Stop Accepting “You Don’t Look Your Age” As a Compliment

It’s nice to hear “You don’t look your age,” but on reflection maybe not. The person offering that observation may have unrealistic expectations about someone’s physical appearance at a certain landmark.

A ten year old most likely believes thirty is ancient.

I don’t mind telling my age, depending on who is doing the asking and if they are on a “need to know” basis.

Others who are insensitive enough to inquire, earn a place on my “idiots and asshole prayer list,” and I give myself permission to respond accordingly.

I am eternally grateful for modern medicine, exercise, and good genes, but what am I supposed to look like at my age?

The advent of Botox and plastic surgery gives women options, adding a dynamic that makes it difficult to tell which digits one’s age reside in.

In the land before time, I remember being insulted when someone asked how I liked taking care of my baby brother when it was my first born, dangling off my bony hip. That’s almost as bad as asking a woman who ate too many potato chips when her baby is due.

I tried to remember when I first heard that comment. Was it in my late forties when my first grandchild was born? I was too thrilled over becoming a grandmother to give any thought about my age. And, I hadn’t yet experienced age discrimination in the workplace, but it would soon find me.

Who gets to decide what we are supposed to look like at any given time?

I say no one.

We have self-appointed gurus in the form of mass media marketers who hawk everything from cosmetics to geriatrics. If we permit them to be the arbiter we will continue to have unrealistic standards that inaccurately portray women in ways that range from unbelievably youthful to doddering beyond belief.

The next time someone says “You don’t look your age,” don’t be too quick to reply “Thank You.”

Pigeonholed in the Eye of the Beholder

I got Pigeonholed.

My husband laughed as he told me one of the neighbors, a single dad, asked if I would have any interest in babysitting his two young girls.The only time the man sees me is in our building parking lot.

Do I look like a babysitter? Is it the massive flash of silver that sits atop my cranium?  I’ve escaped resembling a Shar Pei so it’s gotta be the hair.

He assumed I’d be a potential candidate for childcare based on my hair color.

I’ve been a granny for many years. I tell my age when asked; it’s a big number, but no big deal.

What is a big deal is when other people make assumptions based on their perception of an older woman.

I quit my last volunteer job when they assigned me to geezer friendly chores. I sucked it up while the coordinator demonstrated how to use a computer mouse.

She gave advanced instructions on using the manual paper cutter, then asked, “Think you’ve got it?” I bit my tongue instead of informing her it wasn’t quantum math, and left.

Our house hasn’t been kid friendly for twenty years.
  • Judging from the parochial school sticker on the man’s car, I have a hunch that he’d find my reading selection unacceptable. The only Mother Goose in my house is me.
  • Sybil, the cat, tolerates me and hisses at children.
  • I don’t bake cookies. That’s why God invented Central Market.
  • No way am I going to play endless rounds of Go Fish and Cards Against Humanity isn’t kid friendly.
  • grandmother-153657_640Vodka:30  is a daily event, no exceptions except sometimes it’s Tequila:30.

Why didn’t he ask the hot chick that lives next door to him? For all he knows, she may be desperate for extra income.

I wish him luck in finding a sitter, but he might consider trimming his  beard.

You never know how people perceive men with unkempt beards.