To Sir, With Age

 To Sir with Love

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.

Please come back again to see what I post next. Follow this blog if you want to. And feel free to leave a comment. What did this post say to or about you?

Best regards,

2 thoughts on “To Sir, With Age

  1. Roger,

    Good post with good perspective!

    For many years I was the youngest of any group I was in. Youngest kid in the family, youngest in my big brothers’ group of peers because I hung out with them (“hung out” was not even a term in those days). I married very young–to an “older” man, so I was youngest in our group, youngest at the office where I worked. When we moved to a new neighborhood, I was the youngest wife on the street, youngest in our church group, and on and on. As the years passed I still seemed to remain in that status wherever I went.

    It shocked me when I realized that my pastor, whom I love and have worked with through many aspects of church-planting and church leadership, is the age of my younger son, now in his 40s!

    I never had any concept of age. Born in my parents’ middle age, I never thought of them as “older” — one was a child or an adult. Kids graduating from high school were adults in my early view.

    So, now what? I’m older than you by over a decade. I write for a blog panel of women from 19 to 80. (Guess which I am!) I still think of myself as the youngest, and it shocks me when people treat me as an (gasp) old woman. I don’t mind being “older” — I just don’t care to be thought of as “older.”

    I do remember “To Sir, With Love.” Try to get it on Netflix or some movie rental site. Back in its day it was one of the first films that introduced the issue of respect and lack thereof. It’s a sweet movie.


  2. Thanks SO much for sharing that information about yourself, Lois. Sounds like you’re doing a good job of keeping young, even though the age numbers keep going up. Blogging for the age range you do should be an interesting challenge.

    I’ll definitely check out “To Sir, With Love” sometime soon.

    I hope to hear from you again soon. 🙂


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