Monday, June 29, 2009

When I Am An Old Woman...

...I will not wear purple, because it's not a flattering color. Instead, I'll opt for browns, grays, blues, reds and blacks. Definitely blacks--I am part Italian and it's in my DNA code for how to be an old lady.

This morning I saw a beautiful older woman in her sixties or seventies with a dignified, graceful air, a head of bobbed silver hair and a look that seemed content and intelligent. "Ah, that's how I want to be an old lady", I thought to myself. So let's see how close to the truth this ideal is.

Hmmm...first off, graceful is not a word one associates with me. Nor am I all angles and akimbo, but the first step in Old Lady training for me would be some type of lessons in poise. Preferably before I begin needing a Poise pad.

Then, let's see, I'd have to grow about a foot. Okay, put that in the "impossible, but great idea" category.

Now, for the haircut. I am thinking that if I can't quite get the youthful coif of the woman I spied, at least we'll avoid the Cadfael bowl cut. Derek Jacobi's monk--never was there a more sexless mane!

(I'm sure fashion references to BBC's "Cadfael" series already have me dipping my toe into the Old Lady waters.)

What about her beautiful natural fiber clothing? So, in my old age I will have to stop shopping for clothes at Goodwill all the time and bust out some change for linens and cotton/silk/wool blends. Beautiful old ladies look so pretty in clothes that breathe and move, so I'd best start saving for my retirement wardrobe now.

To keep my intelligence, I will have to start taking the New York Times so I can eventually get past Tuesday on the crosswords. I'll learn sudoku, and then lament when it falls from favor and the newspaper drops it in favor of another puzzle. Perhaps the Jumble will make a comeback.

This is the kind of "flight of fancy" I've been reveling in this summer. We are slowly watching Morgan Spurlock's series "30 Days". I just finished watching "Picnic at Hanging Rock", which is just about the creepiest movie I've seen in some time, never mind that it was made over 30 years ago and has no blood, gore or slashing killer. While Joe was gone I watched more episodes of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" than I will ever admit to in public. Addictive, even with the total ICK-factor working overtime.

I've even read Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Grey" in graphic novel form and am now following suit with William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". AND we went to the Organic Brewers Festival this last weekend. AND hiking the next day.

This is the first stretch of days that have really felt like summer. I've been doing a lot of work as well, and flexing my brain in other areas. This last weekend, however, allowed us a little time to relax and just revel in the silliness of summer.

Maybe when I am an old woman, I will look back on those moments and forgive myself for being so darn frivilous. Maybe it will really be okay to read the condensed comic versions of books I don't have time to read right now. Maybe I'll cut myself some slack and remember that my son has been teething and nursing to the point that television is the only thing that's really making the all-evening milk-fest possible.

Or maybe, just maybe, I'll be that old woman who issues her regrets aloud and continues to strive for the ideal. Something like "This marionberry scone and lemon curd are divine, but I really should be making these myself" or the like. I hope I can let go and enjoy the food, enjoy the time. Maybe I'll be one of those divine old ladies who takes a glass of white wine with her grilled salmon and asparagus lunch and then lounges in the shade with a book in the summer, occasionally looking up at the flowers with satisfaction. I'll likely age like a hobbit, getting hairier and shorter, but I think that I'm going to like being older, hopefully wiser, and with a little silliness still in my heart.

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