Neither My Sweetie Nor I is Cute

My partner and I are both in our 70’s, well into them.  When we walk into a store, a restaurant, a theater, either we are holding hands or I have my hand through his bent arm and holding on.  We do this not out of an abundance of affection (although there is that) but because, quite frankly, I am not all that steady on my feet.  He, having practiced yoga for many years, is far more so.  While I sometimes carry a cane for steadiness, I almost always have my partner with me when I go out.

He has gray hair and is 5’10”.  I am 5’2” and have red hair.  We have both shrunk. I think we are interesting looking people. Maybe even striking.  Certainly each of us has usually been seen as attractive members of our respective sexes over the years.  I could list many adjectives that have been applied to each of us individually and another group that could be assigned to us as a couple, but “cute” is not on it.

You have no idea how patronizing it feels to hear people younger than our children smile at us and murmur “Aren’t they cute?” as if we were toddlers or ducklings!

Cute is a diminutive, a word you call small things or people.  Old does not equal cute.  Old people are seniors, elders, oldsters, retirees, pensioners, AARP members, maybe grandmas and grandpas.  They can be stately, wrinkled, elderly, bent, impressive, sad-looking, wise, well-used.  I’m sure you can come up with a half dozen of your own for any particular oldsters or any couple of them, but they are not of necessity cute because they are old.  They aren’t.  We aren’t. I am not!

I was exclaiming on this subject to a new friend of my Sweetie’s who was our dinner guest the evening I was writing this.  “Name me some adjectives for people our age,” I challenged him.  Alas, this charming age mate thought for a second and came up with “decrepit.” With associations like that, perhaps cute isn’t that bad!

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