Saturday, February 26, 2011

Senior no-no? I'm stumped.

I got a birthday card this year, and with my friend's signature came this directive: “Do something fun…something you’re not supposed to.” Hmmmmm. That made me stop and think. Long and hard. What is it at this age that’s fun and that I’m not supposed to do? That I would want to do? That last part is the key. I can think of naughty things to do, but why would I want to do them? Who has the strength? Or the concentration? Or the dexterity?

That got me thinking about what someone in my age group could possibly want to do that I’m not supposed to do:

• Eat pepperoni pizza? My doctor would love it if I never touched the stuff again, but I indulge about once a month (or more).

• Skip going to the gym? Please….this is habitual and not worthy of a special occasion day.

• Wear anything I want to? What I want to wear—and usually do—is what makes me look 10 years younger. Nothing disobedient about that.

• Play hooky from work? If I do that, a) I have that much more to do when I get back, and b) I don’t get paid. Not fun, not festive.

Am I missing something here? Lord knows, I’m neither athletic nor adventurous, so even though extreme sports may be something I’m not supposed to do at my age, it would be more punishment than fun. Any other ideas are most welcome.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Please don’t use the E word

Are you as appalled as I am when you read a newspaper story like this? Not a real one—just representative:

“An elderly woman was injured yesterday afternoon when a dazed driver lost control of his car and drove up onto the sidewalk. The victim, Rosemary D. Jones, 65, is in critical condition….”

Sure, I feel sorry for poor Rosemary. But do they have to call her “elderly”? Isn’t that literally adding insult to injury?

And why is it that when reading only the first sentence, I picture someone like my Grandma (may she rest in peace)? I cannot fathom that this elderly person who met an unfortunate fate is actually my age or younger!

Are we elderly? Can’t we wait until we’re in our 80s for that adjective? Or will we bristle at that description in our 80s too? Maybe then we’ll think that elderly should apply only to those over 95. And at 95? I think we’ll have more important things to worry about than how the world of journalism describes us.