Posted by: chlost | May 10, 2010

The Supreme Court nominee is younger than me !

Lately, there have been many signs that I am, in fact, becoming old.  Today, there is one more for me to consider.

President Obama has nominated a woman who is younger than me to become a member of the United State Supreme Court.  This hits me hard on more than one level.

I have had to deal with other professionals becoming younger and younger over the years.  Doctors, dentists, judges, even bank presidents and senators are becoming younger every day. Now there could be two women Supreme Court Justices who graduated from law school after me.  That is making me feel inadequate and old, at the same time.

Mind you, I have never dreamt of becoming a Supreme.  I did run for the local County Attorney office once, and I applied to be a State Court Judge, but I know that only the “hoity-toities” are in line to be Justices-not people like me. And I don’t think I’d want it.  But Justice Stevens, who is retiring, is 92, for goodness’ sake!  THAT is the normal and proper generation of the Justices-not my age!  Whoops!  Maybe I am closer to that age now than I care to admit.  Ouch!

This also makes me realize how underemployed I am and how little motivation and drive that I have, in that I have been doing pretty much the same job for all of these (many) years.  Believe me, even after allof this time, in the legal world, my job is at the bottom of the pile. 

Now I know that part of the difference between this nominee and me is that I have had a family, even while going to school, I am middle class, in the midwestern US, and went to school at night while working full time.  No Harvard for this one!  Why do I still feel inadequate in some way?   

Just to show another reason why I feel so inadequate, I was not exactly sure what the acronym SCOTUS referred to the first time that I saw it. It even looked a little sexual…..who came up with it, anyway?  In my world, the acronym would be USSupCt. That would be much easier to understand.  But I guess that just shows why I am not the nominee.  My brain is just not at that level.  And, I suppose I have to admit it, it never will be……..because I am old.

There is one aspect of this appointment that has me frustrated.  Why is age 50 considered young for a position on the Supreme Court, but anyone who is 50 or older and applying for other positions (including those in the legal field) is considered too old to be hired?  Why is the experienced  50 year-old  nurse, factory worker,  office worker or other 50 year-old seeking work defined as an  “older worker” , but the experience of a 50 year-old college president so valuable that such a candidate is not considered old when being considered for a totally different, highly visible, and extremely important  job?  Fifty is fifty, isn’t it?

I am determined to consider myself young-nearly as young as a current nominee to the SCOTUS.  I’m so young and on top of things, that I even know what that means!



  1. Age is relevant in some situations – positions requiring wisdom going to older people and those requiring brute strength to younger, But I think one of the main reason companies don’t like to hire “older” workers is because of insurance cost and because more they can get younger, less experienced workers cheaper. Kind of bites.

  2. There is a hilarious advertisement on TV for men’s hair color – they look at the guy with gray hair and say they need his “experience” but the guy with dark hair and say they need his “energy”. So the ad is about guys coloring their hair but leaving a “little” gray. Best of both world, right?

    Pfft, they hire the tall guy with the tight butt every time. I let it all go gray, that way I get the senior discount at the restaurant without showing ID.

    • Thanks-I really needed the smile!

  3. I’m still chuckling at your post and the comments above 🙂

    Getting older stinks, but it’s inevitable. It’s not fair that men get ‘distinguished’ as they age, but women just get wrinkles. Oh, well.

  4. For myself I’m just too much of a dreamer to be in sync with a world that defines success by money and power. Sometimes I really get down on myself, too. Man, I’m so smart why haven’t I done better in life, but the reality is I didn’t want to do the things I needed to do to ‘do better’ and I still don’t want to. Not my idea of living life.

    Give me a few books to read, some wine to sip, a lawn chair to sit on, a sunset to watch, a night sky to look up at and experience a sense of awe at the vastness of the universe and my mind is off to the races! That’s the good life for me. Unfortunately it doesn’t do much for my bank account, but oh well. My brain is my own, not rented out to others all the time. There is no amount of money they could pay me to compensate for coming home each day too tired to think anymore!

    Sometimes I do worry about the age thing and employment, however. No amount of dreaming can make that one disappear or not seem so bad.

  5. We were gone again, this time to babysit the grandsons while their parents attended a conference. We all went to Baltimore and enjoyed it a lot. I read your past posts. About your creative class – I would have a hard time in a class like that as when I try to be creative I think mostly in French and then if I write in English it sounds and looks like a bad translation. About illegal immigrants – I have met some but none of them were Hispanics. I met several Algerians, a couple of Poles, an Irish woman and a Ukrainian. They came on visitors or students visas and never left. I heard that there are many nurses from the UK who come here on visitors visas and stay because they get paid more. They never get caught because they are not what American people think immigrants look like. When I came to this country I applied for an immigrant visa because I needed to work to travel. I received it immediately because very few French people wanted to immigrate to the US. Actually I was not ready and told them to hold the visa for 6 months, and they did! Now I am a citizen, but I also kept my French citizenship as it is so much safer when I travel, to be French that is. When we went to Baltimore we did not rent a car, we traveled all over Baltimore with our 3 year old and 1 ½ year old toddlers with the stroller – we walked for miles! And we took the bus. My friends said I should have rented an SUV. No way. It is hard for me to watch all the mothers around here waiting for their kids in school, the motor running, in their huge SUVs or minivans and the school buses are almost empty. And this is not for safety – SUVs are very bad for children’s lungs and statistics show that there are much less crimes now than even 20 years ago – but when there is a crime it is all over the TV. This country has certainly changed since I came over in the 60s.

  6. I think age is just a number Nothing wrong with getting older. Think of the alternative!
    Lots of people saying interesting things about aging over at timegoesby blog.

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