odds and ends

Have not blogged for a while. Must record the few incidents about aging.

It is interesting how the fact that I declare openly to everybody my interest in the representation of old women raises the consciousness of people I know . On  episode 3 of Hustle (television programme on BBC1)  Sheila Hancock performed a hilarious portrait of a ‘dirty old woman’ .  A young man of my acquaintance was heard to say ” I wonder what Rina will think of it”. I did think It was outrageously funny. In yesterday’s episode 5 a physically repulsive old man requested in payment of a favour, ‘the same’  with the young woman. It turned out not to be about sex but a dance session. I find these small challenges to stereotypes so refreshingly funny

I spent 3 days in the company of 24 young men and women celebrating a 30th birthday in a far away place.  I was the only old woman apart from the mother of the person in question. During a quiz game, I was in a team of 3 women and a man. None of us knew the others and it was an exercise to break the ice between us.  When filling the quiz form the four members did not acknowledge my presence in any way, either by looking at me or making an effort to include me in the deliberations. I did not want to make my presence felt as I did not have a lot to contribute. But when I blurted out the answer I was very confident about, it was not heard until the man took the suggestion up. There was still no acknowledgement of my presence.

I had decided not to mention incidents that are not corroborated by somebody else. In this case this cold shouldering was noticed by the other old woman across the room. It is possible that young people do not know how to relate to old people. I am so obviously ‘old’ and ‘other’.

During this time I went visiting ruins on my own while the younger ones were engaged in strenuous activities. I avoid at all costs situations where people might feel that they need to ‘look after me’.  I was very conscious then that in the last week,  two of my friends fell and injured themselves badly. I walked very very carefully with my hiking stick, apprehensive  as I was the only one on the site. I had to forego a little climb that I could have easily achieved and would have afforded me an exceptional view. Too cautious? Wise? Definitely Sad.

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2 thoughts on “odds and ends

  1. about the young people and the quiz night, i am not sure if it is conscious ageism but more the fact that they were busy getting to know each other as young people, they were 22 of them and also may be fear of starting communication with a much older person, … often depicted as cranky and rude and difficult, in books and media. thinking back to when i was their age, i would only talk to an elder person if they themselves made the ouverture and started talking to me. today at age 62 i also notice being ignored, and i often have to barge in boldly; it is usually well received.

  2. i do not know why you avoid situation where people may feel they have to look out for you, i think it is lovely when this happens spontaneously, you can always decline if you do not need it and accept warmly when you do and get to know a new person; When i run tours, i often have old people sometimes over 80, they are always helped by younger ones in the group with very good grace. This allows them to participate better, of course they will not ask to be carried up a hill, everyone knows their place and their limit if left to it.

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