A group of friends are talking, catching up on their lives. One, aged 71, suggests she is beginning to feel old. Her friend, aged 69, says, “No, not me – I’m not old, I’m even working part-time.” Their friend, aged 75, says, “No, me neither. I feel full of energy.” There is an air of triumph. But what is going on? If they aren’t old, who is?
The central question is – what is this “old” that they don’t feel? It is surely something to do with an image they cannot – or will not – identify with. I suspect the image dates back to our view of our grandmothers – or other older women we knew – who fully expected to be called old.
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