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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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Appreciation and Depreciation April 8, 2014

Posted by voolavex in common sense, freedom, Random thoughts, Social Issues.
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In a blinding epiphany last night, I realized that I am beginning to appreciate my life Accomplishments are not appreciation.  Accomplishments are simply the things you have done and they have a positive aura – but even robbing a bank can be a sort of accomplishment.  It is not so much the “aha” moments – but the number of them that snowball down the side of our individual middens as we careen through the years. And we do careen – I can’t walk a straight line in bare feet anymore.  Sad.  True.

In my case it was like suddenly understanding string theory or hearing the music of the spheres or realizing that all the crap I think is crap IS crap.  I no longer ask why we cling to our 2nd Amendment rights, nor shoot each other or serial kill each other – that’s what we watch on the screen.  Big, little, on demand, anytime – click and kill.  There’s an app for it.  But I now appreciate that this is what is happening and I can see it and despair or see it and know I will not change my direction due to it. For example; I do not own a gun.  The reason is simple.  Fear that I will use it.  Most people don’t actually think of this when they shy away from the gun issue.  They are afraid it will get into the wrong hands, they hate guns,  it won’t make a difference in the long haul.  Not me.  I am simply afraid I will not be afraid, I will be the wrong hands and I will use it.  My feeling is that to own a gun you must be willing to use it.  My fear is that I would.  So no gun.  But it is the appreciation of that knowledge that anchors me and lets me out of the whole argument.  Guns may not kill people, but people with guns do.  I am grateful I am not a bigot.  I like being a Jew.  I do not trust Putin. I know I am being watched. I treasure the right to vote and still get a frisson of joy when I do it. I do not miss having grandchildren (from my own kids).

As I really begin to appreciate these small things, other smaller ones follow.  I hate to go to movies.  Very simple.  I do not like to go. And I get so many arguments (not offers) and find myself using hackneyed phrases like “it’s not my cup of tea” – and this works because everyone knows what a cup of tea is.    I have no desire to own property. I have by and large always been a cliff dweller (as my mother would say) and I like apartment living. It’s not for everyone, but it is for me.  And all this appreciation is not always positive.  I realize that I was a very terrible mother – something two other adults know too.  And in the fullness of knowing comes the reality there is nothing I can do to go back and do better. Even though I know better.  But I do know it and I can say it and I know why it is true.  I don’t want to have a dog.  I do like the way many dogs look, but they are not an animal that lures me. For some this is character flaw – but it’s just what I know.As I know I like red meat. And these shocks of wisdom – as I personally depreciate and time becomes more scarce also allow me to let stuff go.  Like movie theaters, mortgages and dusting.  They allow me to read India (my preferred subject matter), mystery novels, genetics, Jewish history, and anything else whose title sounds alluring.   Because I appreciate that time does flow like a river and we all sink at some point as we float.

Is there a message in all this – kinda.  If you can feel the shocks of appreciation, wait for even more. You will get them and for the fortunate ones who do, they will lighten it up as you drift – the buoyancy will astonish you as it does me and you may even appreciate that our demographic may be the last who can do this and probably because there is no app for it.