Dear Amy: Why do peo­ple have to be so rude to old peo­ple? I need to know how to re­spond when some­one has been rude to me or my friends. We are in our 70s.

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Amy Dick­in­son

We live near a na­tional park and have been hik­ing for nine years. We have prob­a­bly hiked more miles up­hill than the peo­ple who con­stantly in­sult us.

Here is an ex­am­ple of the rude­ness: Two of the ladies have full heads of beautiful white hair. I color mine, so I look younger.

Twice now, some­one has said to me, “Are you walk­ing with your mother to­day?”

The lady she is re­fer­ring to as my mother is one year younger than me! It is so em­bar­rass­ing.

It is also com­mon for some­one to go up to my friend and ask, “How old are you?”

Another com­ment we hear al­most ev­ery time we go on the trail is, “I am so proud of you” (mean­ing that we could ac­tu­ally walk a few miles).

Just be­cause we are old, does that mean we should stay home in our rock­ers, or cover our heads with bags? Please give me a good re­tort to these rude peo­ple. — Feel­ing Younger Than IAM Dear Feel­ing Younger:

What you call “rude­ness” I call “cringe-wor­thy con­de­scen­sion.” My point be­ing that these trail­side com­menters are try­ing to con­nect. They are try­ing to be nice. They are fail­ing, but they’re try­ing.

My late mother hated to talk about her­self. She was also the queen of the snappy come­backs, and late in her life when a stranger asked how old she was, she sim­ply replied, “Well, how old are YOU?” She would also some­times re­spond to a ques­tion she didn’t want to an­swer by say­ing, “Why are you ask­ing?” These are non­rude ways to an­swer an in­tru­sive query.

If some­one asks if you are hik­ing with your mother, you can re­spond, “No — now you have a good day!” as you blaze past them on the trail.

But please un­der­stand that the peo­ple who pa­tron­ize you likely have older fam­ily mem­bers who aren’t as lucky, healthy, fit and ac­tive as you are. They are ad­mir­ing you.

You three could have some fun with this and also get Tshirts made, declar­ing your­selves to be the “Over the Hill Gang.” Get it?

Dear Amy: As an ad­vo­cate for vic­tims of child sex trafficking, the reader that sub­mit­ted the ques­tion about her hus­band us­ing teen dat­ing/es­cort ser­vices was alarm­ing. If the teens are un­der the age of 18, this is a crime that needs to be re­ported. If the teens’ ages can­not be sub­stan­ti­ated, this still needs to be re­ported to see if he is rap­ing chil­dren that are be­ing traf­ficked.

The Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren (NCMEC) is one re­port­ing agency that is con­nected to the FBI.

There were 8.2 mil­lion re­ports made to NCMEC in 2016, doubling the 4.4 mil­lion re­ported in 2015. This is a se­ri­ous epi­demic where chil­dren that can be raped 20 to 40 times a day are traf­ficked ev­ery four min­utes. Three-quar­ters of trafficking is via the in­ter­net.

The reader may have more prob­lems to deal with then just an un­faith­ful spouse — he could be a pe­dophile and child rapist. —M a ryp at­ter­son

Dear Mary: Thank you for shar­ing the alarm­ing sta­tis­tics about sex trafficking — an is­sue that con­cerns all of us.

Dear Amy: I’d like to share a sug­ges­tion for “Up­set Daugh­ter,” whose fa­ther made bul­ly­ing com­ments to her.

For years my fa­ther did things that I thought were ter­ri­ble. I went to a ther­a­pist about it and he told me that I had to make a choice: keep yearn­ing for the fa­ther I don’t have, or ac­cept the one I have.

In an ef­fort to ac­cept who I had, I made up a game called “How low can he go?” When­ever Dad did some­thing that up­set me, I’d rank it against his past ac­tions and give it a score.

Once I re­moved my­self from the process and turned it into a game I started soft­en­ing to­ward him. Now, years later, my 92-year-old fa­ther and I are closer than ever, and I re­al­ize that hav­ing my real dad is a gift. — Ex­pe­ri­enced

Dear Ex­pe­ri­enced: I love your ther­a­pist’s wise coun­sel. I made sim­i­lar peace with my own fa­ther be­fore he died last month. I highly rec­om­mend that chil­dren of dis­rup­tive par­ents em­brace the chal­lenge to find a way to a peace­ful ac­cep­tance to­ward the peo­ple they can­not change.

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