Birds Not of a Feather
Dear Aunt Bossy,
I have a diverse group of friends and sometimes one of them will express interest in meeting one of the others. In some cases, I know it won’t jell. What should I do?
We are talking adults here, right? Introduce them. If they can’t recognize or appreciate what you see in the other, it is their loss.
Like a Fine Wine or a Smelly Cheese?
Dear Aunt Bossy,
I know you, and know you will be 80 before we know it. How do you handle that? I’m not far behind you.
Having a hard time,
Let’s get this straight, Sally! I won’t be 80 for two more years!!
It is truly the biggest challenge ever, but you should have been preparing for it your whole life.
First thing, is, as always, a positive outlook. Thoughts really are things and it is difficult even for a positive cult member like me to think aging is great.
Mentally, the good part is, as long as you are well, you are way smarter and savvier than ever. You should also be stronger than ever if you have been developing yourself over the years. The days of lying, not saying “NO,” not saying what you think, or letting people take advantage of you should be over. If they aren’t get to work.
One way to start doing that is in increments. It is scary as hell to tell the truth, say “NO,” and push back when you are being treated poorly. Start with little truths, easier “NOs”, and slightly more assertive behavior. Do not confuse a concern for others feelings when you are being treated unfairly a strength. You actually do them a favor by calling them on it. That gives them a chance to rise to the occasion and shape up. Or not.
The physical aspects of aging are more complicated for many. We age in the opposite direction of babies, and it is to be expected, that, as a baby is learning to walk, we are learning to walk when we are stiffer. Just as a baby learns to develop the strength to pull itself up in the crib, we are learning to position ourselves to move, maintain balance, and keep going when it becomes more difficult.
You must exercise and eat well if you want to prosper at any time in life (covid and obesity are best friends) and this becomes more important as it becomes more challenging. Make sure you walk as fast as you can and stand up as straight as you can.
Unless you are sure you have the kind of skin that can take it, keep out of the sun. I have a convertible, and keep my top down whenever possible. On the other hand, I look like the Sheik of Araby, with a draped hat, neck wrap and spf 50 gloves up to my elbows. This is all on top of sunscreen.
Ya gotta have love and laughter. It doesn’t have to be romantic love, but, trust me, that IS a fountain of youth. Don’t be afraid. If it comes your way, grab it.
In the meantime, pay lots of attention to your friends. Try to be certain they are diverse in every way so you keep on your toes. Let them be good to you. (That is a difficult one for me) We offer people a wonderful opportunity when we ask for help.
When it comes to romance, you don’t need a partner, and you don’t have to have sex to feel treasured and desirable. Sensuality is the goal, here – a real appreciation of your body, no matter how worn it appears to be. It has served you well and will continue to serve. Indulge it.
Be certain you have great smelling soaps and creams, silky underwear, sensual nightgowns or PJs. Try to surround yourself with things that feel good. Cashmere is more and more affordable and fleece and microfiber are fabulous on the skin. Light candles, or, better yet, buy some of those great phony ones so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to blow them out. Play wonderful music all the time.
Avoid old person clothing, hair and makeup, but don’t dress and make up like a teen, which will make you look ridiculous. Eileen Fisher and Vince are my go-to brands. They are both very simply made of good fabric and cut to flatter a 16 year old or an 80 year old. You can buy them on ebay and on discount websites like Saks Off Fifth.
Wear comfortable shoes, which are easily available these days in trendy styles. Some older people camp it up with over the top outrageous fashion. To me it is almost like they are making fun of themselves, but, it’s their choice. I prefer classic looks.
Color your hair or not. Whatever looks best to you. Wear some makeup, if only mascara and lipstick so you don’t fade out.
When it comes to doing “work,” you get to do what you want to do and can afford. Don’t let anyone try to make it a moral issue. Just be careful and tell your dermatologist or plastic surgeon you want to stay as close to your unaltered self as possible. Be especially careful around the eyes, mouth and jawline, and avoid those things with threads that pull your skin back like a mask. The great thing about injectables is they are not permanent
Joe Biden has had hair implants and lots and lots of work, and it looks pretty good. You get to decide what works for you.
Stay interested and become interested in new things. (New to you, not necessarily trendy.) And, flirt. With everybody –men, women, children, trees, and especially dogs. Take joy and show appreciation for every single thing.
The most important thing is to keep living with zest and openness. Aging is fascinating. I once asked a hundred and a half year old woman, who was full of life, what advice she could give me. She said, “Never give up.” Makes sense to me.