Please Don't Call Me A Senior Citizen
NOTE: The information provided below is solely the opinion of the author of this Hub
"I Love Life" - Elise Curran, my seventh grade teacher who lived to be 100 years old
I will cut to the chase.
First, I am a non-conformist. I do not follow the piper. I want to be myself and referred to myself by my name only: Lea Tartanian.
That being said, I am not happy with being a part of a society that tacks on me the term, "Senior Citizen" when age 49 disappears.
How dare they? Who, on earth is responsible for this?
Just last week during an appointment with my foot doctor he grumbled, "I just turned fifty, and I have already received a letter to join AARP! I threw it in the garbage!" I told him I did the same thing.
I cringe when an individual says to me, "I just had a senior moment;" "It's hell getting old," "I am old and decrepit," "It felt good that they (young people) spent time with an old antique like me." When someone makes a statement like that, it places the listener in an awkward position. What is he/she supposed to reply?
Even one of my close friends said to me (she was in TEARS), "I don't know what I'm going to do when you die." (WHAT???)
I responded, "I am not going anywhere!"
Let's get one thing straight: I do not do 'senior moment.' I do not do 'AARP.' I do not do senior citizen discount. I will never join the Red Hat Society. I do not lean over my shopping cart at the grocery store and shuffle along. I NEVER take a shuttle. I refuse to spread the kind of karma that screams, "I've got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel."
This is why I am currently writing a book containing reasons why I LOVE the second half of life.
I cherish this time of living instead of existing. I did not wait until retirement age to quit my job. I left a lot earlier than my peers.
Why? Because I decided money is not that important. LIFE is important. I wanted to get up each morning with NO PLANS.
And this is what I am doing:
My morning walks savoring nature without the stress of having to go to work.
Barnes & Noble. I LIVE there!
I read, and I write.
I keep a prayer notebook and I go through it every day...a lot of my hub friends are on it.
Movies! I am a movie addict, and I have been to more matinees that I can count.
I hug our four cats even though they own me.
All the above I do first thing ahead of routines and obligations.
Money? I took a huge cut in pay. And I don't miss one cent. I could have worked a few more years and made more...but I decided the art of being alive was more important to me.
I have decided I do not need one thing in this house. I am slowly weeding out everything. I have three or four sets of clothing. That is all I need. I literally threw away all my work clothes the week after I quit my job.
Back to the Senior Citizen aggravation.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist William Ecenbarger published an article in the Christian Science Monitor titled, "'Senior Citizen' is a euphemism that just doesn't fit."
He writes, "...don't call me golden-ager, oldster, coot, curmudgeon, geezer, fogy, old-timer, prime-timer, retired person, mature American, season citizen, silver fox, young at heart, chronologically gifted...and please, please, don't call me a senior citizen." (NOTE: I WILL ADD TO THIS LIST ELDERLY AND MATRONLY).
He continues, "what's wrong with 'senior citizen?' For starters, it's a condescending, demeaning, patronizing euphemism. It is the latest incarnation in the age-old struggle to find a term for old that is linguistically, ethically, and most of all, politically correct.
"'Senior Citizen' connotes shuffleboard and pinochle, rocking chairs and golf carts, frailty and dependency. There are far too many 70-year old hang gliders, computer whizzes and marathoners for the stereotype to have any validity at all."
Finally he concludes, "I blame a lot of this on vote-hungry office-seekers and officeholders slobbering over our 'senior citizens' in the belief that it is somehow bad politics to call old people old. Junior Citizens hear me out! The American Heritage Book of English Usage traces the coinage of 'senior citizen' back to a 1938 article in Time Magazine. That makes it 66 years old. Time to retire it."
I believe William Ecenbarger summarized his article perfectly with his statement that the stereotype of 'senior citizen' has no validity at all and that is IS time to retire it.
Just as I cringe when a store clerk says to me "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas," I shudder if I see the word 'senior' on a movie ticket or Senior Citizen Discount meals listed on a menu in a restaurant. Do they think I am so poor I cannot afford an extra 50 cents?
Not once in my life have I ever said to ANYONE, "I am old."
Being referred to as a Senior Citizen is, to me, an insult. Therefore, please do not call me that. I am Lea C. Tartanian, a female adult, who is living her life to the fullest. Like BillyBuc, I am squeezing as much passion out of life as I can.
Blessings to all, Sparklea