By Roberta Curley

I was just beginning to accept the fact that I’m considered a SENIOR.

Then again, maybe it’s a mistake. Could they be taking me for a señor? I don’t think so…I rather pride myself on the fact that I seem señorita-ish.

Wait a minute: When did I lose the title ADULT?

I cherished that category with all the perks of independence and stability. Now, it’s presupposed, perhaps, that I’m not as stable or in control as before.

Hey, I can’t think of anyone I’d trust more to take charge of my affairs than me. Suppose I reject the unwelcome, unfriendly, and undemocratic designation of SENIOR.

After all, what’s in a name? It’s a fact that we’re all judged by our actions. Are we adults at 59 who turn into prune-craving, feeble sissies at 60? That line of thinking went out with the 20th century.

Maybe this modern nomenclature is not horrific. Yet at 60, I became a member of not one but two new burdensome groups. I’m a SENIOR and also corralled into the more pejorative collective: THE ELDERLY.

Dubbed SENIOR, I’m now part of a worrisome conglomerate that anyone who has eyes should steer clear of and/or overly obsess about.

Turn on the TV weather report: If temperatures drop below 32 degrees, America is warned to check on THE ELDERLY. At 59, I was left in peace regardless of weather conditions.

Don’t mollycoddle me, don’t pity me, and kindly speak a little louder. Since 60 is the new 40, surely the term SENIOR could be revisited.

If 100 is the new 80, maybe we should give THE ELDERLY a treat. Someone should coin a new designation for those lucky to have lived more than, say, 65 years on planet Earth.

I vote for WISEASS; I christen this with all due respect. We survivors have earned wiseass status and we’re damn proud of it!

Roberta Curley captures inspiration from nature, human nature, and interaction with the potpourri of people surrounding her. The joys and struggles of life and love are frequently voiced, often with a wry sense of humor nurtured by 40 years in the West Village.

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