Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Young Man?

Most days there's little to upset my serenity. I roll along, immediately accepting whatever comes my way. Life's pretty smooth after 24 years in recovery. 
However, once in while I get sidetracked when someone says something ignorant. And it happened again last week while I was paying for a cup of coffee at a convenience store.

As I approached the counter the cashier greeted me with a goofy smile. Then she said "And how are you today, young man?"

I think I looked surprised. Why would she say something like that? Because I'm over 75.

And I'm well aware that no one would mistake me for young because I have mirrors in my house. I can see the gray hair. The lines in my face. Plus I still have a beat-up copy of my birth certificate.

So maybe she was trying to be nice in a mindless sort of way.

But the problem with us old people is that we find such greetings to be patronizing. Kind of like telling me I'm old - but wrapped up like it's a compliment.

A nicer greeting might be a simple "Hello, how are you today?"

Now I'm going to go call my sponsor, who's a "young man" of 80 and see how he deals with these comments.