I’m pissed off. About ageism, that is.
I was just at a store picking up some necessaries for my new abode and got treated like a doddering old fool at the till. And the thing is, I’m not much older than that cashier is.
I’ve noticed this more and more lately. The penchant for people to automatically think that I don’t know how to use a debit card. That I have no idea what the internet is. A couple of days ago, I was asked by a bank employee if I use online banking.
“What was that sonny? Speak up! I can’t hear you! Frontline spanking? Is that what you said? You oughtta be ashamed of yourself. What would your mother say if she knew you were talking like that to a customer?” Of course, I was just thinking this. But I felt like saying it. In a loud, high-pitched, whiny voice.
I’ve been using online banking for 15 years. I’ve had a debit card for, I don’t know, probably about 30.
People keep calling me “dear” too. Does getting older automatically imply that I’m in some sort of relationship with you? A few days ago, I politely asked a waiter to stop calling me “dear.” He kept doing it anyway.
People who use that word also have a special voice that goes along with it, too. There’s this patronizing, condescending tone, like they’re talking to a half-deaf half-wit. Just give me some pablum and a glass of warm milk and let me be on my way. Don’t let my clippy clop bother you as I head for the door, if I can find it.
Holy bloody hell.
And another thing is that my husband, who is five years older than me, doesn’t get treated like this.
He’s a guy! He still has all his faculties! His hearing! His virility! His drive! He’s vital and living!
While on the other hand, I have one foot on a banana peel and the other in my grave.
I’ve faced a lot of discrimination in my life. Nowhere near as bad as what some people have had to deal with, but still.
My guidance counsellor in high school told me that I couldn’t be a pilot. (You’re not a guy!)
People gave me suspicious looks when they heard my very French surname. (You’re not English!)
Military combat? (You’re REALLY not a guy.)
But the government says I can, so f**k off.
Yes. I’m 50-something. Yes. I’m female. It doesn’t mean that I live under a rock with only my walker and my knitting for company. And, I’m not a cheese.
So get with it, “youngsters.” Just treat us older people like … well, like people.
Have you faced ageism in action?