On being invisible: Have you felt this?
Several years ago, I was in a restaurant in Branson, Missouri with my beautiful, vibrant, and 25 years younger, friend. She is one of those women who attract men like butterflies to their favorite Black-Eyed Susan flowers.
This was a common occurrence for us…men flock to her, barely noticing that I am at the table. Pheromones, I’m told. They affect the behavior of the opposite sex. My friend has lots of pheromones. I, apparently, do not.
One day I attended a book signing. The author is handsome and young-ish. Most of the women in line were smiley, flirty, and obvious…I remember acting and Being like that. The author was smiley, flirty, and very talkative with those younger women. When it was my turn, he took my book, asked my name (almost without looking up), signed his book and handed it back to me. Next.
Wow! That was fun…not!
You know, I’ve done this. When I was younger and hiring employees for my company, well, back then it was still OK to ask a candidates’ age. I’d look through the pile of applications and almost immediately dismiss anyone whose age exceeded 40. In my opinion, they were most likely not trainable, set in their ways, and overly opinionated.
Of course, I senselessly overlooked potentially tremendous employees. Back then, they were invisible to me. Why? Because, to me, they were old.
I was invisible when I was with my pheromone laden friend and to the handsome young author. Why? Because I am old.
Have you experienced being invisible? I know I’m not the only one who has behaved this way and who has experienced not being seen. Although older men are typically held in higher esteem than older women, I suspect older men experience moments of being invisible, too.
Shockingly (because it “feels like” people born in 1969 should be about 25!), people born in 1969 and earlier are now 50-plus. According to Google, with research from AARP, there are 108.7 million people are 50-plus. This includes 76.4 million boomers (born 1946–64), compared with 49 million Gen-Xers (born in the 1960s and 70s) and 82 million millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). Moreover, the population of people 50-plus will continue to grow over the next decade to the…