Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Old is in the Eye of the Beholder

I went to get my hair cut today, and the woman with the appointment just before mine had a precious newborn - well, he was 5 weeks old, but that's young enough to still have the newborn cry. I was telling her how cute he is and commented that it's sometimes hard to believe my kids were that little. She responded with one question.

"Do you have grandkids?"

Asking someone if they have grandkids when you've just met them ranks almost as high on the "foot in mouth" disease scale as asking a woman if she's pregnant. I don't recommend it!

* * * * *

Speaking of aging, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my brother will turn 60 tomorrow. Sixty. (He's not too crazy about it, either!) While 60 is definitely getting younger every day, it just sounds weird. Especially since I'm "just" in my 40s.

Happy Birthday to my old geezer brother.

* * * * *

When I was growing up, my mom taught a Sunday School class of women who were mostly 35-40 years old. I always thought it weird when my mom would say "A girl in my SS class." Those were women, not girls, to my not-even-teenaged mind!

Now, of course, I get it. And my girl has a similar reaction if I call a friend a girl. It just sounds so weird to say "a woman" or "a lady" about someone who is my age.

And apparently, it won't get any easier. I laughed when, a year or two before she died, my mom mentioned another resident at the assisted living facility and called her a girl. "Mother, she's 80 years old!" I said. My mom did acknowledge that indeed, she could no longer be considered a girl.

But she had the same reaction to living there as every other adult I've known in a similar situation. "This is a nice place to live, but there sure are a lot of old people."

"And some of those "old people" are younger than you, Mother."

Please pass the Geritol.


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Stephani Cochran said...

Oh I can so relate to this! I never thought I'd be one of those oh-so-old people I saw when I was younger. When my college students call me Ma'am, I say "don't call me ma'am you'll make me feel old!" (wasn't I just in college just a few years ago? ~ 21 to be exact!)Yikes!

Angel said...

These area great!!! The whole do you have grandkids, lol. I do have one but not too sure I want a random stranger to ask me. Love how you ended it with the Geritol, too funny. Love and Blessings, Angel

Barbara H. said...

I can relate. I have people who wait at me at fat-food drive-throughs trying to give me senior citizens discounts. And one if my son's classmates asked me if I was his grandmother. And once when buying supplies for my teen son's birthday, the checker asked me if one of my grandkids was having a birthday. Sigh!

It's probably always better to assume someone is younger than they are -- at least for adult ladies. :-)

quilly said...

I just went to a family reunion for my sister's 6oth birthday. I looked at my neices and nephews -- who now have teenage children and are themselves beginning to turn gray -- and I said to my cousin, Doug, "If the kids are old now, what are we?"

Skoots1moM said...

i'm with ya...and i'll continue to call you 'girlfriend'...hee hee

Teresa Dawn said...

When I was in my pre-teen/early teen years I remember wondering "At what age am I supposed to start calling my friends and I woman instead of girl". As it would turn out, it's never. I still say things like "one of the girls I work with..." etc.

A while back I asked someone if someone else was their granddaughter when it was their daughter... that was awkward, but the thing is, the daughter was someone I knew years back and hadn't seen in about 15 years and for some reason I'd always thought she was a lot younger than me, turns out she was the same age, didn't help that I thought she'd told me years ago that that was her grandma (I was probably thinking of something else)... but still... oops.

Unknown said...

Guess I'm one of those "old" ones...I'll be 60 on my next birthday and my oldest brother will be 68! I constantly remind him that he is definitely on the downhill side of 70 and pushing it at that! (Good thing he lives in another state or I would be dead! LOL)

When my son was little and my mother was visiting us, they got to talking about age. Son was around 5 or 6 years old and my mother was in her late 50's. When she asked my son how old he thought his mother was (me), he said I was "ancient." Laughingly, she asked how old he thought she was. In that inimitably innocent child's manner, he announced, "Almost as old as God!"

Kids. Doncha just love 'em?

sara said...

my reaction to your first story was saying "out loud"..."no she didn't!!!!!" I got strange looks from my family! ha!

Beverlydru said...

Strangers say strange things. My sister lives in the same town as my momn (who is 80) and when they're together, someone ineviatbly asks if they are sisters. ARGGGH!! Drives my sister nuts.

CeeCee said...

I can't believe she asked about grandkids!!! ARGGH! The rest is funny!