Hello! I’m still here! I’m not sure if you also feel this way but the older I get, the more I fade into the background.
When I was in my 20s, where ever I went I would be noticed. I wasn’t a vision of a model that took over the world but at least I knew that people knew I was around.
Now that I’ve gone past my 60s, I’m starting to realise that this is probably the age where people don’t really notice you anymore.
I could enter a supermarket and no one would take a second glance at me, if I was even planning to take over the store nobody would even see it coming because who would even care to look at an old woman like me?
Let’s not forget the shops, they all don’t care about me anymore. I can’t find any decent clothes for my age that doesn’t look like a depressing piece of rag. Why in the world is everything brown, grey and beige? Why?
The businesses only see my as the next step to dying. If you don’t believe me, check out the ads that come on when the younger people go to work – funeral ads and ugly clothes for “old” people. Good grief.
Well, I may be 60 but I am still me. I still love the same colours, still love my yoga and the same restaurants that I did 10 years ago. I am still that passionate and fun person to be with.
I may have weathered “packaging” but the contents inside me is just the same.
Why is it that as soon as I hit a certain age, the tune of the song changes?
The years that I have spent on earth has not drained me of my spirit, in fact, it has enriched my life, making me better each day. I just hope the world realises that over-60s are more special that they think. I can be upset that I’m becoming invisible or I can rejoice in the fact that there are a lot of perks of being invisible. I loved this list of ‘Reasons to Enjoy Being an Old, Invisible Woman’ by Kristine Holmgren:
1. The freedom to stare
When you’re old and invisible, no one cares if you stare.
When I was young, people noticed what I noticed and paid attention to the things that caught my attention.
No more. Being old and invisible gives me the license to leer.
This is a good thing.
The more I leer, the more I learn.
Invisible, I am free. I sit in coffee shops and watch parents struggle with irritable toddlers and young lovers squabble.
All of this becomes fodder for my playwriting, my essays.
2. The freedom to interfere
When you’re a young woman, your opinions are discarded if your hair is dirty or your shoes are out of date.
If you don’t agree, consider what the media did to young Hillary when she wore a headband, or what it does today to Britney when she gains weight.
Consider how we love the post-partum Princess of Wales because of her beauty.
Younger women are held to high standards of physical attraction. That’s not the case when women age. Overnight we fade into the wallpaper. We’re invisible.
You don’t see us coming when we drop-kick our compassion all over you.
Example: When I was a young mother, a trip to Wal-Mart at 4 p.m. meant watching children throw ugly toddler tantrums and listening to their mothers scream. Many times, the mothers behaved worse than their children.
Even so, I never interfered. I was young, but I wasn’t stupid. My opinions would be rejected — and I knew it.
Now, as an old, invisible woman, I interfere all the time.
“It’s hard to be a little girl,” I say to the child as I help her to her feet and pass her a peeled banana.
“I think both you and your little kiddo could use a nutritious snack and a nice, long nap,” I offer the mother.
Interrupting bad behavior is an old woman’s secret approach to making the world a better place for younger women.
And so far, my meddling has never, ever been rejected.
Every time I interfere — every single time — someone thanks me.
3. The freedom to fight back
When we are young, the well-being of our families is directly dependent upon our ability to get along with others (mostly men).
Women are trained from early childhood to yield to forces that control our lives.
At work, we are seldom brave; we seldom break rank or challenge the people (mostly men) who treat us poorly.
At home, we cooperate with our husbands to keep our families harmonious. We ask little and expect less. We build up everyone around us and hope that our families become stronger because of our hard work.
And so it happens that most of our young lives are devoted to pleasing people (mostly men).
Then, we grow old.
Words by Maureen Wickman.