Inevitably as you begin the hellish task of holiday shopping, you'll encounter a well-meaning salesperson who calls you "hun" or "sweetie." You'll whip around wondering who she's talking to, only to realize it's you. This is all the more maddening to those over 50.
We've written quite a bit about what people of our age should be called. Boomers? Older people? Seniors? Everyone has something to say about it -- although we think it's unanimous that nobody likes to be called elderly. Our writer Ann Brenoff talked about her aversion to being called "adorable." "To my ear, it's a diminishment of what I've accomplished," she wrote. Other readers have mentioned their aversion to being called "ma'am."
But we've started noticing ageism, whether it's intended or not, goes beyond just labels like "old." We asked our Facebook fans which aging cliches drive them absolutely nuts. Here they are:
1. "He/she is ___ years young!" Stop right there. "They're that many years old not young. We don't say it about younger people only seniors... Patronizing," said reader Susun Anderson-Johnson.
2. "You don't look that old." Usually said in a tone of surprise, this is the worst underhanded compliment you can give us.
3. "He/she looks good for her age." So what you're basically saying is we're lucky we don't look ancient. You should have just stopped at looks good.
4. "Cute." This word should be reserved for puppies and babies. Take it from reader Teena Cregan. "I get a little irritated about the Internet videos of 'cute' older people dancing or doing other activities that people generally associate with those who are younger. It seems exceptionally patronizing."
5. "Back in your day..." We're confused as to what this is even supposed to mean. Today is our day, said reader Christina Boone.
6. "Young lady." Not only is this patronizing and condescending, it gives us flashbacks of being in trouble with our parents as kids.
7. "___ is the new 50." By saying this you're saying we should want to be younger than we really are. "Why can't we just admit that we're 60, or 70, 0r whatever age we are? It isn't the new anything. It just is," said reader Lois Rubin Gross.
What aging cliches drive you crazy? Let us know in comments below!