Thanks to Marge Roach for alerting me to this “My Turn” piece in the latest Newsweek issue titled “I’m Old and I’m Just Fine With That.”
Writer Mary Blair Immel relates how she found herself in a home improvement store asking the location of the replacement part she needed:
“The thirtysomething clerk looked at me and then made an announcement over the loudspeaker, ‘Will someone from plumbing please escort this young lady to aisle 14?’
“…He made me feel as though I were teetering on the brink of extinction and needed his encouragement to keep breathing.”
I could quote at length, but it is too good a read to synopsize, so go read the whole piece. Except, I can’t resist Ms. Immel’s conclusion which I could not have said better myself:
“Yes, being young was wonderful, but why are so many people afraid of the word ‘old’? I don't mind the fact that I am an old woman. I confront my age every morning when I look in the mirror, but I don't feel the need to be nipped and tucked, lifted or sucked. What I see is what I want to live with.
“I have been around for more than three quarters of a century. That is a long time, but it is OK with me. There is a story behind each and every wrinkle and laugh line. I don't mind the passage of time—that is, I don't mind it until someone, embarrassed or frightened by the thought of aging, tries to convince me that I am not old by calling me ‘young lady.’"