Thursday, 12 April 2012

Growing Pains

When people read this post, they’re probably going to say that I am just being too sensitive and making a big deal out of nothing.   But this is something that has bugged me for a long time and I simply have to see whether or not others have the same problem.   Why is it that there are some older people who feel that it is OK to comment on a younger person’s life, regardless of how insulting they may be.   Take today for example: A man in his 60s, who I have never spoken to before, comes up to my table and asks my classmates and me where we are from.   When I respond with “East London”, he says “Shame!” and dismisses me completely.   Upon seeing the angry expression on my face, he laughs and says “Now now, don’t take offense!”  

How could I not take offense?   He just insulted where I come from!   How would he like it if I looked at him pitifully when I found out that his name is Osbourne Pinkerdoodle?  This, my dear readers, is not an isolated incident.   The worst is when an older person discovers that you are single.      Now I don’t approach people I barely know and ask them if they are happy in their marriage.   Of course not, that would be invasive and beyond rude.   But oh no, obviously the same rule does not apply when it comes to older ladies questioning young single girls.   It appears that society has no issue with relative strangers probing and prodding you as though you are some mutated lab-rat, trying to figure out what exactly is the cause of you being without a mate.   When they come up with no definite answer, more often than not they settle with the conclusion that you must have a birth defect and are probably covered in hairy warts ... Either that or you’re just too fussy.

And then there’s the pet-name calling.   I remember getting seriously reprimanded in high school for blowing up at my creepy Biology teacher who insisted on calling me “sweetie”.   I’m not getting upset over some cute little granny calling me “dear” every now and then, but I get extremely irked when I am having an argument with an older person, and they patronize me by calling me some cutesy name.   Is this because I am ridiculously short and am thus seen as adorable?   Or perhaps it is the freckles across my cheeks that remind them of children featured in Enid Blyton books.   Whatever the reason, a guaranteed way to make an angry Karen angrier is to patronizingly call her “baby-cakes”.   Yes, this has indeed happened.       

I guess what this all boils down to is me disliking the fact that older people seem to be able to get away with whatever they want to, and do not realise that they are actually being extremely insulting and rude.   If I were to act in the same way, it would be seen as me being nosy and disrespectful.   I feel as though as a young (and very small) girl, I am never taken seriously by both older men and women alike.   Unfortunately, I know that this is something that is never going to change and so I may as well get used to it.   Who knows, maybe I’ll remember this and try and be a sweet and respectful old lady who minds her own business.   But chances are, I’ll be sticking my nose in where it’s not wanted and embarrassing the hell out of my grand kids.   Ah, revenge is sweet!