AGE JUMPS

No, not the age jumps (gaps) between brothers and sisters. For now, I’ve written enough about that topic in both The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives (shameless plug) and in many posts right here.

 

An age jump day.

An age jump day.

Nope, I’m talking about the days when you wake up, look at yourself in the mirror and stare in dismay at a new line that has made its debut around the corners of your mouth, the corner of an eye or anywhere else.  Or maybe a slightly deeper fold that runs along the side of your nose like a river in the Grand Canyon.

Oh, I could go on about the physical “ravages” of age.  I fondly remember the day when I was in my early 40s and a friend sat on a porch step one rung higher than mine.  She peered at the top of my head adorned with a mass of what I called a “lion’s mane” and declared, “You don’t have one gray hair!”

Honestly, I hadn’t given a thought to turning gray.  I was concerned about the small amount of loose skin between my bra strap and my arm.  (If only I’d realized then what I know now.  I would have worn sleeveless tops every day of the year.)

So, back to the present.  A new wrinkle . . . a deeper line . . . crepe paper skin . . . Your first response?  If you’re like most of us, you want to slam a bag over your head (any material/size will do) and sulk for the rest of the day.  And that’s what I recommend—minus the bag, of course.

We need to grieve.  To feel sorry for ourselves.  To wonder where all the time has gone and why we look more like our mothers/grandmothers than we vowed we ever would.

Hell, if you feel like buying a burka, go right ahead.  Cover yourself and all your imperfections from head to foot.  (If it’s summer, take care: you could suffocate.)

We grieve all kinds of losses: loved ones, pets, friends, satisfying jobs.  But, rarely, do we give ourselves permission to grieve for what society has convinced us is a loss of beauty.  Oh, we complain to anyone who will listen.  (My husband has had it up to “here.”)  We bitch about our flabby stomachs, our sagging chins, the veins large and small that mar our legs into an atlas-like illustration of all the rivers that flow through our state.

(BTW, I may take the prize for the flabby stomach thing.  Mine used to be so flat and taut.  Farewell.)

What I’ve found is a little bit of grief goes a long way.  Feel sorry for yourself.  Look at old pictures and curse the day you were born.  Maybe even try on that size 8 dress you’ve hidden in your closet in the hopes of someday being able to wear it again.

But at the end of your age jump and your day of grief, give it up.  Look straight in the mirror and thank the gods or goddesses that you look (and feel) as good as you do.  And remember: Next week, next month, six months from now you’ll look back on today and wish that you had embraced that wrinkle or sag because you looked damn good.

 

 

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WRITING ABOUT SEX

Nope.  This isn’t a racy story about me and my sexual escapades.

Instead, it’s about the fascination we have about sex and, as a result, why sex sells.

I have a perfect example:  Yesterday, I posted a blog titled “Grandmother Lover” here and on Medium.  I didn’t dare go off script and disrupt my focus on siblings and publicize my ramblings on the more visible sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Never know where Big Brother is lurking or when publishers, distributors, literary agents decide to read my stuff.

Still, I just HAD to blog somewhere.  The night before, I’d happened upon “Grandmother Lover,” a documentary about younger men (I’m talking in their 30s) and older women . . . grandmothers, great grandmothers in their 80s, even 90s.

http://janeleder.net

Okay, I’m not a prude.  And I like to consider myself an accepting woman who honors all kinds of wacko stuff.  And, as I wrote yesterday, I went along with this phenomenon because, at first, it gave me hope—hope that, if in the highly unlikely circumstance I were ever in the market for a new man, the wrinkles, crepe skin, sagging everything wouldn’t matter.  I could find a man, a young man, who would think I’m the best thing since the great grandmother he’d wooed before me.

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I titled my post “Grandmother Lovers.”  Guess what?  I had more views on this blog than I’d had in weeks, maybe months.  And I can’t lie: it felt great to have had so many people interested in what I had to say.

But then?  Not so much.  As a sassy senior, would I now have to sprinkle my posts with some kind of sex material or references?  Is that the best way to entice viewers to my blog and to my web site?

Doesn’t anyone out there care about my thoughts on family relationships?  Writing?  Boomers+?

Why is there a need for bloggers, advertisers, and anyone else, for that matter, to use sex in order to have their voice heard or their brand seen?

Even though there have been studies which conclude that sex doesn’t sell, the common belief is that it does.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/madeline-wahl/why-its-unfortunate-that-sex-sells_b_5433251.html

Think the barrage of ads for erectile dysfunction and all those loving couples who apparently can’t wait to jump in the sack.  Or think the sexy woman wearing a sports jersey who, in a soft, come-hither voice, suggests that, yes, men like sports but after the game, they want to get it on.

I could just puke.

I’m not an author of romance and will never be.  It just isn’t me.  Besides, we have the thirty-two   books that Jackie Collins left behind for all the sex anyone could want.

I think I’m left with continuing to write/post/tweet about lifestyle, family relationships, and boomers+.  The number of folks who follow me will most surely take a swan dive off a cliff.  I’ll try to steel myself  for the defections but, if it’s anything like dropping from #1 on Amazon to #40, then I’m in for a big sulk and thoughts of taking up organic farming.

 

 

 

I Can Say Anything I Want . . . Well, Almost

I’ve earned the right to say whatever I want . . . well, almost.  As a friend said recently, “You’ve made it to 70 and should embrace your age and good fortune.”

Okay.  I’ll take her congrats at face value and “tell it like it is.”

 

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Example:  A few nights ago in my contemporary dance class, a new song had been added to the prescribed routines.  I can’t the remember the name of the female singer and don’t care to.  She sounded like a sap singing an even sappier song about love or getting in touch with her inner self or some such mushy crap.

But it seems my opinion was not that of the rest of the women in the class.

“Oh, I just love her voice,” one of them said.

“Me, too,” said another.  “I saw her on TV last week.”

I would have clicked the remote and changed the channel.  Like immediately . . .

“You know,” said a third woman.  “Last week was my birthday, and the song just hit me in my heart.  It meant so much to me.”

I wanted to barf.

We all danced over to the barre where we would perform a few minutes’ worth of isometrics using rubber exercise bands.

Before the music started and we did our first squat, I felt a surge of honesty coursing through my veins and, yes, a few twinges in my knees.  It was if I were menopausal all over again.  Only this time around, I wasn’t a screaming banshee standing in my neighbor’s yard, threatening to call the cops if the yokels two houses down didn’t remove their stereo from the roof of their garage immediately.

No, this time, I followed proper etiquette and, in a soft, soothing voice said, “I’m amazed at how taste is so subjective.   I hate that song.”

The other dancers turned in my direction with eyes wide open, mouths agape.  They looked like I’d just killed their first borns.

I, on the other hand, felt as if I’d just slayed Goliath with a turn of a phrase.

No one looked at me again during the remainder of the class.   Let them listen to she- who- shall- remain nameless.  I’d plug in to Amy Winehouse or an Adele classic or maybe some Bob Marley.

After, when all the others had left for what I assumed were their Sunday afternoon trips to the zoo, I looked at the teacher and my friend and said, “Gee, I hope they’ll get over it.”

She started to laugh.  “I knew you wouldn’t like the song.”

She hasn’t played the song since.

And I haven’t stopped smiling.

 

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