My personal idea of hell takes place in a dressing room fitted with bright lights and mirrors….and me undressing.
Under the best of circumstances, trying on clothes is stressful. Add to that the massive effort of wanting to look just right for all the coming family pictures, and we have a recipe for needing therapy some time soon.
Trudging through the aisles of fabrics for hours, adjusting and re-adjusting my self-image to fit the outfits and realizing that my purse keeps falling off my shoulders because my youthful shoulders have disappeared. The ordeal of the search just about makes me want to stay home and not attend the wedding.
(Does the happy couple really need me that much????….)
Oh, of course I’ll be there. I just won’t be looking forward to seeing the photographic proof. All those candid shots of “the happy family”…caught from the side or with my mouth open. Do wedding photographers have no shame??? Do they think people of a certain age and uncertain pride don’t care how they look?
It’s modern society’s fault after all.
In my grandmother’s day, you were old at 50. You could give up the struggle. You could wear all those formless, loose dresses. You know, the ones with lace at the collar, and sleeves long enough to cover your arms. You could wear (God forbid) comfortable shoes. After all, no one expected an old person to wear stylish shoes then….or stylish anything, for that matter.
In this 21st century of all-seeing, all-showing spectacle, the best I can hope for is a stylish car that makes me feel momentarily sporty. Maybe buy a stylish purse? Hat? At least my shoes mostly fit the same as they used to, only larger and with much lower heels.
Today, women of 70 or even 80 often dress like their granddaughters. Mini-skirts, no hose, skimpy sweaters, long hair….. Wait. Is there anything wrong with that?
One of our sons reported recently that he had been reading the local obituaries and saw a photograph of a beautiful young woman. Reading further, he saw she was born in 1915. What he found so funny was that the family had chosen to publish a photograph of a person the nursing home employees wouldn’t recognize. How dare they use that photo? She was OLD!! She should be remembered as OLD!!!
My question is, Why? Why do we have to “get over it?” Do young people think old people were ALWAYS old?
Certainly I’m not the first to have pondered this question. Can we not just relax into old age? Should we?
And yet . . . I’m not relaxed. Soon, maybe, just not right now. I am finding it increasingly difficult to give up wanting to like the way the person in the mirror looks. So…the dressing room wars will continue until I find clothes that make me look a bit like her.
That is….until I see the photos.
© Dianne West Short – 2011-2016 All rights reserved.