighty, I am starting to notice a difference in the way younger people treat me. For one thing, if you’re past 50, they assume you’re hard of hearing, and start yelling when they talk to you.  Also, they’re pretty sure you don’t know what they’re talking about most of the time, so after explaining something, they look directly into your eyes and ask, “Do you understand?” I smile and answer, “Yes, thank you.” Anything to get along – it’s my nature.

But what I’d like to say is, “Believe it or not, some older people actually lead active lives. They don’t lie down and die just because their faces have a few lines and their hair is turning gray... nor are they stupid!" I want to tell them... "the years pass fast, and before you know it, some young punk will be treating you exactly the way you’re treating me and my peers... and you won’t like it any better than we do!"

I had an appointment at the doctor’s office for blood work on Monday, the 16th. But for some reason, I thought the girl had told me “this” Monday, which was the 9th. So I fasted, got up early and went in for my blood work on that day. When I told the girl at the desk I was there for blood work, she merely looked at her computer for a minute and then motioned me inside. The blood was drawn in a matter of a few minutes, and I went home.

Later in the day, it was my husband who found my appointment card and pointed out that I'd gone a week early. We had a good laugh. No biggie. The work was done and I’d go back in two weeks – instead of the usual one – for the follow-up.

But when I laughingly told my daughter what I’d done, thinking she’d find it amusing, to my surprise, she acted just like the rest of the younger population. “Oh, my!” she said. “That’s the way elderly people are: always forgetting appointments, not taking their meds, and other things; it’s downhill all the way now.” I presumed she was joking, but saw red anyway.

My natural tendency to smile and get along, no matter what, vanished and something akin to anger took over, surprising us both! I emphatically informed her that anyone of any age could get mixed up about an appointment and that I’d thank her not to refer to me as “elderly” again! She started to protest, but I interrupted with, “I’m not elderly until I say I’m elderly; do you understand?”

She did. I think we can safely consider that subject closed for a few years.

Oh, how quickly the hands on the clock circle toward the future we thought was far away!

And how soon we become our mothers!


Jimbob said...

Welcome back. We've missed you peggy. Hope nothings wrong. This is a great post and anyone over 50 can relate to it. Thanks for saying it for all of us. Jimbob

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100 percenr. Older people arent treated with the respect they deserve.

sam said...

tell it like it is peg. young people have no respect these days. I agree. good post. sam

Janet said...

Love it peg. Glad your back. Janet

Anonymous said...

Yes, my mother once said, "I feel young on the inside and old on the outside."