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Monday, 12 January 2009

The Joy of Aging

[EDITORIAL NOTE: This story was in the queue to post during Christmas week and I somehow missed it. But it is strong and good even three weeks late.]

By Johna Ferguson

Christmas is drawing near and I imagine everyone is rushing here and there like chicken’s with their heads cut off, trying to finish buying and wrapping all their Christmas gifts, decorating their houses, baking goodies for all the guests and, lastly, trying to decide what to wear on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve.

Most of us older women have gained weight, and all in the wrong places, so those slim, trim dresses we used to fit into aren’t going to work this year. We need lots of baggy things, like pants with drawstrings, over-blouses with long sleeves and high necks to cover all the age-spots, wrinkles and hanging fat under our arms.

One of the better buys would be a big shawl to toss casually around one’s shoulders for they hide a multitude of sins and have an added factor - they keep us warm. Seems as we age, everything slows down, not only our minds but our body metabolism, so a house that is comfortable for young people is just too cold for us.

And then shoes are a problem. We can’t get away with, nor do we want to wear those spiky, platform high heels that supposedly make one’s legs look longer and slimmer. I’d be the first to totter into a wall or fall down the stairs wearing them and break a hip; just what our families don’t need over the holidays.

Then there is always a hairstyle to decide on. But if you’re like me, your hair has thinned, impossible to wear but one way and it is partially gray so it really is just blah-looking. It hangs limply, not like the luxurious thick manes we admire on our children and grandchildren.

For me jewelry is out of the question for some of my fingers are swollen from arthritis and my hands are covered with age spots; who wants to draw attention to them with diamond rings. In fact, I’ve given all my diamonds and jewelry away to my daughters-in-law or friends. I live peacefully just wearing the plain gold wedding band that my husband gave me.

The only thing I really have left is my smile. I’m lucky I still have all my teeth, but they have also aged, turned golden color like an old elephant’s tusks. But a smile can get you most anywhere you want. Forget the clothes, shoes and all the jewelry. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so smile and enjoy it.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Terrific story to read at any time Johna.
You reminded me that I need to call my dentist for an appointment. I need to hold on to what's left of my not so white teeth.

Story of my life - except for the Christmas part, with which I've never had dealings. (I'm so sick of turtlenecks.)

This story made me chuckle. But the specifics inside of it did not!

I'm an 'older man'. While I can not relate to the wardrobe issues, when I look into the mirror I am able to find all the things you describe; yelllowing teeth, wrinkles and lines, thinning and graying hair, and oddly situated body bulges.

I will try to smile!

Johna, the only thing I can add is that if misery loves company, you have a lot of it.

My wife and I met 35+ years ago. We both had the attitude "this is me and if you like it, great. If you don't, leave".
We still love each other. We do not make any fashion statements. We only care about each other.
As you get older, you can only get better. These are the only lies we tell each other.
The best part of these lies is that with my wife, it is true.
If she got any better, I would have to get help to make her happy.
What I used to do all night, now takes me all night to do.

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