The stereotypes lie within

Someone posted a picture of a stubbled (corn, I presume) field on Facebook with the sign “Maze for Old People.” Well, ha ha ha, and good grief. I plucked up courage and commented, “with respect,” that though I may be losing my sense of humor as I get older, this seemed rather ageist to me. There was no reaction from the poster, or anyone else either. My first foray into activism on behalf of my demographic ruffled no stalks at the maze.

But, to be honest, I’m having more issue with ageist attitudes within myself. For example:

  • When we moved to Tsawwassen, British Columbia, I noticed immediately—and complained about it aloud, more than once, because I didn’t like it—“There are so many seniors here!” Barely realizing the irony of my words.
  • A friendly woman in our apartment building introduced herself and suggested I check out courses at the local Eldercollege. I acted keen but thought, Eldercollege? Do I look ready for Eldercollege? I felt as if I’d been invited to hang out with the cast-off kids in the high school cafeteria.
  • We drifted into attending our children’s church almost by default and before I knew it I’d been invited to the women’s North of 60 group. (It’s not a fan club for the TV show but a monthly meeting of older women.) Did they even check if I qualified? Did the white hair signal me again? They’re terrific women, but I have to admit, I’m a bit mortified that this is my group.

Clearly, the stereotypes lie within me as much as without. Resistance to old scowls back at me from the mirror. I need to figure out why.

Writing about aging

A Sunday afternoon in December, and it’s grey, and it’s raining, and I’m afraid to begin, though I’ve been thinking for some months about doing this blog. I keep putting it off. I have my excuses. Some relate to the technicalities of blogging. Others concern readiness. Am I old enough to talk about Old? Do I really want to crawl into that niche, observe and report, write a blog about aging?

Well, I’m 67. I’m old enough. And I’m already in the niche. Looking around. Noticing.

Niche means nook or cranny, a place set into. A cavity. Or a specialized section of the population. It can also mean a suitable position, with implications of call or vocation. All seem true. So, I will begin.