The Fuckeduptedness of Being “Old”

There!  I said it and in doing so made up a new word. “Fuckeduptedness”.  There’s no need to explain the word either.

It’s a time of reflection for me because in less than three months I’ll reach my 65th birthday.  It’s a weird age, it is—because it signifies the true entryway to Senior Citizenship. When you are between the ages of 60 through 64, it still sounds a bit young.  65 is that magic age. Smack between the early sixties and…seventy!

Bitmoji Image

I may be getting older but I know how to rock!

And other than the usual neurotic thinking such as in 65 years from now I won’t be around—which kills me because I want to be; and the fact I am a failure in my career because I was never able to re-enter the workforce in the type of job I had in NYC, gives me a never-ending pity party. it really ain’t too bad!

Bitmoji Image

…but not yet!  I gotta squeeze a lotta life out first!

We—our generation is a more youthful bunch of old people. We are not our grandmothers or grandfathers either.  We be cool!  We are fun!  We do what we want.

And They hate it!!

Who’s they?  I’ll explain. They are the experts (In their own minds) who pontificate about how we are to dress. How to wear our hair. How we are to live.  They make up the rules we have to follow.

And therein lies the fuckeduptedness of being old.

I’ll give some examples.

When you are old, or if someone younger feels you are old, oftentimes are spoken down to. It’s almost “old people baby talk”.  For some reason people seem to think as you age you no longer hear  nor can you comprehend even the simplest sentence such as “Have a pleasant day.”  We may have aged but we have become smarter and wiser so stop speaking down to us. For God’s sake, I didn’t even speak that idiotic baby-talk to my children when they were babies!  Just stop it!

Ugh. If any adult ever spoke to me in baby talk, he or she would have huge welt across their face!

People also have a tendency to speak LOUDER to you?  Why is this?  I’m the loudest person I know—please do not try to compete with my loudness or I’ll bust your eardrums! You takin’ to me?  I hope not because you don’t sound to bright.

OMG!! There is NO reason to shout at me. I can hear you!!!!!!!!!  Stop it!

The “anti-age” factor.  This is bullshit.  I want to bitch slap the marketing idiot who created that term because he or she needs to be thrown into a jail cell. Age needed to be celebrated!  Many don’t make it to their fifties or older.  My brother was one so don’t even get me started!

Airbrushed, photoshopped and anti-aged.  Ageing is a horrific experience to be ashamed of–isn’t it?

The second you leave mommy’s love canal; you begin to age. Does anti-age mean that we should all stay a few hours old? Because that’s basically what it means?  Why not pro-age?  We’re happy to have those birthdays.  We’ve accomplished great things.  Why anti-it?   Which brings me to….

The Beauty Industry.  This they despise us. This industry views us as cows out to pasture.

 True dat!  The Beauty Industry treats us  lder ladies like cows put to pasture. And these are French cows that I hung out with a few years back while hanging out in the Burgundy countryside.  We got along well–we related to each other!

They will use late-teen to twenty-something models in their “anti-aging” campaigns. And worse yet, will advertise foundations, concealers, primers “made” for us and use those same young models.  There’s plenty of gorgeous mature women with lines, creases and wrinkles on their faces.  How come they aren’t used?

Kendall Jenner featured in Estée Lauder’s 2015 campaigns.

Yes. This is twenty-something Kendall Jenner. Estee Lauder,  a cosmetics company that the “Mature” customer could relate to, now has to look at younger models to figure out just how the hell any makeup will look on their older skin. This is the fuckeduptedness of old!

It drives me nuts too because this is an industry that thinks it’s so “forward” by using gay men wearing make up to prove how diverse they are.  No. You aren’t diverse.  And neither are ads with one obligatory young white girl, one obligatory black girl, one obligatory Asian girl, one obligatory Latina and one said gay guy diverse or inclusive.    Show me the seventy-year old woman of all colors and show me that old gay guy and only then will you be truly diverse.

Where the fuck is the old lady–or old man–or the physically disabled person.  No. You are NOT diverse until everyone is included. Go find a wrinkled person.

They, the Village Green Fashion Policing Society:  How many times?  How many magazine articles?  How many internet postings do we have to be tortured with when it comes to what we should and shouldn’t wear.  I can’t even with this one.

I will wear my skinny jeans, my mini skirts and above-the-knee dresses.  Hoop earrings will continuously remain dangling from my ear lobes.  Over-the-knee boots will continue to be worn.  And nobody will or should dictate how anyone should dress.  Especially the older demographic.

Image result for atypical60 over the knee boots

I will continue to wear my leather pants with pointy-toed boots..

I will continue to wear my miniskirts with boots..

As an old, shriveled, wrinkled old prune of the pro-age, I’ll keep my ripped jeans thank you!

And I will wear those glittery heels.

And I’ll continue to wear my hair long. Even if it IS fake!

It saddens me to see that women my age, mid 60’s and in their 50’s and even older fall into that misconception that they need to dress like an unstylish, unattractive wallflower.  Why?  Why can’t a woman who is of the pro-age, boomer generation dress as wonderfully as she feels.  Wait.  Some women don’t feel wonderful. And it’s because many women have given up.  And no wonder.  Fashion magazines are splayed with clothing brands that only advertise young, nubile women in clothing that the older woman can wear and wear well.  It is an absolute disgrace and one of the reasons I haven’t bought a fashion magazine in over a year.  I’ve not renewed any fashion or beauty magazine and have no desire to pick one up.  In fact, I’ve allowed my Allure subscription to expire because they never followed up on their promise to stop using the phrase “anti-age”.

Image result for vogue magazine covers USA

The very last Vogue magazine I read was when Wintour placed Kim and Kanye West on the cover.  If I want to read about celebrities, I’ll buy Star or People.  Fashion magazines have become trash. Bring back the actual models and get rid of the celebrities. Better yet, showcase the magazine’s true demographic of the “over 40” woman!

The Corporate “They”. This is a touchy and personal one.  Perhaps for you too, or someone you know.   Life events happen.  Some are great. Some aren’t.  And somewhere along the line, many of us, regardless of the life situation, have to re-enter the workforce.

Sad but true. Due to corporate closures I’ve lost a couple of jobs and I’ve never recovered the earnings that I’m worth. Think about that one–that’s the story of almost every person over 50 who has reentered the workforce and it is shameful and sad!

Corporate America and Small Businesses do not want to hire anyone over a certain age. It’s bad enough to seek employment over 50 but to seek employment over the age of 60 is a near-impossible feat.

three people over age 50 are holding up signs that tell stories about ageism they faced in the workplace

It’s all true.

And it sucks. It sucks because our generation has such a stellar work ethic. We come from backgrounds where we were taught how important values are.  Granted, many of us aren’t technically gifted the way younger people are, but we are quick learners.   The amount of information and computer skills I’ve learned from each job I’ve had is invaluable.   As a whole, we are open to new ideas. We are excellent workers. We don’t call out sick on a Monday due to excessive partying over the weekends. We won’t need a day or seven off when the kids are off from school or if they are ill.  We are there 100 percent.

It’s incredible because corporations get tax breaks for hiring the disabled but they don’t get anything for hiring the mature demographic. Perhaps they should, then maybe more of us would have the jobs we deserve!

They think we aren’t cool.  Oh yeah.  Ever get the eye-roll, side eye or smirk from someone younger?  I’m sure you have.  Perhaps it’s happened when you listened to the current top 40 music. Or discussing a movie or book or …. basically anything.  It’s because they think we aren’t cool.

Wise words.  No generation will ever be as cool!

Let me tell you something about “cool”. We are of the coolest generation ever.

That boho look?  We started it back in the late 1960’s.  We had the Summer of Love.  Our demographic got politically involved. The Youth Movement protested. We questioned.  We wore clothing that our parents disapproved of.

My favorite Beatle, George Harrison and Patti Boyd, hanging around playing guitar and smoking at the same time. Now THAT’S a feat!

Why—I remember the most beautiful pair of Madras plaid hot pants I purchased with babysitting money.  I wore them to go out and my parents made me go back upstairs to change. Those were the days alright.   We wore miniskirts and tattered and patched jeans. We had “head shops” where those who did not use bongs and roach clips could buy peasant tops and patchouli or ylang ylang oil.

Show me a modern-day fashion designer as cool as Mary Quant. Her iconic Mod look changed everything.  And we had her! And she’s still influencing how women dress!

We had the slick cool of Jimi Hendrix and the raspy cool of Janice Joplin.  I do not think there is anyone currently in the music industry as cool or as talented as they were. I’m biased but it’s true.

NEW YORK – JUNE 1970: Blues singer Janis Joplin on the roof garden of the Chelsea Hotel in June 1970 in New York City, New York. (Photo by David Gahr/Getty Images)

The sad thing is that she never got the chance to pro-age..

….and neither did Jimi.  That’s anti-aging.  They never made it to pro-age.

We danced.

And dance we did!

We partied.

And partied hearty, I might add.  Booge. Oogie. Oogie!

We enjoyed life. And we still do those things. It’s just that we do them at a more measured pace!

And at her age, she can light up whenever she wants!

And therein lies the fuckeduptedness of old.  It’s not how we perceive ourselves it is how they perceive us.  And as pro-agers rather than anti-agers, maybe it’s time to start a new movement!

Others see me as the figure on the left. An old, grumpy, unstylish old woman who should be thrown to pasture.  I see me as I am on the right.  Stylish, pro-aging, and only grumpy when I’m in rush-hour traffic!

What say you?  Do you feel the same way that I do? Do you find yourself being ignored or shoved aside due to aging?  Do you think we aren’t respected the way we should be?  I’m really curious to find out! Do you like my new word??????

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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64 Responses to The Fuckeduptedness of Being “Old”

  1. Toni Soucie says:

    Cathe…..thank you, thank you for expressing so much of what I feel as a pro-aging woman also turning 65 in a few short months. I don’t feel like I’m going to be 65 (whatever that should feel like) but actually feel like I’m in my late 40’s (although my daughter will be 43 next month). I love where I am in my life right now and will continue to embrace every day as it comes.

    • Catherine says:

      Toni I’m with you! We have similar birthdays and I certainly do not feel 65. I can run up and down the stairs. I can do a ton of things!! We need to make people realize we are not feeble!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  2. colleen says:

    Right on Catherine! Everything. You. Said.

  3. Joni says:

    That was a good post Catherine! I think many “older” women do give up on looking good. They don’t seem to be interested in fashion anymore, or maybe fashion isn’t interested in them. I myself haven’t bought a fashion magazine since the early 90’s, although I still do like to clothes shop occasionally. I had no idea Estee Lauder had used Kendall Jenner! It does irk me that Sephora doesn’t cater to older women, esp. as we have more money to spend.

    • Catherine says:

      Yeah. Joni. Can you believe it? Shame on Estee Lauder. And Elizabeth Arden and all the cosmetics companies that ignore the older, mature demographic. And BIGGER shame on those companies who pontificate their diveristy. They are full of shit. Don’t even get me started on Sephora. I was there the other day and completely ignored. I walked out. I do mostly online cosmetic shopping these days!!! The fashion magazines are horrible anyway. XOXOXOXO

  4. Susan says:

    I’m a young 68 and sure don’t appreciate the advice about ‘10 things the woman over sixty must not wear’, or ‘20 makeup items every woman needs’ or some such crap. (I don’t even own 20 makeup items!). Why can’t we be respected for what we know? And valued?

    • Catherine says:

      Exactly Susan! Exactly. Those articles are the most inane things on earth. I’m still reeling over one from a few years back that stated no woman over 40 should wear hoop earring. Can. You. Believe. That????? XOXOXOXO

  5. Renee in Northern California says:

    The “Women’s March” (again…4th Year) reminded me what a fierce group of Baby Boomer aged women that we are (and beyond–some women in attendance were in their 90s!!!). Absolutely inspiring!!! Since “you know who” has been in office, I’ve gotten more involved in my local political party and have met some brilliant, beautiful, outstanding women trying to make a difference in people’s lives. Nope, I don’t feel ignored…well, maybe at Home Depot LOL. Even in my 30s-40s I’d joke “What do I have to do? Wear a short skirt and stilettos to get help?…AND, that did work..I tested it out, LOL! Anyway, we are not going anywhere! I will wear whatever I want, do what ever I want…And, I can give a great side/roll eye, too! Maybe, just maybe, marketers will come to realize we are really the “decision makers”. Love your new “word”, BTW, I had that yellow mustang with the black vinyl top. My dad bought it for $200.00 and overhauled the engine, It was my 1975 H.S. graduation gift! Thanks for your post, as always…love it!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Renee! I’m thrilled with the massive amounts of women at Marches. We ARE an emowering demographic because we were socially and politically aware at a very young age! Like you, I’ve also reconnected with my political activism and have become involved. As such Home Depot is one of the stores on my boycott list. I don’t frequent any stores that support you-know-who. Yeah. People I know are well aware that they had better never tell me what I should or should not wear! LOL!!XOXOXOXO

  6. Momcat says:

    Great post and we are not going into that old age dressed in double knit and orthopaedic loafers ….would you be willing to do an experiment? Put on one of your gray wigs and go shopping to see how sales people react to you, then don a non silver wig and check on reactions. I have three friends who were happily growing out their dye jobs and started noticing how differently sales staff treated them. Condescending, ignoring them or referred to as ‘dear’ upteen times. All three headed back to the salon. One is working and stated that the attitudes of her younger colleagues seemed to change ( not in a positive way) her much younger boss started hinting at a possible retirement date for my friend…These ladies kept their silver locks in stylish ‘dos too.
    Have you noticed this type of thing happening when you wear the gray wigs ( which look stunning on you BTW)
    I am going to be 65 next summer. I try to dress up to date, a bit on the funky side ( more Frankie than Grace) I must admit after years stumping around a large institution I go for the comfortable but not frumpy shoes. I spend big money on bras because apparently only high end bra companies recognize the smaller band, big cup gals have breasts. Nothing makes you look more like the Lord is near to calling you home than a poorly fitting bra.( cue Playboy’s Granny…)
    Yeah a lot of my peeps have given up and gone ‘ old lady stereo type’ which is very sad. I hate when people say “Oh I/you am/are too old for that” whaaaat? Then I hear of some sweet older lady skydiving on her 100th birthday or a 90 year old dude running a marathon and I think to myself It’s only over when we’ve left the planet.
    You look mahvelous in those pleather pants, I own a pair too, damn practical when you spill something and wind/water proof.
    P.S. became a glammy for the second time just this morning, he’s a beauty too!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Momcat! First off–Congrats on becoming a glammy for the second time!! SWEET!!!
      Certain stores I frequent, such as my local J. Crew know me–so I’m good with the help. But the worst is Nordstrom. AND I USED TO WORK THERE!!! The fTrish McEvoy/counter is by-far the worst of all. They prey on the “mature” women like drunks going after ladies of the night at a convention. I had one S/A tell me I desparately needed a certain moisturizer. I told her she needed to shut her damn mouth. I make the decisions.
      It’s unreal. I’ll tell you though, Ulta used to be horrible but something happened and now the S/A’s at Sephora are the most horrific.
      In my mature age, I find myself doing online shopping more and more. Surprisingly, I’ve been stopped on the street when I’m wearing gray/white wigs by passersby who compliment me. But elsewhere even some restaurants, we are spoken to as though we took the short bus. It’s frustrating and obnoxious!!! OMG. I’m sooooooooo happy that you have baby number two. It’s gonna be a long, long time until I become a glammy (and I may steal that moniker from you b/c I refuse to be called grandma!) XOXOXOXO

  7. wordlywoman2 says:

    Yes, Catherine, I have experienced all those negative reactions, shop assistants are amoung the worst. I am 80 and I still wear jeans with shirts or tops, and have what my greatgrandaughter calls a fashionable haircut. There are always plenty of clothes on the market that are suitable for any age. Unfortunately I am no longer able to wear platform high heels, which I absolutely love., but there are some attractive flatties around. I love your look Cat, keep up the good work.

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Nicky!!!! You are most likely one of the coolest 80 years young women on earth!!! Ugh. I can’t wear very high heels anymore and now wear mid-to kitten heels but I love cute flats!!And I will try my best to keep up the good work!!!! XOXOXOXO

  8. Cathe says:

    And to prove I’m not old I spent last Saturday night learning dance moves on TikTok. Yeah, that’s right this nearly 60 year old can still dance!
    Amen, I’m with you.

  9. Nathalie says:

    3 words : I love you !!!!you are fantastic ! i’m almost 59 and i ‘m not old !!! i wear mini skirts too , and i am like a little girl when i receive a wonderful pair of Zara boots ( in sale!) with red and white or another with gold and green !! No it’s not ” classique” but i love to get a style and i assume to wear what i want ! All my friends are like that ,and yes , sometimes people should get shocked when we laugh at loud in a restaurant or at the swimming pool ,never mind!yes, we are noticed , and then ? vive la vie ! rendons la belle !! amitiés from France !

    • Catherine says:

      Bon Soir Nathalie! YES! Wear those boots with gusto! And you bring up a great point. We can laugh and we can get noitced!!! I’m so happy that you enjoyed this post! I’ll be in France this summer!!!! XOXOXOXO

  10. Loved this post. I will be 70 this year and havn’t stopped doing any of the things I love to do nor do I see this happeningin the future. But I am aware that I look at myself and see me and others look at me and see old woman. I somtimes think if you removed media altogether and give us all a break from the beautiful bright young selling eternal youth culture for a while we might start to think about ourselves in a better way. Christine

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Christine, I love what you wrote about removing media altogether. Do you ever look at some of the younger youTube personalities or Instagrammers? They are so overfiltered and highlighted and filled that their looks are distorted. And all the younger girls who follow them think that’s what all women should look like. It is disheartening. At least, and I believe this is true, our generation is more secure in who we are. Sometimes I’ll catch a glance of myself in certain light and I’m like–“Holy shit, I look old” then I stop and think–wait, I AM old only I don’t feel it. Thank you for your enlighteing and encouraging words my friend!!! OXOXOXOXOXO

  11. Capecoddaze says:

    Girlfriend this is spot on. Unfortunately, just wait until you hit 70, we are nonexistent!!

  12. Lol, screw ’em 🙂
    A 70th young nana xox,j.

  13. emjayandthem says:

    Agree – I’ve cancelled all magazine subscriptions for these reasons as well. Some barely 20 year old wearing anti-age makeup and air brushed to an inch of her life doesn’t sell me on buying that crap.

    And you’re also right that there’s no step off from fashionable and sexy to frumpy and cranky. There IS but it’s not being represented at all ………. Blah.

    Great post!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi MJ. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who’s stopped subscribing to those magazines. Ad agencies and the beauty industry must think so litte of us that we believe their creams and potions are going to have us looking like airbrushed twenty-somethings . And for a REAL treat at how the fashion industry sees us, all one has to do is go Mother-of-the-Bride dress shopping. There’s nothing but shit out there!! XOXOXOXOXO

  14. Bridget says:

    I get what you are saying, I really do. And I am glad that you are not letting “them” decide what you do, or wear, etc. I will admit that I never really paid attention to “them” in the first place, so I’m just keeping on that way.

    It is frustrating though to not be able to even be considered for a job because of my age. Yes, ageism is illegal, but guess what, it still happens! And when people say, “Well, they figure you are getting ready to retire,” I think to myself that WHY would I be job-hunting if I was ready to retire??

    • Catherine says:

      Bridget. You nailed it. Why would anyone looking for a job in their sixties be close to retiring if they are looking for a job. Age discrimination is the worst and it is so swept under the carpet. I honestly can’t even with that. It’s so pathetic and all corporations should be fined for it but they never will. And the funny thing is the older workers are more loyal than the younger ones!! XOXOXOXOXO

  15. vavashagwell says:

    You’re right about ageism. My husband is 65 and had no urgent plans to retire any time soon, but his corporation is closing his workplace and by the end of this year he’ll be out of a job. I doubt he’ll be able to find another one like this, it’s a specialty field. (I on the other hand, retired the instant I was eligible – on my 55th birthday!)

    These young models promoting anti-aging stuff. UGH. I see it with certain Mormon bloggers, too, and they are ridiculous. They are also getting tummy tucks, liposuction, etc. and they don’t need it. I feel sorry for them, actually.

    We grew up in a fantastic musical era. I was just commenting to my hubs the other night as we were streaming Spotify with hits from the 1960s. So great and marvelous!!!

    Fashion should be fun, and you certainly look wonderful and well put together. I like to dress up most days, no sweat pants for me. It usually starts with the shoes… haha.
    I turn 65 on May 3 and intend to CELEBRATE. Too many people I know never got to that milestone, just like your brother. Let’s do this together!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Vava. We are literally weeks apart. I’ll be 65 in April so we can celebrate together! You have NO idea how I can relate to your husband with the job closures. I’ve never come close to getting what I am worth and it leaves me frustrated and angry. But hasn’t affected my work ethic. I wish your husband the best of luck and I sincerely hope he becomes rehired at a salary he deserves.
      Our music—right? One thing I’m proud of is the taste my kids have in music. They were raised on Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, The Beatles, Matthew Sweet,Warren Zevon, Led Zepplin and Joni Mitchell with a bit of Franz Schubert thrown into the mix! And we continue to have long conversations about the subject. Music does bring generations together but we had the best!!!
      I’m so happy we have birthdays so close!!! XOXOXOXO

  16. Renee says:

    I agree with everything you’ve said! I’m 61 and I guess I break every single “over 60” fashion rule that was written and will continue to do so. While I haven’t suffered the career stifle myself, my husband has. He was “laid off” and rehired by the same company at about 50% of his salary. He has diligently looked and applied for many positions since then and has yet to even get a face-to-face interview. Age discrimination is very alive and well!! Rock on with your bad self and I will too!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Renee. I will rock on with my bad self. We both can!! And we can continue to break the rules. ARRRRRGHHH. It makes me so upset to read about your husband. It’s so effing disgusting. I’ve lost two positions due to corporate closures and I now make what I deem “poor people wages” because it’s true. If anything happened to my husband I would be calling a Target Shopping cart my home. Ageism in corporate America runs rampant. And yet..they get away with it. But let’s rock on girlfriend!! XOXOXOXO

  17. Juliet says:

    Love this post – ageing? Is there anyone NOT ageing?? Sorry-not-sorry but I cant buy anything Jenner so will be body swerving Estee Lauder and those types of company (not that I have ever bought EL as it always seemed “old lady” in an old lady kind of mindset anyway, a colleague who is a year older than me likes that company, she is the oldest person I know, and she is 56… it’s her mindset). I think I feel very sorry for the younger generation – many are so busy trying to figure how to present themselves to the world they don’t have time for any fun or to get any meaning from one instagram pose to the next (can you imagine Janis doing the sad pensive pout and delivering some virtue signalling sermon on caring about erm, things???). I am also sad that your generation and my generation had some cracking music human rights and fashion and literature and movies and… what have these ones got to deliver to the next generation??? Yep exactly. Really sad I think they will be judged quite harshly as they have little to show in terms of contribution for those following.

    That said, at work I often make it my business to work with or reach out to the younger colleagues – I figure they come expecting a sensible “old lady” much like my colleague and they are always surprised as they don’t think I am old (Oh but I am, I tell them and very proud of it). I guess once they know I am curious and interested and really keen to see them do well and we all have plenty of space on the perch then they blossom – it takes investment like any relationship but I’m keen to do that, I am not interested in competition – I am quite secure in myself. Sadly the CEOs of these corporations flogging this nonsense are NOT that young – so we cant blame the young people and quite frankly the CEOs are actually old enough to know better and I wonder how long their business model can run with their current mindset – my daughter and her tribe are pretty darn savvy and they are pretty darn unimpressed as THEY don’t feel they are being heard either. We need to put our money towards better companies as we owe these ones nothing, we NEED to keep talking/educating our daughters and younger friends and most of all we need to be clear we dont tolerate this stupidity as we are too darn smart – being older means we have been around the block and are not easily fooled.

    On a lighter note as I stop ranting I do love baiting the particularly stupid/condescending sales assistants, I ask them to explain in ever more detail the “science” behind their product. As they get deeper and deeper into their nonsense I ask for more clarification, as they struggle to explain it becomes rapidly apparent how little they know and I ask for more detail. Eventually when they are talking pixies or unicorn tears or other errant nonsense I ask if they can cite published RCT trials in credible journals or where their evidence comes from – that stops them. I then like to point out that there are laws about misinformation and general bullshitting, OK I only do it to the really snotty ones but its great fun – I have plenty of time to settle in for the game. I recommend it as entertainment if nothing else

    Rant over
    p.s if Sephora ignore you, create havoc – pick up products and aimlessly put them elsewhere, get in the way (I am short – a great trip hazard), zero in on the weakest sales assistant and ask for sizes or “advice” and the more time-sucking the better or even if they can read the small print and keep badgering them, what is the worst that could happen – you get thrown out of a shop that doesnt deserve your custom???…. then go elsewhere and buy.

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. I love the way you think!! And what sticks out in my mind IS that the CEO’s ARE older. And assholes for feeding into ageist behavior. But then again, they don’t have to listen to old or young because they don’t even have to pay the taxes that their employees pay. They get cuts. Unlike the working class. Here I go. I need to stop.
      I may have to channel my inner you the next time I go shopping in-store for cosmetics!! OXOXOXOXO

  18. Mary Lou says:

    Thank you for this column—so true!
    That’s what I love about reading your blog. I can relate to so much! Age, Catholicism. You are so real and authentic.
    I turned 65 last year, soon to be 66 on St Patrick’s Day.
    I don’t stress about age but 65 was hard to believe.
    Keep on keeping on……..

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Mary Lou!! Thank YOU!! Thank you for supporting this blog!! It’s funny because I don’t normally think that much about age but 65 is the number that’s a wake up call. It dawned on me that I won’t be around for an additional 65 years and that’s the toughest!! But your birthday is coming up sooner than later and on St. Pat’s. I would say that’s a great celebratory day to celebrate your birth!! Slainte!!! XOXOXOXO

  19. Cindylou says:

    I’m two years older than you and wish I looked half as good. You rock. I love your miniskirts, pointy shoes and boots. You changed the way I dress I in summer with those Old Navy dresses. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re an inspiration.

  20. KB says:

    Everything you said, and everything they said. Amen.

  21. Jeanne says:

    Well said and well done! Preach it!

  22. Kimberly says:

    You are right about the beauty industry. I frequent Ulta, since I get my hair cut and colored there, and it is quite obvious that most advertising features very young women. But I promise you that plenty of older women are using their services, and buying products. Since not advertised to an older audience, we do need to research and select products carefully. Had an interesting conversation with a couple of older stylists about women feeling not able to let their hair go gray, due to mistreatment, especially at work.

    My biggest struggle has always been with clothing; I am 5’3″ and very small framed, with a girlish figure (not the norm for 57). Fortunately, I have not ever felt ignored. Now, if I let my gray grow out, I think I would open myself up to being treated differently. Seriously, who wants that?

    Department stores are dying, petite departments have closed or have shrunk down to almost nothing. In many cases, one has to pay shipping to just try on petite sized clothes, that are only available on-line. Petite departments were seen as being patronized by the 50+ set and no one wants that demographic as a customer. THAT was an eye-opener. To compensate for the lack of petite sizing, retailers have added more size “zeroes”, for us small boned petites, who have really been sized out. I will not buy things that don’t fit properly; it is a key to not looking frumpy and well fitted clothing makes what you are wearing look more expensive, no matter the price point. Poor fitted clothing cheapens expensive things.

    By the way, I love Old Navy for certain items. Often their jeans and pants in regular sizes do work for me; I really like that they are inclusive to many different sizes.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Kimberly! Isn’t it sad that women are afraid to let their hair go gray due to how they would be treated. I stopped coloring my hair last year and the sad thing is that I LOVE what’s left of my hair. It’s a white/gray and unfortunately, I lost too much hair, But I’m having a blast with wigs of all shades.
      And you are right. Department stores ARE dying and it’s because people are doing their shopping on line. I do quite a bit of online shopping. Who wants to go into a store where you’ll be mistreated or ignored. Online can be easier. And if department stores fall by the wayside, the CEO’s have nobody to blame but themselves for not putting good customer service first.
      It’s funny, my favorite aunt aways bought petite sizes when she was younger. I’ve never had that problem but I can imagine how daunting it can be to not be able to find your size and I was shocked to read what you wrote about “patronizing’ I swear I never knew that one! Old Navy has GREAT stuff. Most of my summer dresses are from there. And soon it’ll be time to take them out!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  23. Annabelle says:

    I’m 61 and just recently discovered your blog. This post says everything…you’re my hero!

    I’m proud to be a boomer because so many of the things that are cool these days started with our generation. I will never stop wearing my Doc Marten boots or skinny jeans or shimmer eyeshadows or whatever else women are “not supposed to wear” at my age, if I want to wear it. As much as I love Edith Bunker, I refuse to dress like her. (Did you know the character was only 52 when she died?)

    And I couldn’t agree with you more about using 20-somethings to advertise anti-aging products. Same goes for shapewear shown on young, skinny models, but that’s a different subject.

    I love your new word, I love your outfits, and I love your blog!

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Annabelle. WHAT??? I had no idea Edith Bunker’s character was only 52 when she died? Damn. I loved the character but she looked twenty years older. And that isn’nt what our generation aspires to look like–but it’s the stereotype that others have of us–which sucks! And I will continue to wear shimmer eyeshadow because it reflects light and gives off a nice glow!!! Thank you again and I’m especially happy that you like the new word!! XOXOXOXO

  24. Good article, I especially like the comment concerning adverts where the casting agents seem to use a tick box to fit in as many different types of people as possible just for the sake of it. We have a lot of adverts here which feature mixed race couples and as someone who is in a mixed race relationship I think this is good, except when almost every ad is mixed race it tends to look a little too contrived.

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you for broaching this subject Bumpkin! What you say is so true. It seems as though White Woman, Cute Asian Woman, Blonde Gay Young Man, Young Black Woman with Natural Hair, Young Latina Woman…….and the boxes are checked. My family is very mixed and as you said, it’s good to see mixed race couples–but when it gets contrived credibility is lost. And even with the “casting” you never see older people. It’s as though we are completed focused on youth. It’s sad!!! XXOXOXOXO

  25. Pamela says:

    You are one bitchin’ babe!!!
    Love how you represent

  26. Linda Boyte says:

    You are so right on!,!! Love your blog even though we don’t agree on everything. I whole heartedly believe this post to be exact. I love to hear what you are wearing, what makeup you have tried, and your wigs!,!! Oh my gosh!,! I’m ready to order some and I don’t really need to. I’m 72 and most people don’t believe me. So why should I look older. I’ve take. Care of my skin all my life. You go girl!,! What are you supposed to look like at 65, or 72, it 98? Keep up the good work.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Linda!! Thank you so much! I’m happy that we don’t agree on everything! Differences are good things! Anyway….I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post! We definitely need to be heard!!!!! Thank you! XXOXOXOXO

  27. Dottie says:

    Well done! Please add the following to your list. Those ugly clunky shoes. If most people would get custom arch supports they can be put into all kinds of very cool shoes and boots.Get rid of shabby and threadbare clothes just because they are comfortable especially those ugly pastel flood pants I see some people wearing out. Never wear one of those silly printed round neck sweatshirts especially the ones with kittens and rhinestones. Try wearing more v neck tops and you will. look. so much better than the round neck ones. Shorts sleeves – go to three quarter and you will like the proportions. Now. for the. haircuts. Do not. let your hairdresser give you that old lady very short layered cut unless you look like Audrey Hepburn. You have to fuss with your hair. Go outside with a good mirror in the sunshine and take a picture of your hair after its been colored and see how it really looks and then adjust accordingly. For all but a few who can carry it off please don’t wear so much old lady jewelry. Try for a clean look especially around your neck. And then the prints which the department stores tend to push for a certain age group. Take a picture before you buy. You might be surprised how old you look in a print. They are so pretty on the hangers but are tricky to wear. One exception that looks good is a floral print under a black blazer. Disclosure: I am 76, have a big house I keep up and a half acre to garden. I tap dance and started the year I was 70. Our class is all seniors and it is sooooo fun. Oh. one last thing. when you are. shopping for purses try it on and go find a full length mirror in the store. Sometimes you will love a purse but it will hit you at a strange place. Mine is the hips which I don’t need to be any wider.

    • Catherine says:

      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOTTIE!! EVERYTHING YOU SAID! EVERYTHING YOU SAID! When I see women in those sweatshirts embellished with stones and animals and DISNEY, I want to rip them off because truthfully, wearing only a bra would look better. I’m with you on the shoes and everything else. And the hair. Oh please–and whether older or younger, it takes a very special frame of face to wear super-short hair. I wish there was a tap dance class in my area. I would love to take one!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  28. Liz McGarry says:

    Cathe…as usual, you’re right on the mark! I’m now 75(still feel 30 on the inside) and I dress as I please, speak my mind and don’t buckle to attempts to infantalize me…I am an elder, not elderly…I am a noun, not an adjective! Pro-aging all the way…

  29. suth2 says:

    Agree with everything you said and i love your new word.

  30. Pottymouth says:

    THIS is an amazing post. I just had a conversation about why we should wear what we like depending on our mood not our age. I think I fucking love you!

  31. patricia blaettler says:

    It’s so funny…how old do you feel? I’ve always felt 40, even when I was 19. Am now 63 and still feel 40. My mom told me she always felt 19, even when she was 74.

  32. I tend to follow my mom’s example (she passed at 89, too soon for me) and live the Hunter Thompson quote: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” 😉

  33. Catherine, if you need a place to run to, Ireland is where I am at. And it is no better over here, though I do enjoy bucking the stereotypical image of a gran, as I do crossfit (madness, they whisper) and enjoy my voluntary career with a search and rescue team. I like that my daughter is on my side and my son applaudes me, but many label me as nuts. I love your word fuckeduptedness but it can be applied to life in general.

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