I RECEIVED a complaint from a friend exactly my age over my recent use of the term “senior citizen” to describe myself. She deplores the term—who doesn’t?—and wondered if I might come up with something, “a word or phrase that speaks to our knowledge, experiences and adventures. A good word, a great word, multiple syllables, maybe with an ae or ??? I respectfully assign this important task to you.”
While I thank Judy for her vote of confidence, the sad truth is that the concept of growing old is not exactly a crowd-pleaser and never will be. Still, I’m unable to stop thinking about her request and have been playing around with some words to describe all those people of my generation who remember Uncle Miltie, Nik-L-Nips, circle pins and Justine & Bob. (Personally I preferred Kenny & Arlene.) All of them are preferable to the implied stodginess of “senior citizen.”
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.