At one point, our tutor mentioned a student on one of her other courses who started his counselling training at the age of 62 and is now a very good counsellor. This is one of the things I like about the world of counselling; one's age is not seen as a barrier to training or practising as a counsellor so I was a little startled to hear V. refer to this gentleman as an 'old age pensioner.'
Apart from the fact that it now has an old-fashioned ring to it and conjures up visions of little old men and women with fluffy white hair shuffling around on zimmer frames or with walking sticks, I feel that I am uncomfortably close to the possibility of being classified as such (I have been invited to apply for my state pension, after all) and I just don't like it!
"Could you re-phrase that, please, V?" I asked. "Could he be called a senior citizen?"
"Well, if you like," she laughed, but he's a couple of years younger than me."
(This from a woman who still works full time, loves every minute and has more energy and enthusiasm than many people half her age.)
The rest of the group, being well aware of my hang-ups on the subject of age, tittered.
"Maybe you need some counselling," suggested one.