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, 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: Two of the ladies have white hair. I color mine, so I look younger. Twice someone has said to me, “Are you walking with your mother today?”

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

It is also common for someone ask “How old are you?” or comment “I am so proud of you” (meaning that we could actually walk a few miles). Please give me a good retort to these rude people.


Amy says: 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 was the queen of the snappy comebacks. 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 non-rude 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 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 T-shirts made, declaring yourselves to be the “Over the Hill Gang.” Get it?

Be alarmed by teen escorts

Dear Amy: As an advocate for victims of child sex trafficking, I was alarmed by the reader who asked about her husband using teen dating/escort services. If the teens are under 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 a 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 a child is trafficked every four minutes; some are raped 20 to 40 times a day. Three-quarters of trafficking is via the internet. The reader may have more problems to deal with than just an unfaithful spouse — he could be a pedophile and child rapist.


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


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