It’s Just a Number

I’ve been job-hunting and found that when I removed the dates from my resume, things started to pick up.  I could picture a puzzled 30-year-old human resources director: “It says here she graduated in 1984.  Did they even HAVE colleges back then?!” 

This got me thinking about how we judge others based on age and I can’t exclude yours truly.  I live in a community that is mostly retired people and sometimes they seem SO OLD.  They walk slowly to the mail center, they drive hesitantly down the twisty roads (where they blithely walk their dogs and have no clue how close they come to being splattered on the side of the mountain.) 

I know it must seem silly that someone who is 61 could be out of patience with those over 75 but there it is.

Of course, once we got to know some of these folks, we didn’t judge quite so quickly.  I think it may have been that time they beat the tar out of us at cornhole and then proceeded to drink us under the table. 

When we visit our children in Seattle, the age table turns, and we are almost always the oldest people around. The youngsters pass by and barely seem to see us but then something interesting happens.  I ask one of these whippersnappers for help with directions and they are completely accommodating.  Suddenly I’m everybody’s mom and it’s pretty sweet.

When I taught, young colleagues were sometimes dismissive to those my age.  I remember when one teacher got her new smart board and a few of us assembled there for a meeting.  I hadn’t said a word but Cutie piped up, “Now, Cindy, don’t be afraid!”  Rude much?

Being a veteran teacher wasn’t all bad though, as I found being older than my students’ parents came in handy.  One day I fussed at a young man for not doing his homework and, because I live in the south, he answered as he should:  “Yes, ma’am, I’ll do better ma’am.”  Then I decided to call his mother for good measure.  Her answer:  “Yes, ma’am, he’ll do better ma’am.”  And he did. 

Lately we’ve been house-hunting and we’ve run across some very young landlords who are buying and renting mountain homes as investments.  Names like Shaun, Austin and Colton are the first tipoff.  When Austin was late for our appointment, us two old-timers started joking:

“Probably he has a play date with Colton!”

“Or he’s pouting because his mom forgot the Fruity Pebbles!”

“Or maybe we have to wait for his favorite cartoon to be over!” 

Before you tell us we shouldn’t tease the children, let me tell you, Millenials give as good as they get from us Boomers.  Our daughter told us about something called Cropped Boomer Images.  They show unfinished-looking memes that are attributed to folks our age.  Here are a couple examples:

As thanks for this new information, I made one for my girl:

I’m not 100% sure I did this right but, if not, we’ll say it’s just part of the Boomer gag. “Just trolling you!” covers a lot of goofs around here.

We’ve learned it’s hard to find a house to rent.  There is very little out there and half of what you find is “sketchy”, as the young people say. 

When we do run across a decent rental, though, we are a landlord’s dream.  Our credit is excellent, we have no pets, and we owned a home for many years.  We’ve been texted compliments and promises.  These are straight from my phone to you:

We feel like the prettiest girl at the dance!

We’re not that special, in the grand scheme of things, but because we are not ready to be homeowners again just yet, we’ve become the answer to a property manager’s prayer.  Popularity is new to us and it’s fun.

We have all known engaged and energetic older adults as well as younger people who are old before their time.  We also know we shouldn’t judge others based on gender, race, sexual orientation or economic status.  Let’s add age to that list.  I’m working on leaving behind preconceived notions of who you are based on your trips around the sun.  In the meantime, though, I’m certainly enjoying being the belle of the rental market ball!

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