But I have been noticing for the last few years that an awful lot of other people are treating me differently. I didn't understand at first, and then I finally figured out that they see me as elderly. I want to say, "Listen, you little whippersnapper, my dad lived to be 100. Now, that's old!"
It's disheartening to be treated as if I'm not all there or not there at all. Store clerks and check-out girls are the worst. I've had people pat me on the arm or shoulder, trying to be reassuring. This is the south, so of course I've had my share of "Hon" and "Sugar." The one I really resent is when someone, usually male, calls me a "young" lady. Listen, mister, my mind is fine and I know that I clearly am not young. You need to get your eyes checked. Or, better yet, you need to quit saying that. I find it condescending and patronizing.
I remember my dad saying "I have all the answers, but nobody will ask the questions!" He was probably 98 when he said that. And I kind of feel that way. I don't know everything, of course, and neither did my dad. What I want is for people to be able to learn from my experiences, and I want to continue to learn from others' experiences. There's too much fascinating stuff out there to just sit on the sidelines and watch.
So I vow to get in there and live, no matter my age. If other people won't listen, I'll figure out a way to get their attention. I'll wear bright colors and say bright things. When they pat, I'll pat back. When they call me young, I'll tell them they need to get their eyes checked or avail themselves of a mental exam because they may be delusional. I want to surprise people. They will see an elderly, frumpy woman. But when I start to speak, they will see the Light and know that I am someone who is speaking for the Lord. Can't beat that with a stick.