Random Insult

Just the other day as I was leaving work, I spoke to a woman who works in a different department. As she turned to walk to her car, she said “Have a nice evening young man.” In the moment, I gave a cordial reply, gave a courteous smile and went my way.

When I got to my truck I squinted my eyes. I turned my head and postulated “…did she just call me young man and I’m 41 years old?

First of all, I get it. She was probably 10-20 years older than me, so she considers herself to be my elder. Which gives her permission to see me as a young man and speak to me in the way she did. Taking all that into consideration, I’m still 41 years old.

As I began to consider who she was and how she spoke to meI honestly considered her words insulting. Even though I realize sometimes I can be too sensitive.

My healthy body, clean cut appearance, energetic disposition and personality… these things do cause me to appear to be younger than I actually am. This is true. And, yes. I know that being youthful is a blessing as we mature in age. As I want to healthy and happy.

Nevertheless, from my perspective, professionally…. I have received so much disrespect throughout my adult life. Some of it may come from my demographics and/or lack of viable connections…. however, I feel a lot of it comes from my youthful appearance. I cannot count how many times my education, work experience, and even accomplishments have been overlooked and disregarded when I’m actually talking with coworkers or in group meetings.

It’s like society doesn’t know how to categorize tall athletic African-American men. If I’m not an athlete, an entertainer, or a service worker… then what do I have to offer? Can I at least be respected as a man? Do I have to wear my graduate degree and all my accomplishments on my sleeve?

No one says “respect your elders” to other adults. They only say that to children.

Just as it would be disrespectful for me to have said to her “Have a good evening old lady.” I felt some disrespect when she called me a young man. Plus, it was also how she said it.

People have a way of discounting others and elevating themselves with their words and actions… honestly, I felt when she spoke to me, she was indirectly telling me I needed to respect her. Ok. I get it. She needs to feel respected. What she didn’t take into consideration is that I’m not a child, nor is she my supervisor. So, I don’t need her to tell me to respect my elders, especially when they need to show respect to me.

5 thoughts on “Random Insult

  1. Hello Jason,

    Truly, please don’t take it as an insult.

    Unless you deal with her during your working day, and she speaks down to you, honestly, don’t take that as an insult.

    From how you describe yourself, I don’t feel she was being insulting!

    She couldn’t very well say “Have a good evening you gorgeous, attractive young man!” – whilst muttering under her breath: who I fancy and would love to date if I weren’t 10/20 years older than you!

    Perhaps she’s your ‘lady’ – do you know, is she married etc.,?

    She may have been letting you know she likes you…… Have you thought of that angle?!


    Liked by 2 people

  2. PS: Why I shared my comment also: she might even have watched some of our old British comedy shows, where it’s older women fancying younger men, and it supposedly being inappropriate. The line in it being: “Oh young man!”

    (You have to see the show to ‘get’ what I mean. From memory: Dick Emery, and also Harry Enfield I think?)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol… I appreciate your flirtatious British perspective 😄. But, she definitely didn’t mean it that way. This woman is like an over-educated school teacher who is bitter at life for not giving her better opportunities.

      Shes not the sexy older woman who still wants attention and who fantasizes about being with younger men.

      Nevertheless, I did let it go. As I don’t hold onto anything for too long. Life is too short.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh, that’s a real shame Jason! I was hoping for you that you’d met your ‘lady’ – without quite realising it?! Hmmmm, maybe her ‘school teacher’ vibe is how she is at work, but when not in work she’s ……?!?!?!?! Never say never Jason – do you like her, fancy her?!

    Liked by 2 people

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