Older people are not plump babies

February 28, 2011

Maybe it’s a sign of aging, but in recent years I’ve been attuned to and offended by the way some younger people infantilize older people.

I hear it all the time. “Isn’t she cute?” “Oh, they are just precious!”

No. Not the right description.

When I look at an elderly couple walking hand in hand, I see two people who have managed a relationship that’s stood the test of time. Who have been through ups and downs of life that I can’t even fathom. I see people who know something about making a life over the long term. About not cutting and running at the first rocky spot. Or even the second.

I see people who have known heartache and heartbreak and navigated past them to recovery. Who have made compromises and managed to be happy.

I see wisdom.

And I feel respect. A boatload of respect.

I do not see “cute,” “precious,” “darling,” “adorable” or any of the same adjectives used to describe plump little babies.

Now, I’m not saying that I’ll be the kind of older person
that a youngster would call “cute.”

But in case I am, here’s fair warning.

Don’t do it.

Because THIS is the kind of older couple I plan to be part of:

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  1. […] younger people. And frankly, I’ve seen it happen to her and wrote about it in a post called Older People are not Plump Babies. But that was five years ago, and now I’m the one being […]

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