Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


T'ain't So, T'is Too

Jackie Spinks

Chapter Three

                                      Putting on a Little Show

“Our culture places a high value on youth and devalues aging because it’s associated with changes in physical appearance.” From (Social Problems by Kornblum).
The above is a quote from a college textbook—of all places.  So in keeping with the quote, I’m going to give you a few superficial tips on holding off some of the changes that age us.
I’d like to hit the aches and pains of old age, which interest me, but I’ll leave thata for later.  For now, I’ll do appearances.
First I’ll admit it, I have a hard time taking my own advice.  I slouch at times, I’m not all that ravishing to look at, and I’ve let myself bulge in the front.  I’ve come to accept these bodily changes with a lot of self scolding, realizing I’m not living up to the American standards of skinny body and a sprightly walk.  Don’t know my excuses, as straightening up and refusing that candy bar is not that hard, but whoever said we were rational animals.
Or maybe I’m lax because I hear all these old bromides, “It’s what’s on the inside not the outside that counts.”  I’ve heard that one so much I’ve come to think if that’s the case how come Vogue doesn’t use eye catching photos of the esophagus in their ads.
“Grow old gracefully,” is another biggie I hear often.  Lots of emphasis—at least verbally on “to Hell with looks.”
Miss American pageants, I am told, are not beauty contests, but scholarship contests.  Funny they don’t give the prize money to brainiacs that resemble Condolezza Rice or Sonya Sodamoyer. 
We are told we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, or judge a person on their looks.  The truth is—we’re supposed to judge a person on their money.
But face it (pun not intended) ever since Ponce de Leon went searching for the fountain of youth and discovered Florida, we’ve also been searching for the fountain.  Could it be that’s what all those seniors are looking for when they make that move to Florida?
But put that aside, let’s go back to upkeep. 
Guys, if you’re short, by 80, you’ve adjusted, by becoming either smart, witty, helpful or charming to compensate for those lack of inches.  And you can always do a movie star trip and wear lifts in your shoes, or like Bush, wear cowboy boots.
And guys, don’t try to cinch a 34 inch belt over a 54 inch waist, so your belt falls below your belly and a spare tire hangs over the belt.  I know, in regards to the belly, I should take my own counsel.  But apart from that, if you have a spare tire, I don’t care what Mom said, “Don’t tuck in your shirt, wear it outside.”
Furthermore, a totally bald head is sexy. Half bald head is old-manish.

And if you shower regularly don’t worry about scents. Who needs a brute around and as for spices who wants to smell like some old spice that’s been in the cupboard for five years.
Had a woman friend tell me they should make a male scent called, “Good Provider.” 
Face it guys, it’s always what’s in the wallet that smells the best, although some of the new shaving lotions are crackerjack I’ve heard.  But as a replacement for that wallet, well, there is love.
And although I know this is politically incorrect, for women in my age category—but I’m telling you anyway, wear some makeup.  It’s cheering and makes the face fun to look at. 
And according to French Designers, for the best “take” on you body, wear clothes that are either different shades of the same color or all one color.  If you wear two colors they cut you in half and make you look shorter.
And if you’re gray haired—well, gray hair only looks distinguished on guys, so dye it. Every woman knows that old joke. “She’s my best friend, she thinks I’m too thin and I think she’s a natural blonde.”  Face it.  A little dye or rinse takes off years.
So our bodies have deteriorated and our memories aren’t up to snuff, but as I’ve said before , with higher self-esteem and greater wisdom, we’re happier now than when we were young.   For that aren’t those well earned wrinkles, hair losses and bellies worth it?   NO!  because you live in a judgmental world.  
Occasionally we come across someone who looks great in his/her 70’s and 80’s.  We envy, hate, avoid and criticize these people.  They glorify in their full heads of hair and flat stomachs and exude confidence.
I comfort myself by telling myself, they probably exercise all the time, not to mention they probably owe a mint to plastic surgeons.
So Ponce de Leon, we haven’t yet found the fountain of youth either, not even in Florida, but we’re trying.


Follow Retirement Talk on Facebook: on Facebook