Ask Amy: Strangers comment on my appearance, and that’s not OK

Dear Amy: When I was about 56, I heard a young father saying to his toddler: “Look at the Nana!” at the condo complex swimming pool. I was gobsmacked when I realized he was referring to me, and I did not respond.

Amy Dickinson 

I’m 61 now, and this happened again at the grocery store. A young mother pointed me out to her little girl, saying I looked like her grandma! My mouth must have been hanging open, because the mom said, “It’s OK, you look like my mom, and she’s pretty.”

Other than wearing bifocals and being a bit overweight, I don’t think I look or dress like a blue-haired little old lady.

Folks, this is not OK! I don’t have children or grandchildren and would prefer you mind your own business.

For the record, I understand that in many cultures elders are frequently referred to as “aunties,” etc., but I found this particularly condescending and rude.

Your thoughts?

 Not Your Granny

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Dear Not Your Granny: First of all, no parent should ever point at, call out, and encourage a child to remark on a stranger’s appearance.

No matter how benign these parents might believe their own behavior to be, unless the stranger is costumed as a Disney character at a theme park, that’s just rude.

I suggest saying to a parent, “Hi, with all due respect, I’m not thrilled to be pointed at and talked about.”

Secondly — and quite beside the point — being mistaken for a “Nana” does not automatically translate into you being seen as a “blue-haired little old lady.”

While I understand your annoyance, on behalf of hot Nanas everywhere, I take exception to your own assumptions and stereotype.

Dear Amy: My adult sons are so estranged from my ex-husband that neither invited him to their weddings.

While I still have difficult feelings toward my ex, I try to have some level of civil interaction with him.

He often asks for updates as to what our sons are up to and how they are doing. He is their father, and it seems to me that he has a right to know at least a bit about what is going on in their lives.

Is it inappropriate for me to share general information, such as buying a house or changing jobs or is …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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