I want to comment on Ms. Gina Barreca’s July 19 Other Views column on aging. She’s writing from the perspective of a 57-year-old woman; I’m 75. My perspective is living the process:
My grandmother aged gracefully. She was never nipped or tucked or suffered at all for vanity; she wore sensible shoes, breezy house-dresses and her gray hair in a neat bun. She smiled at everyone with false teeth and sported a hearing aid in each ear.
Me, I’m not going anywhere gracefully.
Here are my do’s and don’ts to staying young:
• Don’t wear flat shoes — if you can help it. And for God-sake don’t injure a foot so you have to wear those awful orthopedic boots.
• Don’t wear big, boxy clothes; you will feel comfortable, but you will look enormous.
• Don’t wear bathing suits unless you are among your age group. It is not necessary to swim.
• Don’t wear hearing aids. Nod and smile when people talk to you. They’re listening to themselves talk. You don’t have to.
• Don’t use the term “senior” unless you’re referring to your last year of high school.
• Senior-citizen discount I.D. cards should not be displayed prominently.
• No talk of doctors, early-bird specials or coupons.
• Don’t hang out with “old people” — that’s anyone who wouldn’t go to a nine o’clock movie, take a salsa lesson, laugh till they hurt, complains about their daughter-in-law or put food in their purse.
Finally, each day be more grateful.
Natalie Altman, Hallandale