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No, I’m not.

I am not a kid anymore. I run slow, if my knees don’t hurt and I decide running is warranted.  My hair is thinning and starting to grey. Sometimes at work, newer people call me sir not because of my position but because I’m older than their dad.

I am not a young man.

Being overly sensitive to things is not a quality I admire in people. At the same time, I have reached the point that I that I just can’t tolerate being called young man. Let me give an example of what I’m talking about. I stop for lunch and place my order. As the woman at the counter gives me my change she says “thank you young man”. I am easily 20 years older than her.

I am not a young man.

Clearly, this calling me young man thing is an attempt to be kind. It doesn’t just happen to me, I’ve witnessed it in different settings happening to other folks as well. Perhaps it assumes I am not content with the fact that I’m aging. Maybe if that were the case I’d hear it and tell myself I must be aging very well. Because I am satisfied with who and where I am in life, it just comes across as condescending.

I am not a young man.

False kindness does nothing but bring the opposite into clear focus. I’m not 16 or 21 or 30. I’m going to have to put some time into having a proper retort to being called young man. It just happens more than I think I’m going to be able to remain quiet for.

I am not a young man.

AARP hasn’t sent me a card yet, but I’m on their radar. Whenever I buy beer at the grocery, the receipt says “cashier bypassed age validation.” I know what bluetooth does, but I just don’t know why I need it. I have Twitter for the blog, but I forget to use it most of the time.

I am not a young man. I’m good with that.

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23 Comments on “No, I’m not.”

  1. Great write. I am a new father at 40 and I just know when I take my daughter to her events ten years from now everyone is going to say how nice it is her grandpa is there. Oh well.

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve probably got you by a year or two. I’m comfortable with it, but somewhat nonplussed by some of the physical limitations I didn’t expect; nothing bad, just the normal “will the knees hold out” sort of thing. Sometimes I feel old, but still I refuse to grow up. I know people who have seemed old all their lives, and I don’t want to be like that. I take a look out my window at the Blue Ridge Mountains and figure we’re both holding up pretty well in the grand scheme of things, and still have time on the calendar. After that, it doesn’t really matter to me what other folks think.

  3. Doug says:

    At least you’re admitting it. Some people like my friend’s parents and my dad think that they’re “happenin'” just because they have iPhones or smartphones.

  4. queensgirl says:

    I got an AARP card in the mail when I was 21. Really. As for Bluetooth, you’re ahead of me– I’m not entirely sure I know what it does.

  5. planetross says:

    No one ever calls me young man, just immature … and it’s probably not out of kindness. hee hee!

  6. shoutabyss says:

    Perhaps it is a localized phenomenon. I can’t remember the last time I was called a young man. The closest I get is, “No way! You look way too young to be a grandpa.”

    On the other hand, I use the phrase an awful lot myself.

  7. frigginloon says:

    It’s worse when you get called lady 😦

  8. Pauline says:

    Maybe calling you “young man” was the cashier’s way of hitting on you? 😉

  9. Kate says:

    I have the opposite issue. I get called “ma’am,” and dammit, I am nowhere near ma’am-worthy age.

  10. spencercourt says:

    As long as they keep offering me the senior discount, I don’t care what they call me…;)

    But, I’ve never been called “young man”. I have been told I look “younger” than my age, but with gray hair and a growing bald spot in the center back of my head, it’s clear I’m not a young man either.

    Get that AARP card when you can…just $10 a year and the discounts (like 20% off at IHOP) are as good as or better than AAA, which is more expensive.

  11. Keli says:

    I guess there’s a slim possibility I may be in denial, but truly I have good reason. I wear the same size as the youngins, have great hair and feel confident that I could trick AARP into giving me another decade or so. I love a challenge. And you can call me young lady any time.

  12. tsanda says:

    ive recently started getting the sir at work…I consider my self pretty young still. the alphaville song, forever young describes me well…please don’t call me sir…i’d accept champ/sport/tiger before sir.

  13. KathiD says:

    Oh, that “young man” and “young lady” and so-and-so years “young” crap is enough to make me violent.

    Imma bout ta smack the next fool that tries that with my cane.


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