Writer Lucia Paul from the blog, Dysfunctional Scrapbooking had a conversation with a much, much, much younger woman that left her feeling invisible. Is it true for women over forty, or is it an attitude that needs correcting? Can someone make you feel invisible without your consent?
Friendship has been on my mind, and on my keyboard, a lot lately.
The older I get, the more strongly I believe in having women friends of all ages. Even if they think I’m invisible.
Let me explain. It has always meant a lot to me, at the various times in my life, when an older neighbor, social acquaintance, or work mentor, became a friend. So, it seemed certain that eventually I would be the cool neighbor and form excellent bonds with younger women. Or would I?
When I was in my early forties, we had a fantastic babysitter who was just wonderful: smart, funny, and serene. She was delightful to have around. She was probably 22 to my 42.
One night, I was pretty sure we were on “the same level” as we talked about the perils of dating.
“It’s got to be hard when you become invisible.” She said calmly.
I looked at my hands. Good God! I was invisible! What on earth? Did the Perricone Promise take me back too many years and now it was the time before I was born?
No. I could see my feet. What was she…wait a minute…Did she mean…invisible to men? But she and I were both part of the greater sisterhood! I felt we were headed to a place where traveling pants might even be involved.
Clearly she didn’t. Now before you think, “That whippersnapper! Her and her boy-cut underwear and laser hair removal! She was intentionally being hurtful,” I can assure you she wasn’t.
Believe me, no one loves to get on the paranoia bandwagon more than I do, but she said it with such sincerity and innocence, I realized she truly thought that was how things were for a woman over 40.
While I thought we were breezily sharing insights and stories, she was thinking it was “cute” that I still had opinions about such things.
What would happen if women over 40 banded together and declared that say, men under 35, were invisible?
How do you think they would react if headlines reading “Feeling Like You Don’t Matter? 25 Tips for Bro-heims Feeling Like No-Heims,” began to appear in GQ?
Or if we declared that women under 30 couldn’t be seen?
“All that hot yoga has really made your stomach extra concave, Skylar. Such a bummer no one can see you!”
They wouldn’t accept it. You know they wouldn’t. So we shouldn’t either.
I say, “Just Say No To Invisibility!” Maybe we should have a rubber bracelet.
I haven’t given up on having younger friends. I still believe that I have something to offer, and they have something to offer me. Like a cloak and a hat, so I don’t get run over in traffic. Maybe white gloves like The Invisible Man had.
“Live Non-Invisibly” will be the new “Live Strong”
Our bracelet could be neon orange. So you could see it better.
All our friends will want one.