Tag Archives: aging

Age? What’s Good for Cheese Is Good for People??

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.

Yikes.

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?

Jitter All the Way

I’m not a morning person, but even if I was, I would still love coffee. Strong coffee. Turkish coffee. Arabic coffee. Cafe mocha. To me, coffee has all the nuance and complexity of a good wine.

Unless it’s plonk coffee.

And I know that this is some sort of national heresy, but when I think plonk, Tim Horton’s springs to mind. Well, it doesn’t spring. Their coffee has all the kick of grandpa’s walker.

Coffee is one of the best times of the day, even if it does mean that I’m propped up somewhere instead of sleeping.

Coffee has done a lot for me, too. For one thing, it has kept me awake enough to be employed. For another, it’s probably saved me from countless charges of road rage and the like.

Without coffee, I’d be unemployed and in jail. It’s amazing what coffee can do.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become sensitive to it. Which is weird, because it seems like everything else is desensitizing. I don’t see as well. I don’t hear as well. Calories arrive and take up permanent residence anywhere they can find a squat. I consider it to be a good day if I don’t wake up to another sag.

It used to be that coffee would never keep me awake, no matter what time I drank it. Then I couldn’t drink it in the evenings. Then I noticed that the afternoons were problematic. Then I noticed that it could make me a little shaky. Drinking coffee all day became a thing of the past.

Mornings, though. Those were sacrosanct.

So this morning while sitting at work, I noticed a slight tremor in my hands. I also felt a little jittery. As I reached for my coffee, I realized that I was consuming my fourth large cup. Could my hands and the coffee be related???

My cup holds a quarter of a litre.

Oh oh. Was I on my way to drinking a litre of coffee a morning??? Oi.

I thought about it. I thought, I don’t usually drink this much coffee.

Then I thought, yes I do.

Shit.

And no, I don’t mean poo-poop-de-do civet coffee, either.

However.

I’m not giving up coffee. I’ll cut back, but I’m not giving it up.

While I was thinking about it, I decided that there’s some other stuff I’m not giving up.

Chocolate.

Steak.

Red wine.

Maybe the odd cigar.

You’ll have to pry this stuff from my cold shaking hands.

Well okay, okay. Maybe I will have to sort of give it up at some time.

But never completely.

What will you never give up?