I have written many blogs referring to my favorite blog, Time Goes By, by Ronni Bennett. She is a marvelous writer and although we are probably roughly the same age, I want to be her when I grow up. She never married and had a great career in New York City, the life I always dream of at those moments when my entire family is driving me crazy. making me regret marrying (twice) and ever having children! The grass is always greener!
Last week she featured a blog titled, “How Not to be an Old Person”, by Crabby Old Lady, which may or may not, be Ronni herself in kind of tongue in cheek mode. It dealt with the new emphasis on holding off aging until the last possible moment. i.e. baby boomers refusal to admit they might be old.
“With so many baby boomers entering their mid-sixties, being old has become the new cool age group for the media. They vie among themselves for attention, intent on advising Crabby Old Lady on how to avoid being old – or, at least, to not be perceived that way.”
So far so good, I agree with that viewpoint, way too many articles on how to put off the inevitable, so I kept on reading.
“They don’t say it out loud, but the can’t miss message is that it’s not good to be old. They never give a reason but it is obvious that old people behaving like – well, old people somehow offends the sensibilities of the world at large and especially younger people.”
Now I am getting a little sensitive, because my whole premise is we want to remain relevant in this youth obsessed culture. I just had a long conversation with an old high school friend about that easily crossed line about proper clothing, hair styles and makeup for our age group. But I continued reading.
“Apparently, we dress badly and the biggest fashion faux pas in their judgment is elastic waistbands.They don’t much like our hair either, preferring that the gray be colored away, and we simply must, must, must keep it cut short. Long hair on old women, you see, might be mistaken for sexy which disturbs young people’s idea of their elders. Well, they don’t say that, but it’s what they mean.”
Now I am taking it personally, metaphorically speaking, because so much of my belief system being invested in not giving into aging. Keeping up with technology, music, the arts, politics and fashion to enable us to contribute to any conversations going on around us. I would direct you to read Crabby’s blog in full because it is quite wonderful and relevant. I don’t want to reprint the blog here, but the closing is very important.
“Many years ago, Crabby Old Lady was asked to consult an internet startup aimed at elders. The first question she asked was how many people older than 60 were on the staff. The answer was none and in fact, there was no one older than 39 or 40. Crabby didn’t take the gig but she gave them one piece of advice that she stands by today for any endeavor aimed at boomers and elders: you cannot talk or write intelligently about old people without having a few of them (at least age 60) around to advise you.”
Now, just as I am feeling totally irrelevant and completely out of the loop, my close Facebook friend, Daniel Silva, (I am one of his two million close Facebook Friends) directs me to a great interview by Jamie Gangel (his wife) on the Today Show. She is doing a piece on Henry Winkler who is in a smash new Broadway hit, The Performers.
In the interview, the last thing Henry says is how happy is to be relevant at 67. With those words he undid, my reading of the blog and feeling I was totally on the wrong track. This is important because it is my feeling that we get signs or messages from the Universe and for the most part we either don’t notice them or we ignore them. Those messages become even more important as we get older because we get so much less feedback from life in general.
I am going to try my hand at embedding this interview, and I will figure it out or die trying, but for the time being I have embedded it on my Facebook Page. SilverFoxyBlog.org please look there and see it for yourselves. I will learn linking and embedding before 2013, I swear!!!!!
Once again a little touch of divine intervention was there for me just when I needed it.