It was a nice day this New Year as I stood on the corner and watched people go by.
I’ve noticed one thing good about being oldler: people don’t look at me as a pervert or mugger when I smile at them.
Thinking back I remember when I hit a certain age, maybe in my mid-to-late 40’s, women stopped glancing at me when they went by.
I guess I was officially “old” and people who were “old” just don’t register in their mind any more.
Not everyone wants to be admired but just recognized they exist.
When you’re a young lady your mind is on boys and work, as it should be.
But there’s something in the mind of someone that age doesn’t see an elderly person.
Sometimes that hurts because we are still relevent and useful.
There was the first time a woman told her friend at a party I was too old for her.
That put a huge damper on my evening so I left and went home.
A lot of sad things start to happen in your late 40’s.
Maybe it’s nature’s way to prepare us for our later years when we’re seen as mostly in the way.
Then, in my early 60’s, I became safe because I’m now really “old” and in their mind I shifted from a dirty old man to their favorite grandpa.
I remember my grandfather mentioning something about getting older when I was in high school.
I don’t remember what he said but I recall saying to myself I will be young and strong and athletic forever.
There seems to be a point in everyone’s life where you realize you are now old.
Not old in how I see myself, but realizing it’s how others see me.
I was upset when a teenager at the McDonald’s counter first started asking if I want the senior’s discount.
The first dozen or times I said something like, “Not there yet” and paid full price, even though I qualified.
Too proud, I guess.
I didn’t want to be old or have other people remind me I was.
After awhile I stopped fighting it and now simply nod and smile.
Of course they don’t ask anymore – they just know.
Sometimes I see the men at work, 30 years younger, looking across the room at me and I wonder if they’re waiting for me to retire and get out of the way so they have a chance to move up.
If the damn Congress would fix the economy I would love to.
Meanwhile, I am not useless.