Dan and I grocery shop together. Each of us carries a shopping list and pushes a cart. We separate as we enter the store and meet again at the registers. It’s a time-efficient way to carry out a task.

Today Dan dropped me off at the store’s entrance because it was raining. He parked the car. Then we walked into the store.

There a young woman spoke to us.

“I knew you two were a couple!” she said. “You’re adorable!”

Now, hear me.

Our 16-month-old granddaughter is adorable.

Kittens and puppies are adorable.

Dan and I are not adorable.

Jessica Tandy is adorable in Driving Miss Daisy, as is Morgan Freeman.

Ed Asner’s character in Up is adorable, though crotchety. Helen Hayes is an icon for adorability.

Dan and I are years away from being adorable. I’ll thank people to recognize that.

Besides, who approaches strangers in a store to make trifling comments? I don’t.

I’m betting this woman never tells two 30-year-olds they are adorable.

Why was she comfortable telling us we were? Did she think we appreciated being reminded we are no longer young or middle-aged?

She saw we did not struggle to stand erectly. Neither of us used a motorized cart. I wasn’t wearing old-lady shoes. Dan had not pulled the waistband of his pants up under his armpits.

We are competent, independent, post middle-age adults. Both of us use smartphones and bank online. We navigate roundabouts, even dress ourselves.

Yet, people expect us, this unadorable couple, to accept sugar-coated, old-people comments with grace.

They wait for our “Why, thank you.” Then they watch us shuffle away, hoping we make it to our parked cars.

This woman should be glad I wasn’t carrying a cane.

After we finished shopping, Dan and I approached the registers to pay for our purchases.

Here another young woman smiled and asked, “Did you find everything you needed, Honey?”

I cringed.

Then, handing me my receipt, she said, “Thank you, Sweetie.” She made a point of lifting my gallon of milk into the cart for me.

Had it not been raining, I might have asked Dan, “Think we can get all this home on our skateboards?”

Business owners should train employees to be courteous but not coddling; professional, not patronizing.

Spare me the special treatment.

It will be worse this winter.

Well-meaning folks offering arms to us as we walk across icy parking lots. Neighbors asking if we need them to run our errands so we can avoid driving on snow-covered roads.

Not to mention those infernal reminders to bundle up, call if you need help, and don’t risk breaking a hip or getting the flu. It can be dangerous “for people your age.”

We are not adorable. We’re too young for such niceties.

God willing, we will one day be adorable.

Don’t rush us.

Unadorable Couple in Alaska July 2018

21 thoughts on “NO, WE ARE NOT!”

  1. At our local Chili’s restaurant they have kiosks at the table to pay the bill. It infuriates me when the waiter/waitress reaches over me to assist when I have replied that “yes” I know how to do this.

    1. I don’t get it. Why do some people assume we can’t do a thing? We are reminded all the time through media not to automatically offer help to a person who is in a wheelchair or is using another special aid. ASSUME THEY ARE INDEPENDENT UNTIL THEY ASK FOR HELP.

      Thanks, Glenda!

  2. that belittling is so common. It seems to me that especially in the service sector people need to feel superior by putting others down. I once got so upset with a nurse that I spoke to my administrator friend of the hospital who decided to give all the nurses a script on how to address patients. So sad that this is needed in the first place.

    1. Ingrid, a friend of mine once wrote a humorous piece (which, of course I can’t find now) about a nurse addressing her patient by asking, “How are WE feeling today?” The patient very succinctly let her/him know that “we” are not being treated.

      Good for your administrator friend. More professionals should train their workers. We assume people know these things, but, as you said, some don’t.

      Thanks, Ingrid.

  3. I love the picture, Debbie! Troy and I are the same age as you and Dan and I think we are just kind of in the middle of an “unknown category” of sorts. Too young to be adorable, too old for millennial activities!

  4. Ha Ha Ha!! Loved the picture. You may not be adorable, but you’re awfully cute! Reminds me of when I read my medical records a couple of years ago. Every entry started out with my age, then white, then female. Then I came to one that said, Elderly, white, female. I guess they hired Dougie Howser!

    1. Ouch! Yes, it is a bit unsettling to accept medical counsel from doctors who appear to be in their late teens!

      Thanks for your nice comment on the photo. Wonderful trip! Glad we went while we were still “young.” 🙂

  5. Nothing to do with age, your love for each other makes you adorable. I watched you growing up wanting to have a relationship like you both have. I got it right the second time. You both have always been adorable 😍😍

  6. This made me laugh out loud. I hate being called sweetie. One day this girl was telling me about an elderly woman who was in her mid sixties. It took all my willpower not to walk away or smack her. I’m getting real close to the age where I can smile sweetly and give them what for in my quiet voice

    1. When you master that skill, teach me how to do it. I’m starting to look for older cashiers who can relate better with how I feel.

      These young whipper-snappers have a lot to learn! 🙂

      Thanks, Pam.

  7. Hearing those types of terms is something that especially grates on my nerves. I think I categorize the people who talk like that into a category I’ll call False Superiority!

  8. Oh Debbie, that was so funny. I can hear your voice saying those words. I feel the same way. Yesterday I picked up my new glasses and when I tried them on, the tech said they were adorable. No they weren’t ! But I must admit in the past I have been guilty of calling older women “girls” when I address them . Not any more, too many cringes from being called sweetie etc. I am not your sweetie. I think it is to not make us feel old, but that is just what it does. ( of course we may just be in denial).

  9. One day at Walmart I was standing at the end of the self check out section waiting for Jake to finish checking out. I was just standing there watching people go by. A young employee walked by in front of me going to get a basket for returns. When she came back by I was still standing there waiting. She said “honey are you lost” 😣 I said “no do I look lost?” She could have just asked if she could help me. 😏

  10. I have just started receiving those kind of unwelcome comments. It makes me nervous, and angry to have someone watching over my shoulder, waiting for me to mess up or be unsure how to do something! Please allow me the chance to use my knowledge and well-earned wisdom to figure things out on my own! There may come a time when I need help, but PLEASE wait for me to ask.
    I love you and Dan AND that picture- so thankful I figured out how to take the picture and send it to you! 😏❤️

    1. Yes, I forget you are still just a child. It will only get worse from here. Primarily it seems to be the younger women who are prone to over-monitoring. Their day is coming.

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