Do I really look that old?
As we were coming through security in Washington DC, the gentleman, a little older as well, asked me if I was 75. I answered no and asked him if I looked 75. Then I realized he was trying to be courteous as once you hit 75; you don’t have to take your shoes off going through security.
However, I remained offended. Now I realize I’m looking older, but haven’t I got a great hairstyle and dropped 20 kilos? I don’t dress frumpy. I know I have a lot of flabby skin that I try to hide, and I am not quite so agile anymore. While I have had a knee transplant, both knees are doing well. My hearing is going, but no one needs to know that.
I don’t need someone to take my hand to help me off of a step or bus. So, while I look like I’m in my 60s – probably late 60s, I’d like to think I don’t look 75.
Don’t get me wrong, ageism works both ways.
I like it that old women on the bus have conversations with me. Even better, I don’t have to look twice, and people over half my age get up to provide me with a seat on the bus or train. I confess I like it. I also like that people don’t see me as a threat but as someone they can smile at and talk to. You might think that’s condescending, but I don’t take it that way. I feel more that I’m being given respect than being dismissed. I feel that I belong!
Ageism and Travel
The good news:
- We get all sorts of discounts.
- We can sometimes go to the head of the line.
- People underestimate us.
- We have life experiences and more cultural awareness.
- People go out of their way to help us.
The bad news:
- Sometimes, people try to take advantage of us, but it might be because we look like tourists.
- For several reasons, we may prefer to travel more comfortably, which costs more.
- We begin to experience physical limitations.
It is the physical constraints that concern me the most. That is why I encourage everyone, especially myself, to do it NOW! If there is somewhere you want to travel, please don’t wait.