Today we received a laughable phone call at work. Let me set this up a bit: I’m working for H&R Block, doing taxes for individuals. Now HRB has policies about using their name in social media, so out of respect for those policies, that’s all you’ll hear me say about the company.

Anyway, the call was from a man wondering if he could claim his “elderly” mother on his taxes (the answer is yes under specific circumstances). How old is this elderly woman? Sixty-four.

That’s not even retirement age!

Now his mother could be frail or disabled, and he’s taking care of her financially and otherwise, so I’ll cut him some slack. The reality for me is, my mom and some of my friends are in their 80s and the last word I’d use to describe them is “elderly.”

Where would we be without generational differences? I recently saw an episode of a favorite series of mine, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” in which Rob is trying to set up his older, but spry, uncle, with a “mature” lady. The woman he ultimately comes up with barely looks older than the two younger couples to me. I wonder if the writers of that show (yes, some are still alive) roll their eyes now at what they perceived to be mature.

Well, if they even pay attention to the work they did fifty-plus years ago.

Old age for pets comes a lot earlier, and I’m reminded of the time shortly after my cat Paco died. He was sixteen, a good long age for a cat. But when I told an eight-year-old friend of mine how old Paco had been, Gavin grew alarmed.

“He was only sixteen?” he said. He started to cry.

“Oh Gavin,” I said. “That’s old for a cat.”

Gavin clearly was not convinced, so I told his mom about it in case she wanted to talk to him further. She told me he hadn’t yet comprehended life expectancy for different mammals, and it was a point of confusion.

At the age of eight, I think I believed sixteen was the height of womanhood. I give Gavin credit at having a more realistic perspective.

Perspective is everything when it comes to age.

Image Credit: ©rolffimages –

3 Replies to “Perspective”

  1. This gave me a good chuckle, Belinda. When a man my age calls me, ‘young lady’ I know exactly what he is thinking. And what I am thinking is, ‘You’re just as old as me, buddy!’ Elderly?! Don’t even get me started. Oh, poor Gavin. Trying to explain cat/dog years in people years doesn’t even make sense to me. I wish my cats would have made it to sixteen years old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was working my other job the other day (at Joann Fabrics) and heard a woman say, “Miss! Miss!” When I turned around, she briefly looked surprised and I’m betting it was because I’m roughly her age. 🙂 And I hope the kitties you have now make it to sixteen and older.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And people think that doing tax work is boring, but when my son was working at H&R Block he had so many funny stories, as well. Yes, I would be upset to be considered “elderly,” as I am trying to wrap my head around turning 60 this coming year!
    Glad you are writng again, Belinda. I always enjoy your posts. I’m still on a blog hiatus, but things are fine.

    Liked by 1 person

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