Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Plan for AWESOMENESS into Old Age

“Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”
                                                ― Gloria Steinem

Thing 1, Thing 2 and I on a Great Adventure
One of my favorite things EVER is the Red Hat Society.  If you've ever seen a group of women tromping around wearing bright red hats and flowing purple dresses and pantsuits, then you've seen the Red Hat Society.  There is nothing I love more than women getting together and living out loud without regard to what other people might think.   Years ago, my former mother-in-law (a study in awesomeness herself) gave me a poem entitled "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, which hangs in my bedroom today. The Red Hat Society was started based on the lines of the poem.

by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

I completely buy in to everything in the above poem.  I am all about it and, truth be told, often live my life that way even now.  I doubt that anyone I know would be shocked if they found in me in my slippers in the rain picking flowers from other people's gardens while spitting.

This morning, I was doing something I love: singing in the church choir.  We arrive early in the morning and do a long rehearsal and then go down to the choir room to have coffee and snacks before the first service.  I don't know how we got into it, but the altos in the group started talking about aging.  I informed them of the plan I devised a long time ago.  When I'm 75, I intend to start smoking, drinking and tanning to excess.  At that point, I figure I've got so little time left, I might as well pack everything that's bad for me into the last few years.  I think I talked a few of the other altos into adopting the idea as their own.

Unlike other things (like spitting and wearing red hats and hoarding pens and pencils), I WILL have to wait on the drinking, smoking and tanning because all of those things could actually kill me and it would be totally irresponsible to abandon my children prior to their adulthood.   For now, I'll concentrate on the things I love and enjoy that make me nothing more than an adult kid:  riding on carousels, singing out loud on my walks with Sparky, dancing alone in my living room and jumping on the beds with my kids.

But, if you run into me in about 30+ years, do not be surprised by my raspy voice, leathery skin and slightly unsteady stance.  I'll be livin' large by then.

Do you have a plan for aging?  You can tell me...

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  1. Love it, as usual, Kelly!

    My 80th birthday present to myself is going to be a cast-iron 1972 Chevy truck fitted with a snow plow. I will then proceed to right a few wrongs in the world. For example: people who insist on driving slowly in the left-hand lane will be ushered to the shoulder by my truck.

    Others who think they are important enough to park parallel to the lines in the parking lot will find that they have been T-boned by a large Chevy truck.

    I figure that if I live that long, they won't let me drive much longer, so I need to get to rectifyin' while the rectifyin' is good. With the state of our legal system currently, I would imagine that it would take at least 5 to 10 years before my cases come to trial, at which point, I will likely no longer be among the quick.

    Perhaps I can come fix some things in Guilford County before they put me in the Wake County looney bin!

    1. Matt, your truck is welcome in my neighborhood ANY time! As a matter of fact, if you need a leathery-skinned, smokin', drinkin' passenger, I would be HAPPY to point out anyone who needs ramming by a 1972 cast-iron Chevy truck.