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Reflections September 2016

The Old Gal

Getting Comfortable

By Anne Ashley

I don’t know about you but I’m OK that parts of me are headed south (and a little east and west) as I approach my twilight years. Allowing myself to sag is my reward for sucking in my stomach for 30 years.

Anyone who’s read more than two of my articles knows that I have holiday clothes. Not the dressy, showy sort that one saves for special occasions. No, I’m talking about the sympathetic sort that you can wear without having to loosen, readjust or swear revenge at.

Also for the newcomers, in the days of yore, I only changed into these holiday clothes once I was alone or involved in a task that required ease of movement or to accommodate the need for extra comfort due to overindulgence … food, drink, sitting for longer than half an hour at a time … etc., etc.

Today that’s all a thing of the past.

Not because I have forsaken my beloved items of holiday clothing – quite the opposite. But because I no longer save them for special occasions. I no longer care that I may be in the company of overdressed and uncomfortable folk who suffer shoes that pinch, belts that synch or pants that scream for the wearer to release the obese long after the need to appear dressed up has passed! I wear jersey so often now that I can’t recall the last time I used the delicate cycle on my washing machine.     

Unlike back in the day when I would wear the latest fad with confidence, no matter how uncomfortable (of hideous) the outfit was. I wore crazy shoulder pads and kitten-heeled shoes with pants so straight-legged that despite only wearing a modest size 5 shoe, I still looked as though I was wearing clown shoes – and I was only going to the grocery store!

I had mile-high hair and held the “do” in place with so much hair spray that I'm pretty sure I contributed to at least half the current hole in the ozone layer all on my own. I wore checks with stripes at the same time and lacy gloves for no reason. In short, I was the business!

Incidentally, every once in a while my long-suffering husband will look through old photos of my days as a fashionista when I wore more than Chapstick for make-up, shoes without Velcro straps and clothing that required some sort of clasp or fastener to do up and reminisce about the good ole’ days.

Ahhh good times …  

Anyway, in my old age I’ve been contented – nay, emboldened to embrace my comfort zone. It’s been the reward for enduring all those years in painful outfits and bulletproof hair-dos. 

That is until I saw the news story about the nearly 80-year-old women who can dead lift more than twice her weight and, according to the news story, “has no trouble shoveling snow, carrying groceries or bouncing her grandchildren around.”

Good gracious me! Seriously? Where is this woman’s sense of camaraderie or compassion for her fellow woman! It was like reading that Helen Gurley Brown used to pelt the Suffragettes with rocks!

It’s bad enough that we’re bombarded by daily advertisements for the latest surgical rejuvenating procedures where surgeons promise to restore us to our former glory (inside and out) without even consulting us as to whether or not we old broads want them studying such possibilities. Alarmingly, there’s also talk of medical intervention making it possible for women to continue having babies into their 50s. You don’t even want to know the swear-fest that particular bit of news earned itself!     

But where does it all stop?  I don’t know about you but I’m OK that parts of me are headed south (and a little east and west) as I approach my twilight years. Allowing myself to sag is my reward for sucking in my stomach for 30 years. Furthermore, I’ve happily gone about my
dotage safe in the knowledge that I will never again have to face the horrors of how to make my oversized derriere look smaller in mock-tiger print materials or decide on what fashion accessory goes with shoulder pads so broad that I’m forced to negotiate doorways more carefully.

Allowing myself to grow old gracefully is my reward for having to pay attention to absurd fads in my youth.

Giving birth into your 50s? Weightlifting octogenarians? Whatever’s next – paintball camps for centenarians!  


Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

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