Some rather astounding changes happened when I got old and retired. I disappeared. Yes, I still occupy space and use oxygen needed by others, but I became a non-person. No longer are my opinions valid, nor my knowledge legitimate. It isn't just me, I've noticed that other older people are treated the same way.
You see, those that have come after me already know everything important and when an older person offers a remark, it is a put down to the younger less experienced. Ergo, I am making them stupid. These are fellow adults I'm referring to here.
The first few years that I no longer worked, I faded into the woodwork as the saying goes. My twenty years experience in the Real Estate and mortgage lending field, invalid. Then a few years later, the Spokesman-Review gave me an opportunity to be creative again, writing a weekly column on community events and people features. Folks accepted that, I guess as an old Geezer's ramblings.
More recently, and still unwilling to go back to being a non-person, I became active in the committee to bring Unlimited Hydroplanes back to Coeur d'Alene after a 40 year absence. Suddenly, when that was over, I sensed an uneasy relationship with those around me.
A month ago, a renown loudmouth yelled at me to SHUT UP, HERB! More recently, a younger person, roughly 35 years my junior repeated that slur. I asked him why he was trying to intimidate me. His response was, "You think you know it all." I pointed out that I had never made that claim, nor had I ever suggested that I was more intelligent than others, though this guy was determined to proving that point.
Apparently, I am not adhering to the role that younger people feel I belong in. One in which I don't make them feel like underachievers. Well,their feelings are their own and I won't take responsibility for them. But I won't sit down, shut up or in any other disrespectful way, kowtow to bullies of any age, regardless of their tendency to ape a troglodyte.
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