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Being a prenior


It's COOOOLLLDDDD at the farmette. -15C by the thermometer and -40C by my poor frozen face. The wind literally brought a tear to my eye this morning as I checked the snow gauge and fed the birds.

A couple of weeks ago, I was working on a video script for a client. It was aimed at launching a re-brand of a group of seniors centres. They wanted to appeal to younger seniors, and to attract more members. Sooooo, I was asked to write a one-and-a-bit-minute script without using the 's' word.

Fortunately, I am in that demographic and I've been writing for 30+ years. No problem. Wrong.

When Rob and I hashed it over, I said it's kind of like being a pre-kindergartener or a pre-teen (tween nowadays). Not old enough to be a full-fledged senior (tastes run more to Sia than Sinatra), but old enough to be a bit creaky and take advantage of the lovely discounts.

You could say people who are 55+ (wordy), or more mature (sounds like you behave yourself), or you could use boomers (overdone and covers waaaay too many people). So there isn't really a collective that captures my particular cohort. Until now. Rob, clever clogs that he is, came up with 'prenior'.

So, now, it's my mission to try and get 'prenior' into the vernacular. It didn't go into the script (too new). But it will take hold, I think.

At the same time, we've begun watching the fifth season of Grace and Frankie. If you don't know this one, it's on Netflix. It's fun, it has big stars in it and it pokes holes in people's attitudes towards preniors and seniors.

Last night, Frankie (Lily Tomlin) made it her mission to increase the timing on a crosswalk that led to a discount buffet restaurant. Every time she tried to get her friend across the street, time ran out and they had to retreat to the curb. There was much to-ing and fro-ing with the city bureaucrats, but in the end Grace (Jane Fonda, who really is 80), waltzed verrrryyyy slowly across the zebra stripes to the sound of impatient honking horns.

While she could have stepped it up - she's in great shape - she pronounced, "I'm an 80-year-old woman and I've earned the right to take my sweet f*&^%$ing time."

Rob and I howled.

There are lots of other bits and bobs and the series isn't all about older people - the main characters' kids have their share of troubles, too. Definitely worth a watch.

I guess whether you're senior or a prenior, society's going to have to get better at figuring out how we tick. There's a whole whack of us, we're living longer, and we know how to stand up for ourselves - even to the point of creating the language used to describe us.

Until next week.


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