"I am serious - and don't call me Shirley."
No one's calling me Shirley but they are calling me "sir."
And I’m not liking it.
When I was younger, I called most everyone over a certain age, "sir". Just seemed appropriate and respectful, especially if I couldn’t remember his name. In fact over the weekend, I saw a fellow who’s older than me who I hadn’t seen in a while and, without thinking about it, I called him “sir.”
Now, I never called women of a certain age “ma’am,” but that’s another story.
It was bad enough when some 20-somethings at the golf course said to me, “Sir, you mind if we play through?” Or, “sir, are you waiting for someone to play with or can we tee off?”
That was hard enough to get past. But not the hardest. Lately, men in their 50’s and older call me sir. That’s hard to swallow, I have to be honest.
Clearly, you call someone “sir” mostly when you don’t know them or they are, well, of a certain age.
The thing is, and I’m guessing you may be this way, too, when I look in the mirror I don’t see grey hair. Honestly. It does come out grey in photos but I figure that’s just the way these camera phones take a picture.
But, I recently saw my uncle who is about to turn 90, bless him. Now, he didn’t call me sir but I hadn’t seen him in a while and the first thing he said to me – the very first words out of his mouth – were “you’ve gotten white!” exclamation point not added, it was part of his sentence. And he wasn’t referring to my skin.
Not only do I not see grey hair in the mirror but I don’t feel 71 (soon to be 72). I still think I’m, well, young. Don't we all as we age? But I know that isn’t true. Aches and pains that never ached or pained before, they’ve become more frequent.
And, the first thing I read every day is the obits in my home town paper, hoping I don’t see another classmate or childhood friend in them. Or me for that matter.
I see classmates passing. Athletes from high school passing. Names I hadn’t thought about in years. Names of people who probably barely noticed my existence in high school but I remember them. Hell, I’m reading about rock stars of my era who are turning 80! And still touring!
I’m the grandfather of six. My oldest daughter made me a granddad at 45. Skip a head 25 years and THAT grandson and his partner had a baby a year ago making me a GREAT-grandfather.
That hit me but what hit harder was it also made me the father of a grandmother.
Yeah, just call me "sir."