Sunday, June 24, 2018

Aging Badly

The cover of the Styles section of The New York Times had an article in print called, Too Old? You Mean Fabulous.  Funny how they re-titled the same article for online called The Glamorous Grandmas of  Instagram.  Really?  If you read the article some of the women identify as a Grandmother but they don't consider themselves traditionally Grandmotherly, which was the point of the article that I read.  Even the subtitle changed from Women Over 60 with sass and riveting style are Instagram stars.  Funny now it is apparently "subversive" to not 'traditionally' age.  And then promptly explains that our image and concept of aging is outdated and is changing as we change and transition into age.

“Age no longer dictates the way we live. Physical capacity, financial circumstances and mind-set arguably have far greater influence.”

A woman in her 50s, then, “might be a grandmother or a new mother,” the study goes on to say. “She might be an entrepreneur, a wild motorcyclist or a multi-marathon runner. Her lifestyle is not governed by her age but by her values and the things she cares about.” Some of these women and their counterparts abroad are still subscribing to the counterculture values and maverick stance they adopted in the 1960s and ’70s.

So why the title change?  Why classify women over 60 as Grandmothers or are choosing to be chic in their senior years, search out and employ methods to belong via social media and in turn are embracing age in ways that are less in the shadows and more in the forefront.

Also overlooked is their social media savvy. Eschewing stereotypes, 73 percent of participants “hate the way their generation is patronized when it comes to technology,” the report says. Six out of 10 say they find tech “fascinating,” according to the report, and many of those may actually be more competent using tech than their younger counterparts.

 Well Boomers are aging and they dying off and now the Millennials are the du jour cohort to embrace as they are the largest sector of population and will be entirely responsible for the economy in the decades to come thanks to declining birth rates.  So to that I say knock yourself up MeMe's and make sure I get that Social Security check and Medicare I so need and want.  I cannot for the life of me understand why I can get Social Security at 62 but must wait three more years to get the Medicare?  If I am retired and not working I should be covered right?  Wrong and so I will work until I die just in the parameters of SS in order to retain the benefit.  I loathe working full time but I always did so now I have to go to part time and it cannot come soon enough - four years and counting! 

The other day I was at Dilliards talking to the salesperson as I was buying just ordinary underwear, neither granny nor sex kitten just underwear and in the exchange the clerk said:  "I see myself in the future talking to you."  And I warned her that it is wonderfully freeing to be independent, secure, confident and without obligations, it also costs a great deal in ways that I had not anticipated 30 years ago.   If I had not married well and divorced even moreso I would be a clerk or a Teacher living hand to mouth but I am pretty sure the person I am, loud, abrasively honest and just me.  I may not have been nearly killed by a younger man six years ago, I may have married and still be so, I don't think I would have ever capitulated on the bearing kids thing but hey you never know.. but no. To this day this is something I am relieved and grateful I did not.  But I wish I was better at intimacy and securing a long term relationship with a man in my peer group.  I told this same young woman that I see the point of men and in turn it is the point you make and in turn the one you want which you will have to sacrifice in order to have one in your life.  Men do not do well with women who have their own mind. 

And the same paper again last week had a massive article on how women give up their professional careers, wages and job growth when they are pregnant regardless of the employer, be it Walmart or Wall Street.  Once a woman chooses to have a baby she is labeled and marginalized by her employer and in turn her work life becomes one direction, down.  Everyone loves a mother, at home, not work.  Another story I heard on BBC this last week was about social personal boundaries regarding work and home life. This story in The Atlantic in 2016 confirms the same.  And regardless of income again women do the most amount of house keeping and child care even when in a two partner relationship. What was more shocking was that the more money the woman earned the more responsibility she takes on in the home as a way of over compensating to maintain order and the relationship. So there you go - be dumber and poorer and keep a good house.  Making America Great Again... via Betty Crocker, Good Housekeeping and Better Home and Gardens.  1950 is back people!

A few months ago I read an article in the same paper about adult orphans and the problems they face (as that would also be me) in living alone, long term planning for care and other social emotional issues faced by those aging and alone.  And that is another issue that I face myself, alone again naturally.   Women are not dynamos or thought of as interesting, chic or fashionable unless they live in New York City.  I live in Nashville and this is where aging is done in a church pew, over a stove making biscuits or egg dishes and in turn wearing utterly unattractive attire regardless of age, however, as this is surreal to see how they seem to think maxi dresses and chunky shoes are the new cover on WWD.  If you think wearing what you like and feel comfortable in includes athlesisure wear which I live in think again.  Not once but twice at Barre3 classes this last week I was "complimented" on my flare yoga pants. The two women said they loved them and wished they would come back in fashion so they can wear them. I said, "I don't care about what is in or out in regards to exercise, as I approach 60 this is the last place I care about what I look like.  And by the way I bought these online about a month ago at Prana."  One laughed the other goes I will go there right away.   For fuck's sake this is a Barre3 class not Project Runway.  It's like skinny jeans, if you are not skinny don't wear them.  

I again as I said in the last blog post about Pride and why I chose not to participate was largely due to the lack of courtesy extended to me on the occasions that I went to the local bars of which I am truly a local and was ignored and duly bored.  One does not go to a bar to sit alone and drink and I can do that at home thankyouverymuch.   This community does not want strangers in their midst unless there is a check involved.   Hence the invites to Church, less about salvation but more about restitution.  In the Churches I visited that was clear and I did drop my $5 bucks in the kitty as I would in a Honky Tonk, the singers are always entertaining in that same way a Pastor and Choir are.  The songs and words however are forgotten once you vacate the premise.  The reality is that for this Christian place and the whole bullshit of Nashville nice and Southern Hospitality is just that bullshit.  This idea that a bunch of aging granny's are hot, fun and chic are just that on paper.  In real life who are their friends, what is their life like and what do they do to feel wanted, important and active other than posting on social media.  Again that is just another way of aging badly. 

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