Hello, I’m over-60 but I still exist! 13



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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.

Could you relate with Maureen?

Words by Maureen Wickman.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yeah I’m knock on at the sixty door but I’ve had to make myself pull my pants up and do things I enjoy I will always love and am willin to try new things I think that I look old but what the hell just got to embrace it

  2. Maureen if you can,t find clothes to suit you are shopping in the wrong place or you have weird taste, no matter where I shop I get great service as I greet and engage with the sales person.Maybe you need to have a good look at yourself, life is like an echo, what you put out there ,comes back. There is no need for drab colours as this season the stores are full of bright clothes, so get out of your “funk” get some colour in your life and stop whinging.

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    • stupid put down. Unqualified to judge how she puts out there.

  3. Yes, this is very accurate. The clothes bit I don’t care about because I get what I like from where I like. But yes, people do not notice you as you get older, not family or friends but the public. If conversations are going on, young people are listened to more than older women. Yes I still get listened to but I have to get stroppy for people to notice. It is all part of the youth worshiping culture we live in.
    The biggest “compliment ” you can give some one is how young they look.
    And if anything goes wrong listen to the language” don’t be a nana, don’t be an old woman, old wives tales ” etc etc.

  4. I dont agree with the story.I am 72 and have become widowed and moved and am in my own Unit.I buy my clothes from Katies and Millers and consider myself still young at heart and love the colours and patterns of my tops and plain coloured pants.I wear gold coloured jewellery which accents my grey hair and changed my makeup colours and lip and eyeshadow colours.You are what you are make the most of it look at Helen Mrran stop thinking old.

  5. This certainly hasn’t been my experience. I felt invisible when I was young because of low self esteem but at 75 I feel the best that I have ever felt and don’t buy into being invisible at all.

  6. Yes I do agree.. Can’t find nice clothes!!!, and I walk into a hardware shop and need help, no one will come to your aide…. Or they say can you get someone to do it for you…?
    Even when I want to buy tv etc., will go to young people first, like I am invisible ang can’t afford it….
    We are at the stage in life that we are comfortable, and know if we can pay for something?
    Another thing is calling me dear, “are you right Dear” as they are talking down to you…

  7. It can get worse once you reach 70! But it does come with a feeling of comfort too, and young children are more inclined to listen to a kindly grey-haired lady (which I’m not apart – from the grey hair). I still dress in bright colours and find they really look good with grey/white hair. I do enjoy being able to speak my mind, too -but with a smile. But I do get annoyed being invisible in shopping malls, as they younger ones just step in front of me without so much as a ‘excuse me’ and if I stand back to let someone pass ahead of me, they just don’t see me. So I usually say very loudly ‘thanks so much, have a nice day’ – even then they don’t hear me, but I feel better. But hey, we know we’re okay and have lived and worked through hard times and still come out with our head up high, a spring in our step and a smile on our face. Their day will come, lol

  8. I’m over 70, but I certainly don’t feel invisible. Engage with people, particularly young people – they love it! I always use the name of the person serving me in shops – I had one young man thrust two handfuls of swap cards at me saying “You’re the only customer I have a decent conversation with”. Smile at people in shopping malls – they wonder if they know you, but usually smile back (this embarrasses my Grandchildren no end). Read the press and watch the news, then you can join in any conversation and know what you’re talking about! Be funny, DON’T grumble, then people will seek you out for a chat. Wear red or cobalt blue, or bright pink – stand out in the crowd!

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  9. I keep hearing this story line and I just don’t buy it. There are lots of fabulous clothes around for women of every age. I suspect that women who find themselves to be invisible are those who consider themselves old before their time. I have had wonderful service from younger women in many clothing stores to say nothing of the young staff in places like JB HiFi.

  10. Maureen I have to agree with you. There is not a lot of choice when buying clothes if your over sixty and you shop at Target, Millers , Big W or K Mart . Unfortunately the clothes in these stores are mass produced and more often than not resemble tents and lack colour. At 64 I consider myself to have a few good years left. I would like to go out feeling like I look ok. Recently I was gifted some beautiful clothing. I could never buy these clothes, so I really appreciate my friend sharing her wardrobe with me. So this summer when I step out I will be feeling a million dollars. Hopefully by next summer my go to shops will stock something other than black grey and navy. Cheers

  11. I agree with all of what you’ve written, all so true, but if you think it’s bad at 60, wait till you’re 75, it’s worse. There are many advantages though. If you play the vague old lady, it’s amazing how much help you get, and how kind people are. My health is bad and but I’m still as sharp as a tack.

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