I am a person who teases. I don’t do it meanly, I don’t do it continuously. I never do it blindly but having enough of a background or history, or perhaps even just a simple conversation, so that I can do it with reference and some sense of what will work and what will not. When I do it, it is because I feel some bond, some sense of incipient friendship or at least communication with the other person. And I do it because I love making people laugh, and I’m pretty good at that.
I am a person who respects her “elders”… even if some of them these days seem to be about my age. I do NOT like addressing anyone who is significantly older than I am by their first name only, at least not until they tell me I may (although my job is practically screaming at me that I have no option but to do so). I admire people who have lived long and good lives, and who continue to do their best against the vagaries, aches, pains and injustices of just getting and being so bloody old! I feel so strongly about treating older people with respect that I will not hold it against some older person who treats me poorly just because they can.
But what I will do is remember that poor treatment. And I will watch them to see if they treat their peers the same way or just those they think are younger or stupid or servants. And I will remember that too. I will neither do nor say anything overt; there will be nothing but surface politeness and the correct transaction of business, none of which I am afraid will be coloured by warmth or the beginning of friendship. But I will remember. Not just for the way I will not, cannot, befriend them, but also as a reminder to myself to avoid that kind of behaviour when I, too, become an older person who should be respected just because I have a lot of white hair and wrinkles.
Respect, even in old age, should be earned to some degree… and sometimes that should mean a little gentle teasing to make people smile.
It was a tough day in the Wrinklies Experience, but I try to always learn lessons from those tougher days. And we’re hanging tough, with new friends, and a new found respect for the fact that I apparently can “overcome objections to close the deal”. Pretty cool 🙂