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.
From “Warning” (1961) by Jenny Joseph
Well – as part of our ZerotoHero challenges Number 4 was find four new topics to follow and this really challenged me as I find I don’t know how to search for new topics! I have struggled to find topics that interest me in the past – and especially in one area – that of ageing as a woman with feminist tendencies – and beliefs! I looked and found a few blogs that had the ageing woman topic, but they weren’t consistently about age – mostly they were about crafting or cooking and or even they blogged only once or twice and then the topic dried up. So the suggestion was, if you can’t find the topic you are looking for, then write about it. So here goes!
Now I am a Red Hatter. Not that I belong to the society yet – see the poem above for what inspired the society. The society says about itself:
The Red Hat Society has become the international society dedicated to reshaping the way women are viewed in today’s culture RHS supports and encourages women to pursue fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment of lifelong dreams and fitness.
And I can chime with that…
I am not a Pink Hatter – long past that and that bothers me – every birthday brings me a little closer to that real sign of old age – the 70th birthday! up until then, you can claim to be a young 60 or even pretend to be less than 60… but 70 oh dear!.
With 70 comes not only the pension but the health issues that you are now assumed to have – Ok I already have them but… and can you really follow fashion? don’t you have to wear Fashion for the Older Woman? As I sit and type in my leggings and short tunic – as my daughter says, weekend wear is all about leggings and warm long floppy jumpers – when I am 70, am I too old to wear them? I have gel nails – much admired when they are green or as at Xmas with one very sparkly Rock Star nail – how old must I be before i have to give them up?
I know the high heels went a long time ago – arthritis in the knees – but where are the lace-ups I can shock with? I have purple and green and flower-patterned – but they are hard to find…
I have the stick and already sit down everywhere I can – a bad back you know – not the pavement as I can’t get up again – oh dear… but the sticks are gaily patterned and I am looking out for where I can buy the purple ones I have seen around..
Samples I don’t gobble – I need to lose weight – but I do wear the gloves – leather though and in every colour I can find – with lovely long scarves of all patterns…
But was I a sober youth? Perhaps I was – but I was trying – my hair was long and I wore Cleopatra styled eyeliner; I walked barefoot in London (very dirty pavements..); I wore long skirts or very short shorts (hot pants we called them) – yes we wore them first! I wore tights in all colours – my statistics tutor at university refused to start the class until he knew what colour I was wearing that day – lime green, yellow, purple or red?
I wasn’t good with alcohol – it made me dizzy or sick and as for drugs – not in my circle – or at least not much – the odd cookie was enhanced but nothing hard or for long… didn’t feel the need to be more bouncy than I was!
So how do I make myself younger? Or less old? Is it just a feeling that I can promote?
I have just been watching a TV programme about how not to get old – they are exploring all sorts of options from surgery to make-up to injections to… Now I am certainly not going to opt for more surgery – I have enough already for my ailments – at least two surgeries in the next 12 months and an injection of steroids coming on Monday next week…
So what else can I do? Well I can dye my hair. I already do, although I stopped the full head dye some time ago as the white – yes not grey – came through after too short a time, so I have streaks of blonde in varying shades put into the grey and it looks natural enough that when I was in China the locals thought I was naturally blonde – just ageing!
Then there is the make-up. I always wear a primer/base coat of which there are lots on the market now to even out the colour and texture – and you can conceal the age spots to some extent. The lines – well I don’t have too many but I try with serum and filler to ‘improve’ them, but as I have to put drops in my eyes on a regular basis I rarely wear eye makeup. the programme showed some ways to shade the face etc but the end result looked like heavy make-up to me and certainly not for daytime use.
I try and have a facial every few months as I think that helps, but there is little else one can do without going down the invalidism or semi-invasive treatment route which I am very reluctant to do.
So all I see is left for me is to wear the Red Hat and the purple dress – gloves, shoes, scarf and so on and be proud of ageing – one good thing I always say is that I don’t mind being thought eccentric now as I am less concerned with what people think – and quite like the idea of being somewhat outrageous again!
What about you? Will you wear a Red Hat with me? Ps, I changed my blog appearance just so I could have a Red Hat for this post! What do you think?