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Senior? Elder? AARP? Me? June 4, 2017

Posted by voolavex in common sense, marriage, Random thoughts, Social Issues.
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I grew up in the Baby Boomer years that began in 1945/46, I went through the usual “phases” that parents like to excuse or accuse their children of entering and leaving.  I never lived anywhere long enough to actually develop phases that are memorable now.  Food oddities that came and went and too many schools and angst and I suspect it was basically just getting to being “of age” and then it simply moved forward from there.  Once I achieved “of age”, I didn’t give it much thought until recently.  Now I realize that I never got the directions on how to be “a certain age” nor the final pamphlet that covered “age”.  I am neither crochety nor am I enfeebled.  My hair is a good combination of white and mostly dark brown, I am tall and still at a fine weight for my frame.  No tweaks,  no shots, no lifts – living in the heart of Hollywood can put a smart and still looking good person in morbid fear of the “better face”.  It is not better and here you see the sad results of just why it’s not really great idea. I do have crepey skin.  Lack of exercise, DNA or too many parties of yore.  Leggings, tights and long sleeves  are all useful for this condition.  I suspect I am getting a bit of arthritis – and it runs in both sides of family and I waited for years to join the clan.  A few twinges but nothing that makes me groan or complain.  When asked about my age I am usually thrilled with the reaction, as much as I  am startled myself when I think about it.  I have two adult children and several important friends.

I was raised as a little kid by the “aunts” and my grandmother.  When I sat down recently and realized how old they were when I was born,  these role models may have brought me to where I am right now.  These were old ladies.  Two widows and a “maiden” aunt.  And their embrace of being elderly was  epic.  Steel gray hair, blue rinsed hair and touched up hair.  Housedresses – the real deal.   Corsets.  Salmony pink lace-up, hook- up and lift-up boned custom made corsets.  And yes I knew how to lace them from any early age.  Huge undies, garters, hair nets – from the dime store to contain their always permed hair.  Always.  My grandmother was the youngest of the three and she was a tad more casual but it was not a visible tad for me. Two of them wore a little lipstick and a bit of rouge – but only on occasions.  One never did.  Stocking – one wore lisle and the other two wore daytime deniers (January was when they bought them) and each one had a secret place to hide their break luck money.  The most memorable was the”budge” neatly folded bills tucked  between ample bosoms and the bank, a garter pouch of fine suede where the real money was carried.  The other two had change purses or wallets.  And they all lived to old age – two past 95.

I realized early on what I had no intention of becoming.  I might have become many things but an old lady was not one of them.  So as I sit and realize that I do in fact qualify for that term, I have no idea what I am supposed to be.  Not a clue.  I curse like a sailor, pass comment on everyone and everything, speak my mind (that can be excruciating too) and still want to know more and more about more and more.

I am vain.  I improve the landscape with cosmetics and despair of my difficult hair – but I hate to go to the hairdresser.   I wear what I have always worn – and it still keeps me au courant  style no matter what the courant of the moment is. I cannot wear stilettos. It breaks my heart. And because I am not a French woman I fail at scarves.  I must have 100+.  Lots of good jewelry I seldom wear – but no bling.  Shoes and bags need to be leather, fabric has to be grown fiber and I realize it hasn’t ever been otherwise.

So here I am, entering a phase; dazed and annoyed at things like AARP. Especially AARP.  I hate AARP.  I hate their condescending advice and presumptuous codified ads that scream “YOU ARE OLD”.  We have a wildly unruly source of information now called the Internet – so I do know how to find glasses and Depends and ear trumpets and  canes and I’ve fallen buttons. I also have a full-time husband. I hate senior communities.  I hate oldster casino trips.  Dances for the Decrepit. (or Senior Mixers as they call them or did). I do like Bingo – but not enough to seek it out.

I suspect because I have no grandchildren I can still buy myself toys and play alone.  I can frolic as others have babies and grand babies and buy memorable gifts and get photos in return.  Is it the life I imagined for myself?  The one where I didn’t get old and feeble.  Not really, but since I have no idea how to prepare for it (just as I didn’t know how to prepare for marriage, pregnancy, toothaches or nearsightedness).  I suspect I will figure it out.  But not today.

 

 

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