I’M NOT YOUR DEAR SO PLEASE DON’T BLESS ME

What’s the most outrageous, infuriating, patronising comment made to you regard-ing your age? The Audrey community shares some humdingers. Hold your breath and count to ten after reading, or you might just explode.



“The other day I got ‘Aren’t you brave starting a business at your age?’”. Or people imply my business is just a hobby”.



“A patronising telephone assistant referred to me as 65 years young. Why can’t I be old? And when I said I’d got married at 49, she said ‘Bless’. Grrr!’ “



“I’ve had ‘Are you familiar with Instagram?’”



“Young colleagues who (quite rightly) condemn the merest sniff of sexism or racism will happily refer to middle-aged colleagues as ‘old and irrelevant’ and are wide-eyed with amused surprise when I call them out on it”.



“Mine is ‘Did you not want kids?’”



“I was told at a job interview ‘We’re not sure you’d fit in with the way we do things here, we’re quite different in our company culture and would hate you to feel left behind’. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job”.


“Are you familiar with Instagram?”



“You’ve done well, but I always put my children first, so career wasn’t an option”.



“I mentioned my boyfriend at work and someone sniggered. What am I supposed to call him, my ‘man-friend?”



“I got ’Oooh, you’re brave” because I was wearing shorts for a night out. And this was a woman the same age as me! My reply? ‘Yes, I am’”.



“’Oh, don’t you look good for your age,’ and ‘Oh I gave up wearing (insert item of clothing) 20 years ago. Are you sure it still looks good on you?’ and ‘Do you really still need to go to death metal gigs?’”



“I’ve been criticised by younger women for not having a recent Post Grad Qualifica-tion. Surely it matters that I’ve gained recent knowledge and experience, not that my academic qualifications are from 30 years ago”.



“Someone actually said ‘Calm down Grandma’ the other day when I got assertive and raised my voice’. I know it was a joke but it didn’t make me laugh”.



“When someone finds out my age and says ‘Oh you’re not old’. As if being old is a bad thing. I AM old and it’s NOT a bad thing”.



“My children joke about my ‘elderly moments’ and ‘senior moments’ when I lose my keys. Forgetfulness is not the sole preserve of older people. My kids lose their keys far more often than me”.


“Don’t you look good for your age?”



“When I told my younger sister I was retraining she said ‘What for? Isn’t it a bit late for a career change?’”



“You know you’re over the hill in the eyes of others when young shop assistants start calling you ‘my love’. Arrggghhhh, I want to punch them in the nose. No-one EVER referred to me as ‘my love’ until a few years ago.”


“I get told ‘Oh my god, you are A-MAZING’ by girls at festivals or gigs; like it took all my strength and bravery to DARE to go out, dance and have a good time. Young women never told me I was amazing when I was at a festival when I was 18, 25, 30, 40… But now apparently I AM!!”


“I hate articles that assume none of us know how to text or use a remote”.


“Calling me ‘Dear’”


“The weird equivalence of single women post-40s and owning cats. It’s so obvi-ously a ‘burn the witch’ metaphor, yuk”.


“Ahhh bless you”… said x 10 in the hairdressers. By a 21 year old.



“I was asked about my age twice in interviews. The first time I was so shocked I didn’t know how to reply and laughed it off. I cried on the way home though, in mourning for something intangible I had lost. It came up again in another interview, this time I gave it to them with both barrels… got the job”.


“I get asked ’Do you still work?’ I tell them I will still be working in my 70s because I don’t have enough of a pension pot to retire. That soon shuts them up”.


“I hate the nudge nudge wink wink response to saying you’re on HRT as if you do it to feel sexy and glamorous rather than just keeping a host of unbearable symptoms at bay”.


“I was rather insulted when a bra fitter assumed I’d want it in white not black. I DO NOT WEAR WHITE BRAS. I am not entirely lost to matronhood, dammit”.


“I get ‘Did you used to go clubbing in your day?’. Yes, and as a matter of fact I still do!”


“I go travelling on my own a lot – I always have – but now I’m older people say things like, ‘It must be tough, travelling around on your own’. They assume I’m be-reaved or recently divorced – why else would I be on my lonesome? The fact is, I CHOOSE to travel solo”.


“Isn’t it a bit late for a career change?”



“I just hate the way once you turn fifty, everything seems to be aimed at ‘Over 50s’, whether it’s questions on forms, Facebook ads – usually for pensions and funeral plans -articles in newspapers, whatever. So over-50s is a category, ie, 50 until death. Why can’t it be ’50-60’ and so on? Talk about making us feel over the hill and irrelevant”.


“From a hairdresser: ’It must be lovely not having to worry about how you look in the same way once you get older’. She’s right, it is liberating in a way, but still! Must be the Ena Sharples hairnet and housecoat…”


With thanks to the Audrey community.