Getting old disgracefully! 20



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I often wonder at the way some senior citizens seem to make a conscious effort to look their age. Ladies wear twin sets in muted colours or floral ‘frocks’, and have their hair permed into tight waves, clinging to their heads like a scared rabbit, while the men put on grey cardigans, and baggy trousers sporting a waistline somewhere just under their armpits. They unfailingly lead very careful lives, unwilling to draw attention to themselves and they ‘don’t want to get involved’ if anything untoward happens, which might disrupt their existence.


Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 4.46.39 PMNow don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing anyone who wants to live and act in this way. We all have an unalienable right to live our lives in any way we want, and while the above word picture may not be my idea of a fun way to live a life – I have no doubt those people would also look on me as some sort of rebel who should grow up and ‘act my age’; we all live our lives in our own way.

It’s just that to me, despite being seventy eight, I know there is still so much going on out there in the big, wide world! There’s nothing worse, as far as I’m concerned, than sitting at home watching awful programs on the TV, slowly sinking into oblivion, when I can still use my legs and my brain. Waiting for me, not too far from home, are people to chat to and have a joke with, (there’s nothing like laughter to keep you young!), shops to wander around, even if I don’t wish to buy anything and parks where I can stroll with my wife and enjoy the antics of young children having a great time with their parents, or just admiring the flowers.

Rather than dressing according to my age, as I’ve described above, I prefer to dress according to the conditions and the fashions. You admittedly have to take a little care here; there’s nothing quite so hilarious as a hundred and forty kilogram bloke with a bald head, wandering about in Bermuda shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and black socks inside a pair of sandals! But a man can certainly look nice in pale stone coloured slacks and a smart white sports shirt, plus sandals without socks, even if he is a little overweight!

And the same goes for the ladies – I know, as a mere male, but having a beautiful wife – that there is an enormous range of really great clothing for the older person, fashionable without being ostentatious and in colours to suit anyone. These days, designers are working actively on clothing for the more senior members of society – they’re quite aware of the fact that there are more and more on us these days!

A great deal of money doesn’t need to be spent either, in order to maintain contact with the world around us. Few of us have a lot of money to throw around, but we can still go out for a decent meal in a pub bistro, (more generous in portion size and cheaper in price than a restaurant). We can get cut price seats in cinemas too, as well as at many other venues, and don’t forget all those clubs and classes waiting for you to come along and join in. You can learn how to use that computer your son bought you, you can discover the secrets of quilt making, play bridge, learn a new language if the fancy takes you, or join with others in an afternoon painting the view you photographed from your bedroom window!

The sky is the limit when it comes to looking for ways to occupy your most valuable asset – your mind. Keep that active and the rest will follow suit, after all, it’s your mind that controls everything you do – you know what they say,” the mind is stronger than the body”, one of the few clichés that really is true!

image: flickr: ancient history

Brian Lee

  1. Well written Brian and pertinent as well. As an active 76 year old I like to dress with class , (not flamboyantly) to suit the occasion. Blokes with huge beer guts wearing shorts , singlets and thongs attending gatherings is not class. Nor are 60+ women dressing and behaving like teenagers classy. Age lends a certain amount of dignity which many people confuse with dowdiness,. By all means get out, dress smartly and live the life you have earned but when older people still try to emmulate their 20 something counter parts they just look pathetic. We are not as athletic or as athletic looking as we were when we were young but we are still alive and still capable.

  2. A great article…I an a 66 year old and I so agree with your sentiments Rob. I have always chosen to dress with style and see no reason for that o change in my maturity.
    As Coco Chanel ( I think she was an amazing woman) Dress shabbily and they remember the dress… dress impeccably and they remember the woman.
    I think that sums it up! Cheers Di

    1 REPLY
    • Agree Di, and love the classics like Coco, even today there are fashions like that. Still stunning.

  3. Great article. I think we’re the first older group to wear jeans still. my mother and mother-in-law wore stockings and low heels to do their housework (and suitable ‘frocks’). We have the the option of being classily casual or stylishly elegant for the occasion.

  4. In my 60’s, don’t even go into the shops that sell the old lady stuff.

    1 REPLY
    • me neither Merilyn – I just think of MY gran! even if I am a gran to a 24yr old 🙂

  5. I agree wholeheartedly! As a “nearly 64” year old, I believe I dress fashionably but not “mutton dressed as lamb”. No crimpaline slacks or Osti frocks (remember those?) in my wardrobe thank you. Also I don’t sit at home all day and veg…but am living life to the full. There are things to do, places to go and people to spend time with who really need a friend. Regardless of your physical condition…it can only improve with outside stimulation. I have found that helping others helps me.

  6. Could not agree more Brian I have gone to Uni and believe me money is tight but this is something I always wanted to do. I dress according to my taste and if people dont like it too bad. It is who I am I get great comments from the kids at Uni. No short or permed or cloured hair my hair is in a nice page boy bob suits me and easy to manage. No make up cause it gets too hot here. I love life and have a good time Dress as you feel live love and enjoy life

  7. I’m 77 I play badminton learned to use the iPad play mahjong love to go out and about and I still wear jeans

  8. Already old, already disgraceful, and intending to be anything but invisible!

    2 REPLY
    • Totally agree Alison, we are dead far too long to waste any time.

  9. Too true, time to spruce up and look years younger. Get out and exercise and really enjoy life

  10. I’ve just come back from the hairdressers, cut and colour and feel years younger than 70
    now going to sew a full circle black and white spot skirt (yep remember them?) for a 1950-70’s dance at the weekend – with the red tulle underskirt of course 🙂

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