Life

Ask Amy: We’re smart and dignified. We are not ‘cute.’


DEAR AMY: My husband and I are in our mid-70s. We are in good shape, are intellectually active, and we’re well-dressed.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

When we are out together, young people often come up to us and say, “You guys are so cute” and, “You’re so sharp,” or “Look how adorable you are…” or many synonymous expressions.

I know these are compliments, but it doesn’t feel that way. To me it’s akin to telling an African-American person they are “well-spoken,” or telling me that I “don’t look Jewish.”

I thank these people and tell them that I know they mean it as a compliment, but it doesn’t feel that way.

Are we being too sensitive? Should we just smile and say thanks?

Adorable??

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DEAR ADORABLE??: The two examples you cite aren’t patronizing as much as they are fundamentally racist, but otherwise … what a cute question!

I’m making my own little joke, here, but I understand that you are trying to describe the particular annoyance of being condescended to by people who are half your age.

These young people think they are making your day by shining upon you a brief ray of their personal sunshine. Please understand that they do mean well. They are not deliberately trying to make you feel like cute little toddlers on the playground.

In response to these condescending compliments, you can give these people a knowing look and say, cryptically, “Well, aren’t you sweet? We think of ourselves as mature and formidable, but it’s so precious that you think we’re adorable.”

DEAR AMY: I have been feeling irritable toward my husband lately. Small things bug me, even when I know they are not such a big deal.

I noticed these feelings after the birth of our fourth child, in June.

Before she was born, we found out that my husband’s father was in the hospital. We couldn’t get much information about his condition, so my husband was rightly concerned.

Our baby’s due date came and went, and she was born 12 days late! I was scared for her, but my husband was more worried about his dad.

Any attempts to talk about the baby were blocked. He changed the subject back to his dad. We later found out that his father has dementia, and he is currently hospitalized.

My temper has …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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