The Edge of Obsolete

Most of my life, I’ve been told, “Oh; you’re so young!”

This hasn’t been said in a good way, ironically. The tone and implication has been, “Oh; you couldn’t know what you’re talking about because of your physical age.” This is invariably accompanied by my being treated differently.

I, too, sit in an excessive amount of makeup and look sexy. (Photo by Pixabay on

As irritating as those comments have been, I’m facing a new challenge in recent years.

At stores, the clerk is saying, “Ma’am.” To my children’s peers, I’m “So-and-so’s MOM.” When one employee refers to another, I hear, “That lady…”

Part of this is my interaction’s being in a younger crowd these days. I still hear plenty of the, “but you’re so young” from the generation just above mine. Yet, this shift in titles has outlined an important, inevitable life milestone: ageing.

Sure, I knew I would get older. I’ve been waiting for it my entire life! What I didn’t know was that I would literally lose the interest and attention of others when it happened.

I’ve tried very hard to be accepted for my intellect, talents, opinions, and friendship. But as more eyes slip over my face without glance and fewer strangers smile, I’m realizing that was all a load of fermented Botox. I think of my experiences as The Edge of Obsolete, when youth is slipping away and so is my accompanying social power.

I’m getting there. Photo by Pixabay on

I’m miffed, frankly.

On an attractiveness scale, I consistently pull an average number. Maybe if I dolled myself up, I’d hit higher scores -but, since I do not value beauty (supposedly), I’ve tried to live in a modest way and treat everyone by my mythical standards. I speak kindly to most and encourage thinking. I preach against starving yourself and caking on makeup. My nose wrinkles at a picture filter so heavy you’re not sure if the original subject was human.

Yet, I’d have to be blind to not notice the disinterest. I’d be ignorant to cling to my ideals, like that last bit of muscle tone clinging to my backside…

We’re giving too much power to beauty. And to those young’uns. -You know, the ones tramping all over my lawn. Kids these days.

A candid photo if I ever saw one…. Photo by Nothing Ahead on

I’m sure we’ll return to this subject another day. In the meantime: How about you? Have you experienced The Edge of Obsolete? What are your thoughts on it?


Here’s what I wrote since last noting what I wrote:
Wednesday, May 10: “Movies and Cultural Literacy

Friday, May 12: Friday Photo. Peace out, man.

Saturday, May 13: “Mommy, dear.” Ah, motherhood.

Sunday, May 14: A quote by Joseph Campbell that’s often attributed to Carl Jung.

Friday, May 19: Friday Photo of what happens when trampolines fly.

Sunday, May 21: Hilarious quote by Joe E. Lewis.

Monday, May 22: A continuation, somewhat on my series on atheism.

Tuesday, May 23: Shared DA Whittam’s poem.

Wednesday, May 24: This post.

If you haven’t, enter the Terrible Poetry Contest for this month!!! The deadline is this week.

©2023 Chel Owens

50 thoughts on “The Edge of Obsolete

  1. I was frustrated when I was “too young” for promotions and told to wait my turn “go through the chairs.” But when I got older, I was suddenly “too old” in a young person’s world. That was a little less frustrating because I could well afford to retire early.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes been there and surged through it , when you get past 50 you start to disappear.. I am seventy this year… ( How on earth did that happen???) Well it did and I am officially disappeared 😭 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s strange, cos it just happens, you don’t even realise it. I started hearing the ma’am and was quite annoyed, now I just reply, yep I’m old.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It happens. I give a tired smile at the younger know-it-alls as they prattle away in their uninformed way. Been there, done that. Little do they know when they look through me I can see there’s not much registering in those sparkling self possessed eyes. They will learn, given time- and half a brain.
    Ooooh, time for another morning coffee. The first seems very bitter.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a very sensitive question you are raising Chel, I feel like you are always too young or too old. But reality is you are who you are. It’s super offensive both ways, because folks use it to show you your place, I feel you there. When was the last time you showed up for the job interview and they said: You are exactly where we want you to be? Next to never. It’s either you don’t have enough experience to get the job or you are too old to use technology well. Honestly, it sometimes goes together, I got all the certification now and 10+ years of work experience and I didn’t grow up with computers so I am learning. Every day in every way I am getting better and better. Whatever you do and wherever you go people will always put you in one box or the other, it’s just human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Age is the trickiest of comments because many things people say are steeped by their expectations. Lately, I’ve gotten some, “Oh, you look good.” For my age? Because I’ve lost some weight? Because you expected me to look like an old geezer? Too much overthinking—now I say thank you and move on.

    I was raised by parents who didn’t emphasize looks, and I’d like to think I’m the same way. But if that’s true, why do I feel a sliver of satisfaction when someone says that? I suppose because if the comment were negative, I’d feel awful. Who wants to hear, “Man, you’re looking old!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There used to be a lot of discussion/worry about age discrimination in the workplace. That seems to have dematerialized due to disinterest in working by a large enough fraction of the generation(s) following me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The edge of obsolete? I’m out there way beyond the edge. Floating in the zone of utter irrelevance. Peering into the abyss. Looking back at the fading light of noticeability.
    But here in the cold nothingness there is a certain sense of community for those of us who know the eventual price of experience.
    But I don’t think we’ll see you here anytime soon. You’re so young.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And I remember, once upon a time, pretty young girls in shops and cafes and banks and so on, referring to me as ‘sweetie’ or ‘darling’. Similar pretty young girls use the exact same words today, but a subtle change of tone makes it obvious that the meaning is entirely different.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, I still go by how young I feel on the inside, and ignore what the calendar indicates. I played softball last night with our church group last night and held my own, even though I am a grandma. “Yeah, nice line drive, Pam.” Then again, I appointed a designated runner, so there are concessions. And yes, I opted for a swish of mascara even though no one knew but me behind my sunglasses. So the age thing doesn’t have to be a thing. Silver hair is fashionable, I hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re only as obsolete as you think you are…that being said, I wrote about a knitting class I took recently and the upside of being obsolete, like Jane Marple, is that people say the wildest things when in front of you

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I always felt that I was never to young to do anything. I fell off the cliff of obsolence long ago. Now I’m too frail, not old, to do many things.
    Climb ladders… run marathons… ride bicycles… and so and so and so

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yeah I feel you there. I think I aged terribly when I was in my late twenties/early thirties in the eyes of the world. I don’t think I matter to most of my ‘friends’ and it’s reached a stage where I don’t care. I feel I’m too old to study, get married, etc but I don’t know, maybe I’ll see things differently in the future. Having said all that, some part of me believes that age is just a number and youngsters like you shouldn’t think about it, and just go grab life by the b***s 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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