09.06.10

Stop! Being Overly Respectful to Seniors

Posted in Excerpts at 08:45 pm by admin

           I have a pet peeve and wonder how common this may be.  I hesitate bringing it up because I know it is done with the best of intentions, but it still “bugs” me and I don’t think it is proper, and here it comes.

Its me

 It seems as I got older, and in my 60’s I became everyone’s sweetheart, honey and dear.  I’ve even had people call me lovie.  This is done in person, and on the phone.  What surprises me is that I am called by these names in restaurants, banks and various businesses.  I hate to be unfriendly, but these people are not my sweetheart, my honey or dearie.  I don’t even know them!  Often, inappropriately, I’ve had people moving light chairs for me or asking if I need help lifting small boxes, etc.

            I’ve asked friends about this and most agree that it makes them “mad” specifically, my friend Carole who is five years younger than me.  When I was in my early sixties I told her about this phenomenon.  She half believed me, but a few years later Carole called me and said: ”Gracie, you are right, I’m becoming everyone’s love. “

          To me this means I’m old, feeble, needing assistance and not up to par.  I believe there are elderly folks who appreciate this attention and need the help, and I believe for some it gives them status, but it is only a small minority of seniors who need help and if so, it is usually obvious.   But for the majority of us, it is degrading and disrespectful.  Businesses should teach their employees when and where not to use these familiar terms such as: Hon, Honey, Dearie, Sweaty, Lovie, etc…when addressing a senior.

          Grace & Husband Motorcycling in EuropeBy the way, I’m in my 70’s but I’m grateful for outstanding health, and although my face may have a few lines, I’m in better shape and have more energy than when I was in my 40’s..  I play tennis at least 3 times a week, I ski, I walk 5 to 6 miles at least 2 times per week, and next week I am going on a 3 weeks motorcycle trip (renting BMW’s in Seville) to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.  I believe it is important and respectful to treat seniors as an equal, not to assume we are old, feeble and in need of nurturing and physical assistance, unless asked.

          I plan to add a few blogs during these next three weeks and let you know what it is like to be on a motorcycle in these Countries and what the experience is for me.  Hopefully, I can encourage you to take a similar trip.

          I would also love to hear if you agree or disagree with me on this topic.

11 Responses to “Stop! Being Overly Respectful to Seniors”

  1. Grace Says:

    I just received this comment on Facebook from Neil B: “Be safe on your bike trip. Avoid Livepool as everyone is called “Love” here, even the men.”

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