As the driver moved the bus forward, the conductor shouted his destination. Passengers at the bus stop flagged down the bus as they walked briskly towards it. The conductor tapped the bus asking the driver to pull to a stop to pick them up. Among the passengers about to embark was an elderly lady. As she was about to get into the bus, the conductor shouted; “Dúró, arúgbó ni o.” (Wait, she is an old woman).
The woman got into the bus, faced the conductor and asked; “Arúgbó báwò o? Mi ò kí n se arúgbó o. Mi ò tí ì pé 70.” (Old? I am not old. I am not yet 70).
I looked back to catch a glimpse of the old/young woman and she was an elderly woman even if she wanted to refuse the “old” tag.
This however, got me thinking.
When a child is born till the age of about three, the child’s age is calculated in months. You hear parents especially mothers say “Oh, she is 13 months or 18 months or 28 months. You hardly hear he is a year old or 2 years old. The child’s age is graded in months.
The child becomes a toddler and till the age of about 12, conversations on a child’s age graduates to; “He is 9 plus or 6 plus.” Plus becomes an additional appendage to the age at this time of the child’s life.
From about age 13 when the child becomes a teenager, the plus is dropped and the age becomes fast forwarded. So a 15 year old will probably tell you, he is sixteen even if he hasn’t had his 16th birthday. This happens till about the age of 40/45 when we want to feel older.
Fast forward to the age of 50 upwards, we don’t want to be seen as growing old. We want to be seen as still young and if possible compete with the younger generation. Our age becomes our actual age. No additions, no pluses.
I have always wondered why there is a bit of drama with our ages and the scenario in that danfo bus highlighted my thoughts again.
You think you have an idea or an explanation, drop them in the comments section and let us hear from you.
Photo Credit: http://www.playbuzz.com