I just got a cold call from a young woman representing a health help center. If I suffer from chronic pain, they can help. Well I have the back thing for which I take an antispasmodic 3 times a day and that keeps it at bay, so I didn’t say no. I wanted to hear more. Great, said the sweet young thing. Then she asked, “Are you between the ages of 18 and 63?” No, I said and told her my age. (In case you all have forgotten it, good. I won’t remind you.) And this grandchild, every grandmother’s dream, hung up on me without another word. Suddenly, silence, the line went d-e-a-d.
Some years ago, when Ed was drinking tons of Coke, I tried to strike a deal with the Coca Cola company to sell me cases of it to be delivered directly to my house. They were lovey dovey and on their form, they asked my age, and then, suddenly, I was blocked from continuing. They think their demographic isn’t older than 50 so they don’t want to be bothered
Then, of course, there is the invisibility that comes from looking older, and this means the counter man will look past you to the younger customer because he assumes you have lost the ability to buy and pay for your sandwich
Is this a gender thing? When I was in a bereavement group after losing Jay, one of the men said people were so sweet to him and that if someone saw him crying they’d crowd around … “What’s wrong, can I help?” It wasn’t as if he was a Tom Cruise look-alike. He was one of those older guys who still wear a greasy pony tail thinking they look foxy -- remarkably unappealing. Or maybe he was lying about the whole thing. I could walk down the street sobbing (I walked for hours in those days), and no one came near me.
It is what it is. In the unforgettable words of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, “What, me worry?”
Just sayin’ : getting older ain’t for sissies.
Totally unrelated, whenever I write a post, none of my paragraphs make it to the page. I have to go into edit and put huge spaces between the paragraphs to be sure they're not run together.