Funny how things happen when you're least expecting them. Husband, Larry was bemoaning the fact that as he's aged he's been observing how little he is expected to contribute to society, or at least how little other folks think he has to contribute. If a question arises, it seems as though he's invisible to the folks around him. They don't seek out his opinion or answer to whatever they're questioning.
I had to laugh, that's what happens to women of a certain age, far younger than the male species. Oh, it happens to them as well, but the males are quite a bit older than the females when they start to become "the invisible men".
Women as they age change from the "young ladies" to "the Mom's" then there comes a time when they sort of vanish before the eyes of others only to reappear when they become "the Grannies". No kidding, it really happens.
As women we are tossed together into groups, seemingly all alike. We aren't separated or individualized as a general rule. We're "one of the girls", the "Mommy brigade", the "wives", the "ladies who do lunch", you know what I mean. We aren't expected to be individuals per se. I may be more sensitive to this in my observations but I see it all around me.
The fact that Larry has noticed a change in his acceptance into society got me thinking about men and why they become "Grumps" as they age. They're pissed off. No longer are they the top banana in the bunch. They too have lost their luster so to speak. There is someone younger who's taken their place in society and they've become transparent. I don't think they're as invisible as we women are but pretty close.
See for yourself. Go into a store where sales folks are there to wait on customers and observe how long it takes to get served. If there are other people in the store, observe how long it takes for them to get served. I'm betting you'll come to some pretty eye opening conclusions. If you're wearing casual clothing I guarantee it will take longer than if you are dressed more formally. If your hair is white/gray they won't see you unless you have pom poms and start doing a cheer.
Larry had the invisibility experience himself and was absolutely baffled by it. It didn't occur to him that he may be a victim of "ageism". I told him, "welcome to the world of the invisible". It gets worse.
For women of a certain age, we start to realize the invisibility age can be an advantage. We can walk around stores and places and listen to conversations and get all kinds of little tidbits of information we would normally never be privy to. That's kind of nice. We can also shop at our leisure, without being harasses by sales folks at every turn.
I think for men it's more of a slap to their ego. I don't know if they ever get to the point we women get to, where we accept the invisibility cloak when we want it, and raise a ruckus when we need to be heard and seen. I think the man are wont to be stunned and walk away questioning why this has happened to them.
I had to explain to Larry his experience was every man's experience and of course every woman's as well. We learn to live with it, and what the Hell if we don't, we won't have too long before it won't matter anyway....We're old.
So if it hasn't happened to you yet, be aware and remember fore warned is fore armed....You'll get used to it, most of us do...