I recently received a letter from a fellow writer who is a few years younger than I. Here is a part of that letter:
“Currently I am the UNWILLING subject of volunteer service from several doting friends who apparently believe that I need to be cared for. I am grateful for the attention but by accepting unneeded assistance I am rapidly becoming discouraged at a time when I need to remain alert and focused.
To these friends my message is that I am responsible for asking for what I want and for what I need but ONLY if I decide that I need it.
Give me money if you want, a low mileage car would be nice if you have an extra one handy or a bottle of Scotch to ease the pain of age discrimination of friends and prospective clients and employers.
As for the service work, I’ll let you know when or if it is needed.”
Anyone over the age of fifty who is looking for work is well aware of this subject. But when it comes to the biases of our friends the problem suddenly becomes very difficult.
On this subject of “age discrimination as friendly fire”, four friends come to mind; two are United States Senators one of whom is retired but gainfully self-employed, another is an internationally known sheriff, the third an internationally known architect. There are many more. These people are recognized for their vitality and their service to their country and not for their age.
If any of my friends are viewing me with this particular bias, back away if you will; I have work to do.
And please, don’t respond by describing me as feisty.