Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

what’s wrong with old?

My friend Rita says it’s insulting when people call you hon or sweetie because they are disrespecting you because you are old or else because you are young, but I grew up in the south and I like it and besides I am not easily insulted. She hates it when people say ma’am because that is like saying you’re old but in the south you always say ma’am, and anyhow what is wrong with old that’s what I want to know.

Categories: aging

5 replies

  1. Do you want to know something amazing? I’ve been subscribed to your blog for months now since a mutual friend recommended it on Facebook. When you named yourself in class a neuron in the back of my brain twanged with recognition but I didn’t know where it was coming from. Now you’ve updated and I’ve received an email and everything is coming together in my head. So hi, from a fan on the internet and in real life. So exciting to know you after reading your stuff!

    • That’s funny! I thought I recognized your name from FB. Who was the mutual friend? I like being in class with you, by the way, you always have interesting things to say. And what a great class- if I’m ever an instructor, I want to be just like Jesse.
      Sorry I’ve been such a negligent blogger. I thought by now my followers might have bailed out on me.

  2. I’ve always resented being called “little”. Average size, smaller than some but wtf does size have to do with relationship? I understand it is meant as an endearment, but it feels like a put-down.

  3. Maybe because I am old I felt flattered when last week a young man address me as ma’am. I call people Hon And Sweetie. I hope they take it as a term of endearment.

  4. Thanks for this Alison. Have you read the book “Two Old Women”? It is an Athabascan legend that has been translated and made into a little book. I love it so much, I give it to women friends on appropriate occasions. also, I find that I slyly put people I know to the test by forwarding some youtube clip with some performance done by people who are old and note if they say something about it being cute or funny. I still like to dance and hate to think of people looking at my movement as funny or pathetic. I can’t control that. Just have to keep on dancing!

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