There's lots of discussion these days about what to call people as they grow older. Nobody likes "elderly"; "senior" and "senior citizen" are a scant improvement over "elderly"; and we can argue til the cows come home exactly what "older person" means. I'm fine with using my actual age as a descriptor. I'm a "64-year-old." Period.
What I'm not fine with is being called "adorable."
Spending a good deal of my day online, I see people my age and older being called "adorable" all the time. "Adorable" is a word that is best applied to babies and puppies. To my ear, it's a diminishment of what I've accomplished, and doesn't show the respect for my age and experience that I would prefer you show me. Granted, I'm not one of those grandparents who dances on YouTube, but still, I've been called "adorable" for making something as a simple kind gesture to someone younger.
To wit, I recently made a special dish for a friend's daughter and she thanked me by shrieking how "adorable" I was for doing this.
A simple "Thanks. This was so nice of you!" would have felt better to me. Instead of just thanking me she praised my behavior. She might as well have told me that I did a "good job" in her best kindergarten teacher's voice.
Sure there are worse things people can say. And certainly worse things people could do. No, this isn't world peace we're talking about here. More like generational peace. With maybe only me.
I get that younger people use "adorable" when they think something is sweet. So, yeah, grandparents dancing like nobody is watching (except the person who will record it and post it to YouTube with the title "These Adorable Grandparents Will Warm Your Heart" ) and boom! It goes viral.
Who even knows if they are actually grandparents? Not everyone over 60 is, you know. As for the dancing fools, why not just leave them be? They are having fun, probably could care less what the Internet thinks, and most likely fought in wars for our freedom or did something else that deserves more respect than to be called "adorable."
"Adorable" is nothing more or less than just one of those terms that Millennials overuse. I asked a bunch of friends my age whether they minded being called "adorable" and I admit that I appear to be standing alone out on this limb.
So given that this is likely just me, how about we just title this piece "An Adorable Writer Must Be Having A Slow News Day."
1. Every second, two people around the world celebrate their sixtieth birthday.
2. In 1910, life expectancy for a Chilean female was 33 years. Today it is 82 years.
3. On 16 October 2011, British national Fauja Singh became the first 100 year-old to complete a marathon by running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada.
4. In the United Kingdom, one third of the babies born in 2012 can expect to celebrate their 100th birthday.
5. 65% of people over 60 live in less developed countries. Despite their growing share of the population in the developing world however, less than one percent of humanitarian aid was targeted at older people in 2010-11.
6. Born in Tennessee in 1896, Besse Cooper is the world’s oldest living person. On her 116th birthday this year she said: “I mind my own business. And I don’t eat junk food.”
7. Japan is the world’s “oldest” country, with the highest concentration of people aged 60 and over.
8. Forty-seven percent of males over 60 years old and 24 percent of females over 60 years old still participate in the labour force; in some developing countries, over 90 percent of [people] over 60 work.
9. Harlan David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, founded Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 65.
10. Fewer than one in five older people globally have access to a pension.
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