Another gem from Roger Angell’s article in The New Yorker that I left out of the previous posting (it was getting too long) was an observation I am already seeing. (Remember, he is in his 90s, well ahead of us and telling us what we can expect.) We get more overt attention as we age, but attention often tinged with patronization.
“Here I am in a conversation with some trusty friends—old friends but actually not that old: they’re in their 60s—and we’re finishing the wine and in serious converse about global warming in Nyack or Virginia Woolf the cross-dresser. There’s a pause, and I chime in with a couple of sentences. The others look at me politely, then resume the talk exactly at the point where they’ve just left off. What? Hello? Didn’t I just say something? Have I left the room? . . . I didn’t expect to take over the chat but did await a word or two of response. . . . (Women I know say that this began to happen to them when they passed 50.)
“When I mention the phenomenon to anyone around my age, I get back nods and smiles. Yes, we’re invisible. Honored, respected, even loved, but not quite worth listening to anymore.”