I Officially and Publicly Got Old Today

MarilynDavisatTIERSStarred Page By MarilynDavisatTIERS, 15th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

“I'm pretty sure that eating chocolate keeps wrinkles away because I have never seen a 10 year old with a Hershey bar and crow’s feet.”
― Amy Neftzger

Eating Chocolate Will Not Help

I passed by a mirror this morning and realized how much I have aged in the past two years.

The wrinkles, the frown lines, the thinning eyebrows and lips all add up to aging. In addition, not even one of these remotely fits the description of graceful.

“I’m now an old woman,
And nature is cruel,
‘Tis jest to make old age,
Look like a fool. – Phyllis McCormack

I want the Wicked Step Mother’s mirror.

The Little Girl – Wanting to Grow Up

I remember being fascinated with my older cousin’s clothes. Since they were ten to fifteen years older than I was, they were teenagers in the ‘fifties, wearing Poodle skirts, ponytails, and those black and white saddle shoes and socks.

I would search my grandmother’s closet and try to find a similar color, as she did not own a pair of saddle shoes, or a Poodle skirt. I wondered why she did not have the latest fashion herself since she sewed many of my cousin's clothes.

So, I would have to settle for her too long dresses, don a floppy hat with flowers, and layer multiple pieces of jewelry and long for the day when I would be older and a grown-up and I could wear fashionable clothes.

From Fake Flowers to Fresh Ones

Then when I became a teenager, I entered the the era of the hippie; no more poodles and ponytails. I moved from fake flowers from my grandmother’s hats to real ones for my hair.

The band was off the ponytail and free flowing locks prevailed. I see a glimmer of my past in my granddaughters with their bohemian attire with hair down to their waists and I reflect.

We Should Have Been More Mindful

We adopted looks from exotic places, mixing patterns and colors and flowing long dresses. Were these outerwear looks simply a reflection perhaps of the colors swirling in our minds with the aid of artificial stimulus?

We brought back looks from bygone eras, all Renaissance and Raphael and Rapunzel.

Not all those big sleeves looks needed resurrecting; nevertheless, we extended the concept to our wedding dress sleeves for God’s sake.

What were we thinking, or were the designers just a bunch of misogynists.

Children Of My Own

I still cannot fathom why a swollen abdomen is sexy if pregnant, but repugnant if not.

My generation readopted the empire look. Perhaps it worked for queens of a certain era; satins, brocades, velvets with binding under the breasts to enhance them, maybe, that was a fashion statement.

However, for a pregnant look, the plaids resembled a table cloth sized to fit any queen's banquet table.

It did nothing for us.

Power Dressing Our Way To The Glass Ceiling

Betty Friedan, in the beginning of her book described the “Problem That Has No Name”:"The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — 'Is this all?"

We would not be nor in some cases, could we be the stay-at-home mother. We entered the work force; dressed in our suits, only slightly modified from our male counter-parts.

It did not matter that we had to make the coffee; we were part of a team. I remember getting a promotion from receiving teller to note teller. I was the first woman to have this title. About three months into this job, the head of human resources came to me and asked if we could have coffee.

She was reviewing files and noticed that each of the women promoted to department heads within the last six months made approximately $2500 per year less than the man who had held the position previously.

Public attention for the inequality came when The Willmar 8; eight female employees of the Citizens National Bank in Willmar, Minnesota, USA who went on strike on December 16, 1977 over charges of sex discrimination. The tellers and bookkeepers were protesting unequal pay and unequal opportunities for advancement

We’ll Suit Up; However, It Will Be a Color Of Our Choosing

When I went to my boss to tell him what I knew, his response was that the man made more because, “He is the head of his family.”

I had to remind him that the two children, who lived with me, minus the dad due to divorce, were humans, not dolls and I legally constituted a head of a household for IRS purposes.

I got the raise.

Power In Pastels

We did not drop the suit look, but we modified the colors. Then an interesting thing happened; men started wearing something other than black, navy blue or conservative pin stripes.

John Travolta wanna-be’s sprung up even in the conservative world of banking.

I had my first post-divorce date with a man in a pink suit.

Enter The 80's

The 1980s kept the color but added the t-shirt. Miami Vice brought a new trend – facial stubble, no longer the look of a three-day bender, but purposefully cultivated.

We women could choose from the Joan Collins padded-football player look, Madonna in her “Street Urchin” look – leggings, lingerie as outerwear, lots of religious iconic jewelry and big hair, usually untidy, or as my mother referred to it, “the rat’s nest”.

There was generally an excessive amount of mousse used in styling an individual's hair, so we got volume, shine and in some cases, glitter.

Valley Girls, Preppy, And Track Suits

I never succumbed to these trends. I looked ridiculous in a headband as a child and did not think that a woman in her thirties would look any better.

I do not like pink and green together except in plants, so the trend of mixing those colors or opting for a yacht look were not my style, either.

Moreover, track suits. I ran track; we had sweat pants.

1988: The Year Of Many Changes - Not All Of Them Fashionable

I got into recovery this year and was working at a college. Style was not a consideration except to students on campus. Staying in recovery was my primary focus, not fashion. I could go to a recovery support meeting in my business suit or my jeans.

Some days when I reflect back on my grandmother and mother's choice of clothing, I remember thinking, “Why do they always make clothes that just simply fit? Why don't they make something that is fashionable? They have the ability to sew anything, yet they just seem to just make everything the same, a shift of a different color is not new clothing.”

I know why today. Fashion is not a priority or a main concern. Covering is.

Back In Grandma's Closet Only Now It's My Own

Nick Nolte has a point in wearing pajamas to most events.

I find that I wear loose fitting, long dresses - a lot. I wear shoes that cover my feet and are comfortable. Oh sure, I add interesting jewelry as a nod to fashion.

The shoes, well, they are colorful as well, but that is just another nod, not a necessity.

In many ways, I am back to the little girl wearing too big clothes, with a vastly different motive.

It is not so much that I want to get older now; I am there, just as the little girls is inside, curious about each new day and the changes that it will bring.

• Maybe I will leave the regular mirrors to the younger generation.
• Maybe I will forgo wanting the Wicked Step Mother’s mirror.

Maybe I will look within rather than into a mirror; finding beauty, grace and contentment today.

Tags

Comfortable Clothes, Comfortable In Our Own Skin, Giving Up Illusions, Growing Old Gracefully, Growing Older, Nod To Fashion

Meet the author

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
A Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, with 25 years of abstinence-based recovery. I write about addictions, recovery, life lessons and general writing tips.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
15th Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you, Peter.

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author avatar Retired
18th Sep 2013 (#)

That is a very interesting progression of your life that you have painted... :-)... Thanks for the lovely article!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
18th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi, Savio. I tend to reflect each year around my birthday, September 18th.I am now 66, so that qualifies for all the name we have for "old" - senior, retiree, aging boomer. It is just a number in many respects, but that does mean that there have been several changes and I think more changes in fashion for women than men. That pink suit look, well you just don't see that much any more - thank goodness. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Denise Salmon
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Interesting post

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi, Denise thanks for the comment. Turning 66 this Wednesday, I was in a fondly nostalgic mood today. Life is good.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
16th Sep 2013 (#)


good on you Marilyn saying it like it is...well done

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi, Carolina. It is factual - chocolates do not help, but they certainly can't harm. Clothes become less of a fashion statement and simply a necessity, and getting older is better than its alternative in many ways. I'm smiling as I write, so not being maudlin. Glad you liked it. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
16th Sep 2013 (#)

You deserved a star for this well written and at times humorous post dear Marilyn .
I enjoyed it enormously .
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi, Stella. Thank you for the compliment. Glad the humor touched you, too.

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author avatar Retired
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Loved this post! And yes, chocolate really does not help.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi, Carol. Okay, we agree on the chocolate - darn.

Glad you like the post. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Trillionaire
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Interesting (lol) very interesting.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
17th Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you, Trillionaire. Interesting I hope beats our boring.....~Marilyn

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author avatar Connie McKinney
19th Sep 2013 (#)

Happy birthday, Marilyn. I enjoyed this one. Good work.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
19th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Connie. I enjoyed writing it, too. ~Marilyn

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