Me: “Hi, how’s it going”
Hiker: “Just great. Beautiful day.”
Me: “It sure is, absolutely gorgeous.”
Hiker: “Well you have a good day Sir.”
Me: “Thanks, you too.”
A brief interlude as I was passing a fellow hiker on the trail.
It seems I’ve been hearing this word a lot more lately. “Excuse me Sir.” “Hello, how are you doing Sir.”
I kind of want to look behind me to see who is standing there.
And it’s not that it’s bad. It’s very respectful. I’m just not used to hearing it, and why now?
This all seemed to start a couple of years ago, right after I turned 60. Even saying that sounds weird to me, because I sure don’t feel old, or older. In fact, I don’t think 60 is considered old anymore. But suddenly people are calling me Sir.
When I think of the word “Sir,” I think of my father. The Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. I think of esteemed people having earned that title by some trial by fire. More akin to the titles of professor or doctor or judge.
I find it a bit ironic because it seems like when I was younger, I as always sounding like Rodney Dangerfield – “I don’t get no respect.” I was working hard to try to earn it. Still didn’t always get it. My work was sometimes plagiarized too, so I didn’t get the credit for it.
But now, apparently, just by virtue of having aged, people are very respectful.
I guess I’ve reached “Sirdom.”
It was almost magical. Happening overnight. I’m not sure what exactly changed. I’m retired now so no one is looking up to me for being a professional. Perhaps it’s the gray in my beard? That same beard that earns me the extra security checks at the airport 🙂
Of course, somehow, I also ended up on the senior mailing lists so I get offers all the time for some type of age-related service. Long-term care insurance. Reverse mortgages. My favorite was the funeral insurance. Their tag line being, “This will be the last insurance policy you’ll ever buy.” Nice.
I think it’s great that we respect our elders. They have so much offer in the form of wisdom. And in some ways, it is amazing to see so many circles of the sun. I just don’t feel like I’m an elder at the council fire. And I’m not sure I have any wisdom to offer. Yet.
Whether you’re a “Sir,” or a “Mam,” or any variation thereof, I salute the divinity that is within you, and respectfully wish you a wonderful day.
Photo: That’s Sir Me, somewhere in Wyoming. Jesse, the border collie, belonged to the person whose home I was visiting. I miss my old buddy, Taz, and I’ll probably get another dog someday myself. Maybe I’ll name him “Sir.” 🙂