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W is for Women of a Certain Age

April 28, 2015

I’ve noticed for years now all the successful “Mommy” blogs—full of good advice and cute stories about things the kids did, often landing sponsors and lots of free samples—cereal, diapers, formula, Extra-Strength Advil.  What I want to see—or to create—is a blog for “Retired Mommies”—Baby Boomers who have paid our dues, successfully made it to or through menopause, who have gone gray gracefully or formed a cozy relationship with Lady Clairol.

After all, we’re a powerful demographic.  We shop for clothes, often keeping a range of three of four sizes in our closets to account for fluctuations.  We probably buy a hefty percentage of wine and chocolate.

We take vacations somewhere other than Disney World.  We like the beach—but not the crowded ones.  We can plant our beach chairs and umbrellas and spend the week with a stack of magazines and a couple of good books. We like the mountains too.  We like to stay in hotel rooms and to eat at good restaurants. We’ve done the fast-food things—especially if we’ve raised kids.  (Some of us still have petrified French fries under the seats of the car.)  We can cook, too, if we want to.  We’ve learned that it’s okay to vary from the original recipe.  In fact, if we found the written recipe to some of our favorite meals, we wouldn’t recognize them. We’ve changed them that much—using what we have so we don’t have to drive to the grocery story one more time.

We listen to all kinds of music, but we may not keep up with top forty—at least not this millennium’s top forty. We can “name that tune” in five seconds if you play the opening chords to something from the 70s.  We go to concerts, but not the ones where little middle school girls squeal.  We remember the Beatles. We know who deserves a good scream.  We are more likely to buy a CD than to download one because we know that cloud will go away when the next thing comes along. We still have our vinyl records—and the turntable to play them on.  We count ourselves as successful parents if our children share at least some of our musical tastes. (Mine do. Hallelujah.)

We love our grandchildren. We really love our grandchildren. But we’ve made several stipulations that must be followed upon our untimely demise: Do not put nicknames in my obituary.  I love it when the kiddos call me “Nana,” but not the Charlotte Observer.  I also have insisted they should not use a picture if: (a. it shows me with oxygen tubes coming out of my nostrils; (b. it has “First in Flight” superimposed over my face—surely there’s a better picture than my driver’s license shot; (c. no sideways hats—not likely—or shades; I also insist on no picture from the 80s.  Nobody looked good in 80s.  And no matter how gracefully I shuffle off this mortal coil, I don’t want anybody to have to read about my courageous fight with whatever takes me out.

I respect anyone else’s choice, but if they have to send me out laughing, let it be with me, not at me.

I think most women my age could give a lot of advice on relationships—but we know better.  With nearly thirty-eight years of marriage to one good man, I still hesitate to offer anyone generic platitudes.  I know it’s sometimes hard work, and it’s sometimes heaven, and it’s worth hanging in there, especially if you pick the right man.  But I’d not dare to presume I know some magic formula or Oprahesque top ten tips.

Most of us would love to have our twenty-year-old bodies back, but we’d like to keep our current brains, than you very much, and we wouldn’t give up the memories we’ve accumulated in the meantime. I think I’d even keep the smile lines.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 29, 2015 1:47 am

    Posts like this one, dear Cuz, are the reason that you are my favorite author! What a great piece!!

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