DEAR CAROLYN: How am I supposed to respond to a longtime girlfriend who repeatedly points out that my 10-year-old is not growing or developing as well as her peers? She formulates them as sharp observations, not as curious questions.
According to her doctor, our child is well within the normal range. That's what I said, but my friend doubles. I would like to end that for good. Any advice?
My child is fine, thank you.
Dear Child, Stop answering as if you owe her an answer.
"You keep saying that. Can I ask why? "
Then answer her answer. Maybe there is not a disgusting reason for her statements that you did not remember. If she's just worried and challenged by the limit, say you appreciate her concern, but her harping does not help.
Once you've pulled that line, set it up with "Next topic, please," and talk about something else.
Re: Not helpful
"I do not know what to do" works too. I have repeatedly said this to certain family members who openly complain about an ugly facial feature that I have.
DEAR ANONYMOUS: That's a great answer, but ̵
DEAR CAROLYN: Recently, a middle-aged person told me that they do not want to be over 80 years old. 70s, and I still work full time at a profession I love in a field. I would be happy if I could at least work part-time – think about 100, if I'm lucky!
My feelings are really hurt by the expressed view of this person, and I feel that it is Ageism. I was too stunned to answer, but now I wonder what I should have said? Nothing slippery.
Dear shit: I'm curious to see why you take it so personally. For me it only sounds like ignorance. With a little numbness, considering the audience.
If there is a next time, then a clear statement would be "I hope I have more than five years, but I speak only for myself" all the necessary points bring across.
Yes, whether it is Ageism, because this person basically said that life after 80 has no value. But I'm having trouble saying that … it does not sound like a mindful or purposeful ageism, but a light and random Ageism, like the person who did not even think for a moment what he / she actually said. As a seven-year-old thinks everyone is over 45 years old.
My parents lived very happy and healthy until they were about 85 years old. Now, at 87 and 92, they are living very unhappy and unhealthy. So I said something similar because I do not want to be in her position. I've also seen that they have little decision-making power over their lives – in almost every possible way. So, I'm not sure if it's an ageism that says I do not want to be more than 85 years old. It was my life experience in the last few years.
Not sure: How about just saying that you hope not to survive your good health? Since the feeling is not the problem, the arbitrary age is used.
From a recent online discussion. Send an e-mail to Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax, or chat online at www.washingtonpost.com every Friday at 12:00 Eastern Time. (c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group