During my 40-odd years in the corporate world, I would periodically set goals for my professional and personal life. This helped me focus and move forward instead of just rolling along with the status quo. Now that I’m a 66-year-old retired Boomer Broad, setting goals requires a different set of metrics. Instead of “Be promoted to Vice-President by age 42” or “Have mortgage paid off by age 50”, my challenges now include things like “figure out how to make money last until I can no longer count to 10” or “Send Tim Horton’s a fan letter about their steeped tea.” Today’s goals include “Get oil changed” and “Do nails”.
Coming from a family with a history of long life-spans, I figure I’m good for another 30 years which means almost one-third of my entire life is still ahead of me. So a plan to make best use of those years is now in the making. Part 1 of my plan includes presentation. How am I going to present my shrinking, wrinkling, creaking old body to the world? The way I look at it, I see three possible choices.
1. The first one is the path of least resistance. If I take this route, I’ll be wearing beige polyester pants with an elastic waist and white 50/50 cotton blend granny pants underneath, print blouses in subdued floral patterns and pilled cardigans with a snotty kleenex up the sleeve. My shoes will be Soft-Moc slip-ons in black or beige with thin white ankle socks or beige knee-highs with reinforced toes for extra mileage. My hair will be au naturel and softly permed every three months. Wardrobe staples will include pink and blue sweatshirts with teddy bears or strawberries embroidered around the neckline. I’ll have a running account at Alison Daley or Tan-Jay. Easy-peasy stress-free dressing.
2. The second option is the #Iris Apfel one. She’s the 92-year-old New Yorker regularly featured in #Vogue in huge black-framed glasses, enormous brightly-coloured jewellery and clothing that looks like it was lifted from the costume rack of the Metropolitan Opera. I absolutely love her look and admire her lady-balls but I’m not sure I could pull it off. Much as I’d like to try I’d end up looking like I’m wearing a Halloween costume.
3. I think my chosen path is somewhere in between and toward that end I’ve recently purchased a pair of biker boots that I adore. When I wear those boots with black skinny pants, a black jacket and my red and black animal print scarf I feel absolutely invincible. I also bought an Alexander McQueen silver skull pendant to wear over black sweaters or white blouses with skinny jeans. I have to make up for those conservative years in my 20s when I should have been dressing more provocatively and showing off the firm thin body I naively thought I’d have forever.
As I get older and less tolerant of life’s bumps in the road, I’m becoming more resolved to be true to myself. I no longer worry what other people think of me and that carries over to what I wear and what I say or do. Without hurting anyone, I intend to concentrate on enjoying every day on my own terms.
Which brings me to another of my favourite things. If you notice someone sweeping past you on the street in a suffocating haze of floral perfume, that’ll be me. Too bad if you have allergies. I have a weakness for pretty fragrances in pretty bottles. They say that as we age our olfactory senses diminish so I figure more generous splashings will be needed so I can fully enjoy my juice du jour. When people are falling down on the street from asphyxiation in my wake, I’ll hobble happily along in my biker boots to meet my bitch posse for afternoon tea and trashing-talking current fashion.
When Rita McNeil passed away she requested that her ashes be buried in a teapot – or two if necessary. Don’t ‘ya just love that. As a serious tea drinker myself I thought that sounded like a splendid idea. Then a friend suggested I should be buried in my favourite Louis Vuitton purse that #EllisDon gave me when I retired. That’s an even more splendid idea as the one thing I love more than tea is purses. That’s almost worth looking forward to.