But You’re Just a Babe, What Can You Know About Life?

That is essentially what I get told when I try to relate to people older than me.  And it’s not a babe as in dang girl but babe as in you are wet behind the ears.  Which I haven’t been for most of my life.  Granted I used to get told this a lot more in various ways when I was in my early 20’s but it happened today.  I’m 40!  I actually called them on it.

It was in Pilates class.  As it is a mid-morning class I am younger than the next yougest by about 10 years and then the average age is late 60’s.  We had taken a TRX class prior to this and we were discussing the level of difficulty and the older women were saying it feels like a bit of a victory getting through that class.  Which it is as it’s hard!  I said I wish we were more appreciative when we were younger about what shape we were in.  In my 20’s I was a martial artist and extremely fit but didn’t fully appreciate it.  If I did I wouldn’t have gotten so much out of shape because it’s hard getting fit again.  Literally it was all what do you know you are just a babe, wait til you’re our age.  I called them on it.  I asked at what age can I expect to not hear that anymore.  I’m 40.  I’ve had experiences.

Experience 1 2013

I try not to do this to people younger than me as I find it incredibly patronising.  I can’t assume what some one has done in life.  I packed a lot into my early 20’s that have shaped how I am.  I went to university in London and explored Europe on a shoe string budget.  Once, to get cheap seats to see Pavarotti in Tosca, I spent the night outside Covent Garden.  I was 3rd in line.  I was a foot from the boot of his Mercedes when he pulled up.  I was first in line for an autograph except he went out the other door to avoid us.  Skipping along in Brussels we accidently went up onto the palace wall.  Guards coming out of the shadows gave us pause before we ran like hell.

Experience 2 2013

I used to love going to Hyde Park and see Speaker’s Corner.  The down with the government speakers kept the crowds, the religious end is near folks, not so much.  When I came back stateside I helped reorganise our family’s manufacturing business then got through the sale of it.  I was sick of journal entries by the end of that!  While I graduated college I attained my black belt in Kempo and went on to achieve 3rd degree.  Of course I couldn’t give up traveling.  I vowed to use my passport once a year.  I can’t think of a year when I didn’t do that so I’ve been very lucky.

Experience 3 2013

As I moved through my 20’s I packed less into each year but still collected my experiences as I went.  There were the various relationships and heartache, I wasn’t very good at picking them until I met my husband.  I bought a house, then moved and bought another.  Sold that one.  Then came the major experience.  Being a parent.  If that doesn’t throw you into the deep end, I don’t know what will!

Experience 4 2013

Now as I try to find new experiences I get to include my husband and our kids.  My husband and I have the same idea.  It’s important to live life and experience it rather than collect things that can come and go.  Every experience shapes us good or bad.  We don’t spoil our kids with material things but if they mention something that will broaden their horizons and build memories then we find a way.  Our daughter did an autobiography in 4th grade where she mentioned she wanted to see the Eiffel Tower but not in pictures.  So we showed her.  My son now has that teacher and he’s working on the autobiography.  I wonder what we’ll have to save up for!

Experience 5 2013

I hope our kids have a ton of experiences when they set out on their journey.  I just hope they don’t have to justify it like I have had to.  I wonder what age I’ll be when I stop hearing but you’re so young, wait til you are my age.

20 thoughts on “But You’re Just a Babe, What Can You Know About Life?

  1. You are so right: people make assumptions that are often totally inaccurate. I agree that our experiences, as well as our genes, make up the person we are today.
    I like your attitude of teaching your kids to actually live life, and it’s great that you’re getting fit again. It makes coping with life’s hassles a lot easier!

  2. WOW! you’ve definitely done a lot! My first sort of serious bf said something similar to me when I told him that maybe his professors wouldn’t give him nasty looks if he would actually show up to class and make more of the effort! A few years later, he stalked me around the internet, and sent me a long update email including about how I was right!!! he ended up improving his grades and getting a lot nicer job than he had ever hoped for. I knew I was mature enough then despite my young age and he was a fool for dismissing me!
    Long comment, but my point is that as long as you trust your opinions, don’t let anyone dismiss you 😉

  3. I don’t know what that person said, nor do I care to find out. I do know that it speaks more to her/his insecurities than it does your experiences. With all that experience, you’d think the person would have learned some people skills.

    • It was a general reaction from about 3 ladies saying basically what do I know at my age. One actually said but you’re just a babe! I’m 40! And I doubt if anyone said something like that to them they would just take it. It’s just strange. I suppose it does stem from insecurity otherwise why wouldn’t they accept that others have various experiences to contribute.

  4. I think you have a lot to share that is worthwhile with people older or younger. A comment inferring younger people have little to contibute to someone older speaks volumes about the person who says it. What you say is true – it is incrediby patronising. I’m 48, not young, not old and I have much to learn, from people younger and older – why miss an opportunity to learn something or broaden your view.
    Without the influence of younger people, I’d be stuck in the 80’s fashion, music and attitiude wise, and I’d have never listened to Led Zeppelin if I’d forgone older.
    Mix it up I say, and feign a little deafness in times of need 🙂

  5. Sounds like you’ve lived a wonderful life. To this day, my mother tells me, “You have no idea what it’s like to be my age.” What? No, I don’t know what it’s like to be 85. What a stupid thing to say. Only recently, for the first time, I had to tell my older daughter that she just doesn’t know what it’s like to be a mother, and she won’t until she becomes one. This was after I called her on doing something I deemed inappropriate. There was just no other way to explain my actions and feelings. But that was the first time ever. So I’ve done good, I think!!!

    • Yes you have! Though saying to your daughter that you’ll understand once you become a parent is different. I’ve said that to my kids. Only to put things in context and not dismiss their ideas. There is a difference.

  6. I might consider responding with something like “Your age? Why, you’re something of a miracle, since most people don’t live to be your age.” — Or you could say “I really don’t want to be your age. Don’t all of you wear colostomy bags?”

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