“Ladies” Don’t Tell: That Age-old Age Question Brings More Questions

What is all the hub-bub regarding the social blunder of asking a woman her age? I experience momentary anguish when affronted when the question; the framing and word stress determines how I answer. I vacillate––I want to be ladylike–– and I want to tell you.

It’s possible that because I nearly didn’t have a 42nd birthday,  my perspective has changed. After all, one has to be here to have one. Every year I am here is a stark reminder. And it’s an annual reminder to family and friends, of the power and grace of our God.

What’s the big deal? Why is there a stigma to being an older woman? Why do men grow distinguished and women simply grow old, as the adage goes?

Many times, when something ages, its value increases. Why not humans? Some things just can’t be answered in concrete terms.

Susan Rooks’ post on September 6, 2017, “Please Stop Calling Us ‘Elderly,’” echoes my sentiments. (https://grammargoddess.com/please-stop-calling-us-elderly/) Rooks rants of newscasters referring to a 70-year-old as elderly. I once heard a newscaster describe a 55-year-old woman as elderly. Rooks writes “we’re not dead yet.” I concur.

The older I become, my definition expands of what elderly looks like So, yes, go ahead and ask me just how old I am. I may answer. I may not.

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