I’ve already started planning my personal style guide for life’s next chapter. According to Wikipedia, the term "senior citizen" is a polite way of describing an elderly person, whom it defines as 65 years old and up. That’s still a little way off for me, and the age will likely be moved even higher, as more and more baby boomers reach it. Still, I’m making a list of dos and don’ts now, rather than waiting, and risk that my perspective will be warped by delusion or denial.
I’m also writing everything down, so my kids will know if they should intervene. My guide to growing old tastefully is still a work-in-progress, but here’s what I have so far:
Dress my age. No matter how trim I hope to be, I won’t shop at Forever 21. An old adage advises, "If you wore it the first time around, you’re too old the second." Surely, that also means the third.
To fill or not to fill? I’m still undecided about Botox and fillers. On the one hand, is being filled really that different than getting your hair dyed? On the other, having someone poke needles in your face every few months is both expensive and creepy. But if I do, it’s so that I will look rested, not like a blowfish. People easily get carried away and wind up looking like they’ve had a bad reaction to Prednisone.
No talking poop. Regardless of how comfortable I continue to become in my own skin, I won’t share digestive and urinary-tract issues with casual acquaintances or the random stranger in line at Trader Joe's. Admittedly, back when I was a new mom, I talked up a storm about poop and pee, but not my own.
The volume used to speak in public also frequently increases with age. True, this has allowed me to enjoy the conversations of others, such as a recent one at Starbucks, where retired real estate agents discussed how they used to first schmooze the wife and kids when trying to sell a house. "They’re the ones with the real power," one said. Then, there was the time on the patio at Gelson’s, when a woman eating a Chinese chicken salad argued loudly with her husband, who was equally loud and, unbeknownst to him, on speaker phone.
Call me "Grandma." Not long ago, I read an article in the New York Times about how a lot of women think they’re too young and hip to be called “Grandma,” so they came up with cute alternatives like GlaMa. But given that I’m technically old enough to be my own kids’ grandma, that would just be silly. Besides, I want to be one.
That’s the payback for all these years, that rewarding time when my kids, as parents themselves, will tell me what a good job I did, and hopefully not that I’m dressed inappropriately or talking too loudly.