Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


T'ain't So T'is Too

Jackie Spinks                                                




When I first got this assignment at my Senior Center Memoir Group, to write on fashion I thought I’d write a poem—you know, fashion, passion, cash-on, then I decided the heck with that—too much work, and working without any payoff, well, why do it.  And I’m of that old school “if it doesn’t rhyme it’s not poetry,”  and rhyming takes thinking—and thinking is work.

So enough of that--let’s get down to brass facts.  What’s fashionable in the U.S.?  Well, wars are always fashionable.  Every president has to have one.  Can’t have “whimp” on his resume.  But can’t figure out war’s attraction to the rest of us. And it’s interesting how fashions in wars change.  Soldiers in the Vietnam War were called baby-killers and spit on, now soldiers are sacrificing heroes. 

But let’s take it from another angle, what used to be unfashionable and is now fashionable.
Sex is the only thing I can think of, off hand, that was once unfashionable, but now is not.  I mean sex has always been “in.”  Except it wasn’t talked about or advertised much, except in code as “dangerous.”  But now the code has been broken (maybe the birth control pill did it) because sex is everywhere now. But probably when we speak of fashion, we’re speaking of appearance and the grade we give it. A,B,C,and D.  Some are A appearances and some are D’s.  None are F’s .Although pink, blue and purple hair are a D-. 

Every age has it’s own standards.  Well, first the fashion look for men—I see a lot of guys running around town covered in tattoos, but not many older men, although I do know several men in my age range, especially if they were in the Navy during the war, who have tattoos.  And all of them, without exception, bemoan their tattoos. “And why didn’t someone stop me?” the complain.

Which brings me to schools “Why don’t they have a class that tells kids, “Don’t do anything that you might regret later?”  But of course, it wouldn’t work, as they are never going to get old (remember) and have any regrets. Anyhow, in ten years, our current tattoo fashion will be passé and “whoopie” the money some will make getting rid of those babies.  Ah, but fashion, who can resist it.  It’s in our universal nervous system. 

Another consideration—those tattoos may become obsolete every sooner than ten year, as I’ve read since Barack became President, thugs with tattoos may have lost some of their sexy appeal.  For example, short hair—even shaved bald -heads are in, pants are up around the waist and the ability to understand calculus is in fashion too.  What’s the matter girls don’t you know dumb is in fashion now?
So eventually tattoos will go and wars should go, but they will stay, maybe even amped up, unless we have a peace-loving government, contractors for the Pentagon get a new line of work, or more likely than any of that, we have an apocalypse of some sort—like a microbe. 
So enough tattoos. 

What’s with the fashion for the elderly. Well, surgery is now in fashion.  Finding that fresh visage of youth is very “in.”  Ponce de Leon came to America looking for the fountain of youth—didn’t find it, but did find Florida.  I’m told we can find the fountain of youth in New York and Hollywood.  Lots of the elderly go to Florida.  Sorry buddy, the fountains not there. 

Although that Hollywood or New York surgery may cost you more than it cost Ponce de Leon to get a fleet from Spain to Florida and back to Spain.  But speaking of plastic surgery, I like this idea of taking fat out of our butts and recycling it into our faces.  This is about the best recycling I’ve come across. 

But forget that, here’s some do’s and don’t for those who don’t want to mortgage their houses to make that trip to New York in order to shave off some years.  These tips come from Darla—her knowledge in this fashion field is incomparable so here’s some tips from her.

I’m not going to give you the usual diet and exercise lecture, as (1) I can’t remember what Darla said, and (2) diets and dietitians change their minds every couple of years.  Now chocolate (a big no-no in my youth) is good for high blood pressure and  protein (a big yes in my youth) is now out, it puts a layer of fat in the arteries.  So I don’t pay any attention to what I eat, as everything changes to gloucose once it hits the blood stream anyway. 

And as for Darla tips on diet and exercise, she’s put on a few pounds—or sizes since she got out of the beauty business and isn’t the best consultant in this area. As for exercise after age 60, it doesn’t do anything for our longevity and that’s probably true as over all, men get more exercise than women, but women live longer.

           Hair for old guys, according to Darla is a worry and a comb over won’t do it.  You’re fooling no one but yourself.  So it’s either a transplant, wig or a complete shave off—which girls find pretty sexy, as all the action heroes on TV are shaving their heads. These new stem cells they’ve discovered on the top of the head may someday reverse baldness.

Have to include this not very nice joke I heard about baldness, If you’re bald in front, you’re a thinker. If you’re bald in back you’re sexy. If you’re bald in the front and back, you think you’re sexy.
Gray hair on a guy is distinguished--on a women it says she’s liberated. And long hair on an older woman sends out the message “I’d like to be younger, but this is the best I can do.”

About clothes, T-shirts, plain.  No advertisements displaying your politics or favorite team on your T-shirts.  Sneakers (new term for tennis shoes) are comfortable and okay for practically any occasion except funerals. 

According to Darla, much of the male look was patterned after the military.  And after the plague in 1600 there was an austerity period, which changed the male look to simplicity.  Pants over the boots came from the Russian Cossacks.  Shoulder pads came from the bars officers wear on their uniforms to signify their ranks.  Draped clothes were out as fitted clothes for men were more comfortable under their armor. Nerd couture consists of #1 importance dark framed glasses, and then T shirts, jeans and a cardigan worn open in front.

As for women, their tool kit is their underwear drawer and their closet. Men’s are their hairbrush. Coco Chanel established the look for women--  simplicity--  the little black dress or the pantsuit.  And one overall color, or different shades of  one color is most slimming and what woman doesn’t want to look slimmer.  And so women, semi-fitted clothes, all one color, will take off the pounds.
For women, slacks are okay for almost every occasion.  Hillary Clinton does it—formal occasions, excepted—unless you have thick ankles or legs with elephantiasis in the lymph nodes and need a cover-up—than silk slacks are okay for dress up.

And by the way, Fashionistas is a term used to describe a stylish sophisticate. With a little help we can all be Fashionistas, or we can also remain a huddle of Puritans, which is also okay, as we’ve out-grown fashion—haven’t we?  



Follow Retirement Talk on Facebook: on Facebook