I recently turned 66 years old, and am fit and healthy.   I walk on the beach for an hour every day and I do yoga twice a week.   I am slim and energetic, and proud of my age and my body.   I know I am growing older, but my heart and mind and spirit are still young, and I am grateful every day for my life.

A few days ago I heard something that pissed me off.

The woman who said this is perhaps ten years younger than I.   She was at our home repairing the operating cords on some very expensive blinds we had purchased from her a couple of years ago – which incidentally, had already been repaired several times.   As she was leaving, she made the comment “A lot of ‘older’ (emphasis on the ‘older’) people have trouble with these.   You could consider motorising the blinds so you won’t have ongoing problems with the cords ….”  I looked at her with a steady gaze.  Then she gave an embarrassed laugh, as if she herself had just heard what she had said, and lamely added “Not that YOU are old, of course ….”

I wanted to smack her.

By her own admission, her expensive blinds have design faults with the cords, and we’ve waited weeks for her to come and repair them, at considerable inconvenience to ourselves.   And now it appears we are the problem.  Old.   Too old, clearly, to know how to work the cord of a blind.   So here’s a solution – sell the old folks something else!  An expensive motorised version!  

I minded my manners, and ushered her out of the door.

I was on a train with a girlfriend in Sydney two days ago, and as we entered and made our way to two vacant but separate, seats – a young man leapt to his feet with a big smile, and offered us two seats together.  I beamed and thanked him.

I wanted to hug him.

Two different scenarios, two different people with very different attitudes.  

Be thoughtful of whom you are speaking to and what you are saying, whether you use words or not.  If you are lucky, like me, you too shall be “old” one day.   I hope the world treats you with the same decency and respect that young man on the train showed me.

Sandra GroomComment