Saturday, September 16, 2006

With Respect To Age

I have been moved to write one on how I am regarded, treated, looked at, and all that. I thought of "My Age is Showing", "People Are Getting Nicer", "A Grin in Time Wipes Whines", but maybe I can write this again, later of course, with a different tag like one of these, or maybe "It's the Way I Walk".

People have begun to hold doors, to wait for me in various circumstances. Is it pity, is it admiration, or just respect to old age? True, I am older than I have ever been, in fact older than any related male I know of. My maternal grandfather mowed by hand all day, and that evening ran over a mile to help the bucket brigade up the lake to put out the fire at the local creamery, owned by them all, and got "cold in his kidneys" and died at 87. My paternal grandfather died with a knife in his back when he was throwing a troublesome drunk from his saloon restaurant in a mining camp in Colorado. But I am the oldest male living past 90. So perhaps my age is beginning to show.

Maybe I should lie about my age and say I am only 85 or so, or perhaps I should lie the other way and say I am 99. Depends on how much respect I want, or do I want pity? Not that, please, as it might be catching and I might begin to pity myself, and that would interfere with my plans to go see my grandchildren in Wales, and come back by going the rest of the way around the world.

People do form opinions about age, and their attitudes are affected, sometimes for the better. Altogether, getting older, and even old, does have its advantages in some respects, sometimes including more respect, I think.


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Good for you Don. I am new to this blogging stuff, but my interest is in transforming the conversation in our culture about again and it begins by reminding us that 'who we are' is a lot more important than 'how old we are'. I am only 65, but looking forward to having as much possibility and joy at 90 as you express in your writing and presumably your way of being in the world. People's treatment could be respect, but maybe it is just their way of saying 'thank you'.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Beryl Ament said...

I am catching up on your posts and this one resonated with me. I have just returned from England and on this visit I spent more time travelling on the tube than on any of my visits since I left in 1963. Every time I entered a crowded carriage, someone got up and offered me a seat. In my head I was still a 20 year old university student, but these people saw me as what I am, a 66 year old who was happy to get the weight off my feet. So I accepted graciously and remembered how often I had shown the same respect to my elders.

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Em said...

After reading this post, I felt compelled to leave a comment.

Growing up, I've been taught to respect my elders. At the time, I never quite understood why. I figured it was one of those "do as your parents say" kind of things.

Now that I'm an adult and can think for myself, I've learned to respect my elders because I want to. As a general rule, I oblige myself to respect everyone I meet, regardless of age, race, or status. This is difficult, however, when you meet people who take advantage of this. Of course, I know there are those that don’t exploit human decency, all the reason why I choose to respect these people when they can easily manipulate others into doing what they want. Perhaps, admiration and appreciation encourages me to do so, but make no mistake, it is certainly not pity.

Indeed, I agree that age, to some extent, earns you some privileges, but I don't think respect is one of them. Respect is something you earn.

On a personal note, I think you've probably carried yourself well to deserve the treatment you’ve been getting. Kudos for that. :)

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Kathy52 said...

I'm brand new to blogging, and don't spend an unusual amount of time on the Net. I'm too busy writing, drawing and working. Age, however, grabs me around the throat just now. I'm 52-53 in one week-and a woman. I walk 3+ miles a day, am an active hiker and camper and love the outdoors. I'm in great shape, but I show my age. The skin on my neck is no longer taunt and my jaws have begun to relax. I never draemed this would matter. To me, it still doesn't. I still see myself as young because I feel the way I always have-BETTER, actually. It hurts when people say things like "women your age..." or "You look great... for your age!" or nothing. When I'm ignored because I'm an old woman, I realize I'm mostly invisible to people who don't know me. I've gotten accustomed to this; I like it. I like my solitary life. I have no husband, no children. When people find this out, I become a sort of weird thing they can't find a box to fit. My only point in this whole thing is that I hope, as we age, more and more of us STOP this age association game and begin to relate to each other as human beings. Period. I intend to create and live a full life until the day I keel over. I hope it's far past 90, like you! Thanks for your wonderful example.

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شركة المثالى صقور لتنظيف البيارات بالمنطقة الشرقية كما نقوم بتسليك المجاري باحدث الاساليب والطرق
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At 5:35 PM, Blogger emanmohamed said...

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شركات مكافحة حشرات ورش مبيدات بالمدينة هل تبحث عن شركة مكافحة حشرات بالسعودية هل لديك نمل في المطبخ او حشرة البق في الخشب؟ هل عندك صراصير او نمل او فئران وتفسد عليك حياتك في منزلك او شركتك؟ لا تقلق فهناك العديد من شركات مكافحة الحشرات في السعودية وأيضا يوجد العديد من شركة رش مبيدات ومكافحة الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة شركة مكافحة البق بالمدينة المنورة
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