Did you know that the number of grandparents is at record high and still growing at more than twice the overall population growth rate?
There were an estimated 65 million grandmothers and grandfathers in 2010. By 2020, there will be close to 80 million of us, which means nearly one-in-three adults will be a grandparent.
For a culture that worships the young and beautiful that may be hard to swallow, but ready or not here we come. The Grandparent Generation is here and growing rapidly.
While having a grandchild makes a grandparent, it doesn’t make us all alike. In fact, we are a very diverse group. We vary in age, economic status, education and race. And yet, most often when we are portrayed by the media or advertisers, we have silver hair, wear glasses and are pleasantly plump or if you are man, you are usually pictured as bald.
While there is nothing wrong with those images it would be nice if at least some of the pictures were more flattering. We don’t all sit on the front porch in rocking chairs knitting booties or crocheting sweaters. Some of us still love to rock and roll, like Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, who is not only a grandfather but is now a great-grandfather.
There are many different kinds of discrimination in the world and all of them are wrong, but when it comes to age discrimination older citizens are often the object of cruel jokes and cartoons.
My mother was a big fan of The Carol Burnett Show and I grew up watching Tim Conway portray an elderly gentleman who shuffled from one place to the next with his cane and made everyone laugh with his elderly antics. He couldn’t see, couldn’t hear and bumped into walls. Funny, yes…but in a sad way.
Just in case you didn’t know this….If we live long enough we will be old and some of us will age better than others. My point is this, do we always have to make fun of those of us who are older for things they can’t help? Does every advertisement we see for people over 50 have to be about incontinence, falling in the floor, or laxatives?
I’m a blogger and I visit many entertaining and informative blogs about various subjects. However there are blogs I won’t visit because of the lack of respect they show for others.
One blog I stopped visiting is a humor blog that consistently posts degrading cartoons of older folks.
I could handle one or two, but every week there is another cartoon about aging. Believe me, getting older isn’t for wimps and in my opinion showing respect for those older than us (know matter what our age) is still the right thing to do.
There’s nothing I like more than holding my grandchildren in my arms and rocking them but I’m not finished with rock and roll either. Recently my husband and I have attended several concerts; James Taylor, The Eagles, Boz Skaggs, Josh Turner and a band whose members I went to high school with, The Kentucky Headhunters (Grammy winners in 1990).
I love Blake Shelton, Little Big Town and Martina McBride. Given the chance I would go to their concerts in a heartbeat.
Oh, and if you see me there, I will be wearing red cowboy boots and rocking out. My hair is not gray (thanks to a great hairdresser) and I am betting you won’t know that I’m a grandmother of 5.
There are thousands of grandparents who, like Mick Jagger, know that it’s only rock and roll, but we like it!