Do you recall a 1967 Sidney Poitier movie called “To Sir, With Love”? I remember the title, although I don’t think I ever saw the movie, and I remember the title song, sung by Lulu. (The comic strip character Little Lulu? I hope not!) I remember other movies Poitier starred in, but I don’t recall any other songs by Lulu. Oh, well.
The long and the short of it (okay, it’s a little late for short) is I adapted that movie title for this post. No copyright issues in doing that. Titles aren’t copyrightable, anyhow.
I don’t know how old I was when someone first addressed me as “Sir,” but I recall my reaction. “I know you’re just being polite, but I’m not old enough to call sir.” I hope I sounded more courteous than I felt at the time.
Nonetheless, I shrugged and tried to ignore it. After five or six years, I managed to forget about it. Kind of.
Some years later, someone else called me “Sir.” Hmm. I still wasn’t old enough to think of myself as a sir, but at least it didn’t offend me. Truth be known, it pleased me ever so slightly.
Many years after that, I noticed that more and more people were starting to call me “Sir.” And—shock of all shocks—I was beginning to enjoy it, even though I still didn’t think of myself as old.
And then the horrible day came when someone failed to call me “Sir”—and I caught myself thinking, “Huh! Why didn’t you address me as ‘Sir’? Don’t you have any respect for your, uh, . . . ?” But then I couldn’t even allow myself to think the word “elders.”
I might not have reached “ancient” yet at that time—at sixty-seven I still haven’t—but I’d definitely hit “older.” Nonetheless—as long as I’m still able to get up every morning—I’ll continue to salute myself once in the mirror.
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