I am 61 years old, yippee! I am happy to be this age with many experiences under my belt and cool stuff yet to come. If I am OKAY with my age how come the rest of the world is not? Why is it bad to be old? I don't think it is and I am breaking the rules and liking being old.
Why do I feel the need to question this and state my position? Because for the first time in my life I feel like by my very age, I am somehow a member of a disparaged group. I have picked up this feeling from various sources, in various ways.
Attitudes of society - There are books, websites and blog posts vilifying Baby Boomers. There are pat phrases used to refer to elderly people like old codger, crone, biddy and old timer to name a few.
Attitudes of television and advertisers - When was the last time you saw a commercial which featured a person in their 60's? Advertisers all want to capture the eye of adults ages 16-34 according to this article.
I can't imagine that 16 year olds have more buying power than 61 year olds. But what do I know? I'm old and not the demographic anyone seems to care about.
Casual jokes - I have heard jokes about old people. It seems we are forgetful, cranky, crabby and can't remember things. (OK, the last part may have some validity.) In fact some maintain we even smell bad. (Really? Worse than those in the sweaty stage of life?) There are even cartoons in the newspapers belittling older folks and who reads newspapers? Older folks!
Condescension - Many times older people are not maligned but instead considered "cute" in a very condescending way. This comment came through my Facebook feed in August: 'Just saw two elderly gents walking down the street. One looked at the stormy sky and said to the other, "Uh-oh. Rain's going to ruin the Laplooza."' ' Aww, isn't that so cute? Actually, no. It's not. Old people are not cuter than any other adult, they're just older. They're not puppies or babies.
Even Quilting - According to Quilter's Newsletter, the average age of a quilter is 62. But if you google quilt videos for sale you won't see many quilters with white hair. In spite of the wealth of experience in the Modern Quilting movement of all ages, publishers and manufacturers want a younger visage as the face of Modern Quilting.
So what - is basically my attitude. I am happy with my age and myself. The only trick to being younger is to be born later, it was all up to your parents. Let's all break the rules and like being old.
Basically It's just a matter of inevitable cellular degeneration and no amount of plastic surgery will change it. Accept who you are and what age you are and relish it. Advertisers and derisive attitudes do not define you. You define yourself and you're pretty terrific even if it's an old person saying that!
Break the rules and like your age, no matter what it is. It's cool to be old even!
To those of you who still belittle old people - If you don't like old people, don't become one. Done!
And now I am done breaking the rules. Normally I blog about quilting.
That makes me sew happy!
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Every one in a while I write about aging. If you found this one interesting, you might enjoy this one as well.