Some days Crabby Old Lady despairs. Just when she thinks elders are making a few strides forward in gaining respect from the media, someone kicks the chair out from under her. And as often as not, it is an elder who does so.
This time it is one Joanne Paulson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix who headlined her story, “I’m Getting Older, Not Necessarily Better.”
Some high – or rather, lowlights from her piece:
“The aforementioned friend and I do not spend five or six hours drinking wine until the wee hours, babbling like mad. We go for lattes. During that conversation, we do not rattle on about men and clothes and books and music, as we once did. Instead, we talk about socioeconomic issues; later we both acknowledge that the last year has found us less energetic and increasingly forced to deal with little things like, well, eyesight. That was fun.”
“Fireworks? Pah! Nothing but noise and smoke. Pretty lights for a few seconds at a time. Yawn.”
“I am among the oldest women in the newsroom, if you can imagine. I certainly can't. Sadly, I had to chew that bone until I figured out I am indeed among the three oldest women in this department.”
“My dear husband, who considers himself a bit of a wit, said to some friends a little while ago: ‘I always wanted an older woman. Now I've got one.’ Ha. Very funny. And, sadly, true.”
In yesterday's post, mystery writer Ruth Rendell was quoted as saying that she dislikes how young people talk about the old:
“I don’t like their attitude,” wrote Rendell, “which if they weren’t young and therefore bright and vibrant, would be called outdated.”
Good god, it’s not the young people whose statements are outdated; it’s old people themselves and today Crabby bestows the Ageist Elder Award to Ms. Paulson.
Perhaps Ms. Paulson thought she was being funny sticking “sadly” next to her laments about how terrible old age is. Crabby couldn’t find a laugh anywhere in this ageist, Uncle Tom piece. “Sadly” the woman is no humorist. And, “sadly”, she does not understand the damage she does to all elders by perpetuating the same old, same old stereotype.
But Crabby suspects nothing better can be expected from someone who is so cynical as to yawn at fireworks. Here’s a photo Crabby took from her deck during the Fourth of July celebration in Portland, Maine. Even in the rain, it was an “ooh” and “aah” display.
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, David Wolfe tells of an epiphany 30 years ago that made a dramatic difference in his life in How an Obscure Trappist Monk Changed My Career.]