Sep 082022
 

It’s been said that everything old is new again. Boy, they’re not kidding!!! I just got an ad from Nordstrom. . . . yes, Nordstrom. NOT some fly-by-night retailer for the latest trend. Actually, I’ve seen these shoes all over the place. For those of us of an age, so to speak, remember these bad boys?  And for anyone who doesn’t know shoe brands, Sam Edelman is a luxury brand. I just went and looked. . . . those black puppies on the left are $150!!!!

I could barely lift my legs the first time these were out. Now? At almost 70? Who’s playing a joke on this ‘ole broad? Someone is and I bet they’re laughing. I’m not.

Yes, It’s My Age Talking

I like old shoes, yes, but not these old shoes. I like pumps, stiletto heels (even though my days of hoochie heels are long over), elegant shoes with maybe a jeweled shoe clip, wrap wedges from the 1940s and STYLE. I like Keds and P.F. Flyers in the summer. And, yeah, this is a style, but.  .  . UGH This clunky crapola can take a hike, in my NOT so humble opinion.

Who’s Wearing This Ca-Ca?

Go to any of the websites for the name brand clothing houses and you’ll find the answer. EVERYBODY! Well, everybody under the age of 50, at any rate. Are they comfy? Probably. I seem to remember they were. Do they add height to us short stacks? Yeah, they do. Am I gonna wear ’em? HELL NO! Unless I decide it’s leg day and I can’t make it to the gym.

WHY?

Are there no new ideas out there under the sun for shoes? I realize feet are a basic shape and probably most styles of shoes have had a go ’round in the last couple of hundred years, but. . . why clunky, UGLEE shoes?

So. . . just for shitz & giggles, I went to Google Land and typed in “ugly shoes in history.”  Some of these are ancient, but a few of them are contemporary.  Maybe I should change my opinion on those Edelman loafers, eh? SIGH Okay, okay. You twisted my ankle. Now where the hell is my Nordstrom credit card? 😎

Feb 022022
 

By now, you’ve all heard the story of how Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA Pageant, took her own life. She left a note leaving everything to her mother. She wrote a post saying, “May this day bring you rest and peace.” And then she jumped from the balcony of a Midtown Manhattan high-rise.

I admit to sitting and crying as I read this story. Cheslie was a beauty-pageant winner, a TV news reporter, an attorney and many other things. Cheslie was what little girls dream of becoming and, quite frankly, that’s an amazing list of accomplishments for a 30-year-old woman. But society said it wasn’t enough. Everyone wants to know why. But I think the clues really lie in an essay she wrote for Allure magazine in March of 2021 as she approached her milestone 30th birthday.

Milestone. 30. If that’s a milestone it’s a beginning milestone. And as I’m almost 40 years older than this beautiful young woman, I’m sure my thoughts are very different. In Cheslie’s world, things were very different. Society disapproved.

NOTE: I put Cheslie’s words in italics to distinguish those words from mine. I have complete quotation marks around each excerpt as I’m not sure if these quotes are in the exact order written.

I’m Too Old

“Each time I say ‘I’m turning 30,’ I cringe a little. Sometimes I can successfully mask this uncomfortable response with excitement; other times, my enthusiasm feels hollow, like bad acting.”

“Society has never been kind to those growing old, especially women. (Occasional exceptions are made for some of the rich and a few of the famous.)”

That’s definitely truth up above, but again. . . 30 is old? Really? Society has a lot to answer for.

When Cheslie was crowned Miss USA at age 28, she was the oldest woman in history to win the title. Pageant fans immediately petitioned for the age limit to be lowered.

“A grinning, crinkly-eyed glance at my achievements thus far makes me giddy about laying the groundwork for more, but turning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in society’s eyes — and it’s infuriating.”

“Society’s eyes.” Society once more. Running out of time? She had her whole life in front of her. Cheslie, you mattered. You mattered in the eyes of your family and all who loved you. You mattered to all of the little girls who watched that pageant and wanted to grow up to be just like you. Your life mattered. Screw society.

Growing Old Is Supposed To Be A Treasure

“After a year like 2020, you would think we’d learned that growing old is a treasure and maturity is a gift not everyone gets to enjoy.”

“Far too many of us allow ourselves to be measured by a standard that some sternly refuse to challenge and others simply acquiesce to because fitting in and going with the flow is easier than rowing against the current.”

Oh, how well I know this one from my own family. Took me way too long to realize there’s no shame in being different. It’s even refreshing in this day and age of cookie-cutter people.

Norms

“I fought this fight before and it’s the battle I’m currently fighting with 30. How do I shake society’s unwavering norms when I’m facing the relentless tick of time? It’s the age-old question: What happens when ‘immovable’ meets ‘unstoppable?’”

Here we go again. “Society’s unwavering norms.” Society. Who IS society? When did it start caring about people? The answer is that society doesn’t care. It just sets a false standard that most are afraid to challenge. Cheslie challenged it. She should still be here fighting the good fight.

Attorney, MBA, Pageant Winner, TV Host – Sorry, Baby, Not Enough

Please keep in mind that this beautiful young woman earned a law degree and an MBA at the same time at Wake Forest University. She was a track athlete in her undergrad years at the University of South Carolina.

“I joined a trial team at school and won a national championship. I competed in moot court; won essay competitions; and earned local, regional, and national executive board positions.”

“I nearly worked myself to death, literally, until an eight-day stint in a local hospital sparked the development of a new perspective.”

“I discovered that the world’s most important question, especially when asked repeatedly and answered frankly, is: why? Why earn more achievements just to collect another win? Why pursue another plaque or medal or line item on my resume if it’s for vanity’s sake, rather than out of passion? Why work so hard to capture the dreams I’ve been taught by society to want when I continue to only find emptiness?”

Cheslie Kryst was the American dream. She busted her ass to obtain the trophy — the degree or, in her case, DEGREES. Isn’t that what we are taught is important? Grab that brass ring at all costs. Who taught us? In some cases our parents, but in many. . . society, but only if you do it when and how they want you to.

Beauty Is Not Always In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Here’s another part of the equation. Cheslie won her title with a “five-foot-six frame with six-pack abs” and a “head of natural curls” while “pageant girls are supposed to be model-tall and slender, don bouffant hair, and have a killer walk.”

“My challenge of the status quo certainly caught the attention of the trolls, and I can’t tell you how many times I have deleted comments on my social media pages that had vomit emojis and insults telling me I wasn’t pretty enough to be Miss USA or that my muscular build was actually a ‘man body.’”

So society taught her she didn’t count because she didn’t fit what the gawkers wanted to see. She was black with black hair. She was shorter than most. She had an athlete’s body. And she was SMART. Can’t have SMART women running around despoiling their beauty, eh? And to add insult to injury, she wasn’t afraid to speak her truth.

She Had An Opinion (SHOCK, HORROR, GASP!)

“Women who compete in pageants are supposed to have a middle-of-the-road opinion — if any — so as not to offend. I talked candidly about my views on the legalization of marijuana, the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, anti-abortion laws, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and the successes and failures of criminal justice reform.”

Cheslie Kryst spent her 30th birthday in her apartment, “parading around in a black silk top, matching shorts, and a floor-length robe while scarfing down banana pudding and screening birthday calls.”

“I even wore my crown around the apartment for most of the day knowing I’d have to give it back at the end of my reign as Miss USA. I did what I wanted rather than the expected.”

“Now, I now enter year 30 searching for joy and purpose on my own terms — and that feels like my own sweet victory.”

And Now Her Light Is Gone

I wish I knew what happened to take that “sweet victory” away from this amazing young woman, why she thought she had no other choice but to jump off that balcony. I pray comfort and peace on all who loved her.

And I call down curses on “society,” this narrow segment of the population who feel it’s my way or the highway — no highway option. Conform or else. Cheslie chose the “or else” and we are all the worse for it. But while she was here with us, she spread her light. We needed that light. Damn society straight to hell!

Society Kills

Society kills. I shudder to think who its next victim will be. Please don’t make it you. If you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours: 800-273-8255.

The night of Cheslie’s “sweet victory.”

Jan 292022
 

Those of you of an age will know where that title line came from. That lyric came from the musical “Hair” way back when. All of us who were hippies can relate. Hair became the end-all-be-all of both women and men alike. Shampoo, conditioner and specialty product sales went through the roof in the 60s and 70s. And EVERYBODY wanted that streaming, flaxen, waxen hair.

🎵Gimme a head with hair
Long, beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there (Hair!)
Shoulder length or longer (Hair!)
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
HAIR!!!! 🎶

In The Olden Days

I am a teen of the 60s. You know, the days of Cher and Twiggy, right? I had long hair, but it was curly. I spent my entire allowance on a product called Curl Free, which didn’t really work on me, but hope springs eternal. I wrapped my hair on orange juice cans and slept with the devil’s own headache to get it to flow and not kink up. HAH! Who remembers the pink tape? You used to wrap your hair around your head, i.e. using it as a big roller, and tape it down. So much easier to sleep on but after about 20 minutes my curls were bouncing once again. And we won’t talk about how many times my mom chased me with a hair brush, trying to beat my ass for laying my hair out on an ironing board. Ahhhh yes, good times.

Now I’m an old lady and I would LOVE my curls back. Sadly, due to illness, age and a few other things, my hair fell out. SHOCK, HORROR, GASP!!!! And it’s not only me. While searching for a hair loss group on Facebook, I found an entire world of female hair loss out there!!!! And the wig groups. . . oh my. Some folks like wearing wigs for fun. That’s great, provided there’s something underneath that wig. But for many of us, there isn’t. And therein lies the rub, as they say.

What Society Teaches Us

Women are supposed to have long, luxurious locks. That’s what makes us women, right? Our worth is in our hair. Let me be the first one to call a great big BS on that. It’s just like your size. Only certain sizes and looks qualify to get you in the hottie club. These days, it seems you either have to be a Taylor Swift. . . tall, skinny & blonde. . . or a Kim Kardashian. . . dark, sultry and all T&A. Not one of those? Oh well, you don’t count.

So If You Lose Your Hair. . .

But let’s get back to hair. If you have not experienced hair loss for ANY reason, be thankful. Women bust their bank accounts to zero purchasing products found on the internet or in doctors’ offices that don’t work. Oh, sometimes they do, but most times they don’t. Minoxidil, once a heart drug, is now the holy grail of hair loss. Does it work? For some it does. For many it doesn’t. There are lots of other drugs docs prescribe for hair loss, too. But. . .

Depends on how you lost your hair. Many women lose their hair from chemo. That usually grows back. There are many other reasons women lose their hair. In my research I learned that there are as many kinds of alopecia as there are stars in the sky. They each have their own pattern of loss and other symptoms. Some can be helped, some cannot.

If you’re getting the idea that your hair pattern is a crap shoot, you’d be right. The problem is women are valued for their hair. I’ve seen the stories of women who attempted suicide due to hair loss. I’ve also seen women crowing about weight loss while they have Stage 4 cancer, that they finally lost weight. HUH? Girl, if you have Stage 4 cancer you have more things to worry about than losing weight.

My Solution. . . May NOT Be Yours

Sadly, I’m not immune to all the crapola. I’ve bought more than my fair share of non-working “cures.” I’ve bought tons of wigs, some of which I liked and some which I didn’t and passed on. And then a light bulb went on in my brain and it said, “Cut your losses and shave your damn head!!!!” So one night, while the urge was upon me, I asked my husband to take a clippers to my head. I thought I would hate it. I thought I would cry, scream and hit people. I didn’t. I just went to bed. The next morning I put on a hat and that was that. Pretty soon, the hats started coming off. I don’t wear a wig every day either, although my new “do” sure makes it easier to wear a wig!

The Moral Of This Long Tale Is That. . .

✨Female pattern baldness exists.
✨Alopecia in many varieties exists.
✨Snake oil salesmen are out there because they know how vulnerable women are.
✨There is helper hair out there, sometimes better than your own was.

AND. . . THE BIGGIE. . . YOU ARE NOT YOUR HAIR. . . YOU ARE YOU!!!!

You hair or lack thereof does not make you a subpar woman. What’s inside you makes you who you are. If you’re a POS, I don’t care how gorgeous your hair is. You’re still a POS. People should be accepted for their uniqueness and qualities. Sadly, we’re not. We are a very superficial society. However, I have decided to stop playing. Now I do me. And if you don’t like it, you can look in a different direction. You have lots of choices. Keep it up and you will get my mouth and I warn you. . . I passed Profanity 301 with flying colors in a couple of languages. I may be old, but my middle finger still works just fine.

Beautiful Ladies, you are NOT your hair. You are your brains, your heart, your capacity to love, your inner strengths. In other words, woman, you are the bomb dot com!!!! Please don’t make yourself something less because you are too fat or too skinny or. . . heaven forbid. . . your hair is falling out. That’s the icing on the cake that is you. And the cake part of that you is pretty yummy. People need to take a bite of that cake and forget that the icing up top can be fake.

I love my wigs, but bottom line. . . I love ME. I’m a complete woman, with or without hair.

And, yes, that pic at the beginning of this rant is me in one of my favorite wigs.  🙂

And here’s that dastardly song that started all this hair *stuff*. LOL

Nov 132021
 

Have your feet aged? Science reports people’s feet can get wider or simply larger with age whether your weight changes or not. I have many friends who once wore a 7 and now wear a 9. I’ve always worn a 9. Just call me Lady Bigfoot. And since I’ve shrunk dramatically and I’m only 5′ nuttin’ honey, well. . . .to quote my mother, at least I won’t tip over in a high wind.

Aging feet can present some challenges. If your size has radically changed, that means all new shoes. Sweet thought, but not on a fixed income. Cheap shoes are killers. You can find some more inexpensive sneaks that aren’t too bad, but everything else? HAH! So let’s delve a bit into the agony of da shoes for us *mature* folks.

Tie Shoes

At first glance, these seem to be the best option. They are secure. If your feet swell, you can adjust as needed. Even if they stretch a bit with time, you can just tie them tighter. But what happens when you can’t tie them? I love and prefer tie shoes, but. . . my hands are funky now. Makes it difficult. Is your middle bigger? Bending down to tie those shoes may be a real pain in the gut. And the biggie. . . what do you do when they come untied and you’re alone? Yeah, I know, some of us can still bend down easily and tie them again. We hate you. J/K  J/K  J/K  LOLOL But if you can’t. . . I usually run and hide somewhere so nobody films me getting those shoes tied. And that brings us to. . .

Slip-On Shoes

You might think these are the answer and for some of us they are. But you still have to bend and sometimes pull to get into them. I have a heel that juts out so I always have to yank on the back of any shoe to get it on, no matter how well it fits. There are long-handled shoehorns you can get. These are good. What about when they stretch out? You can’t tie them tighter. Then it’s new shoes or heavier socks time. And once my foot starts slipping around in a shoe, I am a major-league fall risk.

Dress Shoes

These are one of the banes of my existence. I LUV dress shoes, but my days of hoochie heels are long gone. When I was in high school in the 60s we used to say we wore sit-down shoes and a stand-up girdle. (Does anyone even know what a girdle is anymore?) If I wore some of those shoes now, I’d be in a full-body cast within 5 minutes, maybe sooner. Try finding dressier flats. They’re out there, but it’s difficult. If you can wear a low wedge, you have a few more options. And if you still CAN wear hoochie heels, you go girl!!!! I won’t tell you what we used to call those in high school as it’s vulgar, but it had to do with Joan Crawford. 😉

Are There Solutions?

I’m not so sure about solutions, but there are some things to help. The aforementioned long-handled shoe horn is one of them if your feet give you trouble about going into shoes.

Shoe stretchers are still available (try the Vermont Country Store or a high-end shoe store) and can help ease shoes which may still fit but tightly so. I’ve also seen sprays that can stretch your shoes and boots.

There are slip-on shoes that look like tie shoes and you can simply step in from a standing position. Witchcraft!!!! LOLOL They’re not cheap, but they’re out there. The one I see all over is the Kizik brand.

Lastly, take some care in choosing your shoes. I understand how tight money can be, but shoes are NOT the place to scrimp once you’re up there in years. And me, the one who likes everything to match and be fashionable, hates telling you this, but black sneakers are just as appropriate as black heels for most things. And a helluva lot more secure. I use a pair of black ballet flats. If it’s really fancy I hook on a pair of rhinestone shoe clips from the 1920s, a prized possession from my beloved Grandmom.

Your feet carry you around and, trust me, it hurts when they tell you to go perform an anatomical impossibility and drop you on your arse. Please don’t ask me how I know. . .

(FULL DISCLOSURE: The brands mentioned here are for you to investigate. I am NOT connected with any of these companies and make nothing from telling you about them. Damn!!!!)

Let’s Take a Trip in the Wayback Machine 😉

Nov 102021
 

Are you getting up there? I am. And things are getting more difficult by the day. Now I am NOT complaining as I was supposed to be long dead by now, yet here I am writing to you. But everyday living can be challenging to those of an age. Here are some aging tips to help you through those challenges.

Put Your Pants On Sitting Down

Take it from someone who has had a lot of falls, in and out of pants, this is good advice. I yearn for the days when I could just hold those pants anywhere, jump into them, zip up and go. As they say. . . that was then, this is now. Ain’t happenin’, hon. So. . . now I sit down. Mortifying to a degree? Oh yeah. Safe? Oh yeah. If I can’t sit down, I lean against something. This has worked 90% of the time, but the sitting is better. If you don’t believe me, hit me up after you hit the floor.

The Bane Of Every Senior’s Life – Passwords

Who else is gonna die because they can’t remember a damn password? I used to use the same ones and then was cautioned NOT to do this because of crafty and evil hackers who were just dying to get their hands on my $44 bank balance. So I diversified. A little TOO much. Eventually, they all migrated to one, heavily-passworded place. So for years I happily looked them up, remembered both the user name AND password and went on my merry way.

Once again, that was then and this is now. I can barely remember one of them!!!! So. . . what I do now is remember the user name. But before I leave my sheet, I COPY the password so I can just paste it into the sign-in screen. VOILA!!!! Works like a charm. You don’t have to have the big library of passwords like me. If you know it but that knowing might not make it to the sign-in screen, just type it into a blank FB message or word processing doc. Copy THAT into the sign-in screen. BAM, you’ve got this!!!! (Then make sure you delete it and don’t post it. 🙂 )

Why the Hell Did I Walk In Here?

I can have something firmly in my mind and by the time I make the 20 steps into the kitchen. . . POOF!!!! GONE!!!! And I mean totally gone, man, as we said back in the day. So what have I learned to do? SAY IT OUT LOUD. Say I want to go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. As I begin my journey I will say COFFEE. . . over and over and over till I get there. If I’m going to the porch to get a package, it’s PACKAGE over and over again.

This works for a lot of things. SPEAK IT OUT LOUD. It will cement it in your mind (hopefully, the cement is not yet expired 😉 ) until you reach your goal. Experts say hearing is it different than just thinking it. I’ll just say it works most of the time. But that’s better than none of the time.

Got your own great tips? My ears are open. Put them in a comment. Maybe I can remember them by the time I need them. Maybe not. It’s a bit of a coin toss these days. Now where’s that damn coin?