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What’s Bugging Me

What’s Bugging Me
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BY BETH PORTOLESE

Let’s talk about Ageism shall we?  We all know it is out there in some subtle and not so subtle forms; however, I’ve encountered a couple examples of it recently that I just have to point out because well, they bugged me!

When I lived upstate I used to get a lot of catalogs in the mail.  This tends to happen once you get on the mailing list for one product and they share your name with a million others.  Once I moved to the city, this stopped because they didn’t have my address.  Because I get so few now, the ones I do get stand out and I actually look at them instead of throwing them away.  Last week I got a catalog from Neiman Marcus which normally has some nice clothes in it.  When I looked through it, all that it had in it were baggy clothes.  Instead of high heels, they had furry clogs for me to buy.  i couldn’t help but thinking that they must have gotten word that I turned 60 so now I only want to wear non-formfitting clothes and flat shoes.  Now, I have no problem with people who wear these type of outfits, but I don’t.  A couple of years ago any catalog I got from Neiman had stiletto heels and fashions only models could wear.  Now I’m getting clogs? The only thing that could have precipitated the change in the type of catalog I get is my age and I resent it.  I’m still 4’11 (and probably shrinking at this point) so why wouldn’t I still want to wear heels?  I don’t get it.

On the same day I received an email with a survey from Anne Taylor loft in it.  They wanted to know about my taste in clothes.  I like that place because you can get basic clothes for an inexpensive price….plus they always have sales.  I clicked on the link to the survey and started filling it out.  The 3rd question on the survey asked me to check my age range.  i checked the 60 to 64 range (Yikes I still can’t believe it!).  Once I did, suddenly the survey ended for me!  The next screen said, thanks for your input, that is all we need at this time.  Really?  You don’t need input from people who actually go into an email and fill out a survey when most people probably delete it?  I can’t help but think that they just don’t want input from someone who is not cool, which in today’s world only means young. It is quite obvious by the ads you see in magazines and online that fashion brands only want to appeal to young people, but don’t they realize that we old people wear clothes too and actually have money to spend on them?  I don’t get it! Everyone talks about diversity; shouldn’t that also include age?

While we are at it, Madonna just turned 60 and right after her birthday celebration went on the Video Music Awards to announce the video of the year.  Prior to announcing it, she talked about Aretha Franklin which mostly turned out to be a speech talking about herself with a little of Aretha thrown in at the end.  Needless to say social media went wild with comments about the situation.  Try reading through some of the comments on social media sometime….it’s a real education.  Anyway, every other comment about Madonna’s speech mentioned that she was old or said something about her age.  What did her age have to do with her speech or Aretha Franklin?  Nothing, but people  had to throw it in as an insult which apparently being called old is. Am I just noticing this age thing because now I’m older or has it just been ramped up more than when I was younger?  I suspect it’s the latter.

Anyway, while we are talking about youth I have to say something about what I’ve noticed on facebook lately.  There are so many videos of children’s reactions to different situations.  It’s like parents never put their phones away just waiting for some cute kid thing to happen so they can take a video and post it hoping it will go viral.  There are also those videos of little kids talking like an adult and giving their views on love and working etc.  Maybe I’m jaded but I don’t find it cute when some precocious, know-it-all kid tells me their views on anything.  I find it kind of creepy.

But I guess I’m just old!

Until next time.

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