10 Great Things About Being a Woman Over 50
1. Flat Shoes
Sure, you are always free to wear flats when you’re young. But it’s not until you get older that flats become required footwear. High heels on an old gal is a sure sign of Joan Collinsism: i.e. an insecure cougar. It’s a relief to finally wear a comfy shoe. If you want to know why older women are more at ease everywhere they go, one reason is the shoes. You just feel better in them.
I spent thirty years of my life in high heels; it’s a relief to take them off. I’m pretty sure high heels were designed by men to make the leg look longer and prettier. Agreed: they’re pretty to look at when you don’t have to wear them. Once you are over 50 you will lose the jerks that think high heels are a requirement for youthful beauty. So you will lose the “heels” both literally and figuratively. Your feet will thank you, too.
Again, you are free to wear a hat if you are under 50. But more than likely the hat will be wearing you. There’s a self-confidence that comes at 50 that allows you to wear the biggest, frothiest, strangest wedding-cake of a hat and still maintain your dignity. The under-50′s can wear them, of course, but they look a little wacky. Over 50 and you look like British royalty-what’s so bad about that? And the hats are really fun to select.
3. Reading Glasses
I suppose you were maybe thinking that needing those readers is a negative thing but name me something that gets you out of reading boring stuff faster than the excuse, “I don’t have my reading glasses with me.” This statement can be an awesome conversation starter just about anywhere as you ask someone to read something to you.
Reading glasses make you look more astute. Dorothy Parker may have had it right when she said, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” but it’s also true that “You can’t fool the masses without wearing glasses.” Glasses have always made people look smarter. Yes, it’s a stereotype but finally, as an older woman, it’s one you can use. How many times have you thought, “When will I be treated seriously as a person?” A: When you start wearing reading glasses.
And your reading comprehension is so much deeper now, isn’t it?
4. Red Lipstick
Red lipstick can be used by vamps, camps and tramps but we old gals OWN it. They’re just renting the color from us. We can wear the fashionable pale or natural shades but these are for the young women with their lovely dewy complexions. What we lack in dewiness we make up for with color; red vibrant color. I suggest Revlon Red, an oldie but a goodie.
When you are over 50 you can throw off the shackles of fashion and wear the lipstick shades you loved when you were a little girl; the shade we saw our moms wear in the chic ’40′s and ’50′s. We don’t have to look like Jean Shrimpton anymore. And if you don’t know who Jean Shrimpton is, go back to the sandbox, honey, you’re not ready to play with the big girls yet.
What? Menopause? Oh yeah. Once you’re over the hot flashes and wacky irritability it’s all creativity and release. You will get a burst of creativity the likes of which you’ve never felt before. You will be a DaVinci with almost everything you think about. Your former creativity will seem like a trickle compared to the landslide of inspiration you will get after menopause.
No birth control necessary, by the way. No periods, cramps, mess or embarrassment. The hormones that kept you so edgy about life have released you. The sadness you feel at this release is far outweighed by the rush of energy and peace and creative juice that will flow through your system unimpeded by hormonal changes.
I suppose you’re thinking that more frequent trips to the bathroom are a bad thing. Now, look, the Romans invented plumbing a couple of thousand years ago. Anywhere that doesn’t have a decent bathroom is not just out-dated and cheap it’s downright prehistoric. Where would you want to go that doesn’t have a bathroom? And quite frankly, the state of the bathroom is where you see if a business or retailer really cares about serving its customers and employees. There’s just no excuse for a crummy looking bathroom.
Oh, you want to go hiking or on retreat? Well, wear a pair of disposable adult underwear. They’re not bad, no kidding. I wish the Serenity© brand underwear weren’t so spendy; they’re awesome; I wish my cloth underwear felt as soft. So grow up! There’s nothing inherently wrong with a little urinary incontinence, it’s part of the cycle of life. (I suppose it behooves me to say that if your problem is serious you should see a doctor. Don’t mess around, go to an urologist.)
Would you trade your life’s wisdom for better bathroom habits? Of course not. And aren’t we lucky to live in a time when so many options are available? So I say, three cheers for the bathroom and the many things it reveals about the awesome cycle of life.
7. Your Tastebuds
I had always heard that as you get older your taste buds get sort of blasé about food. I thought when I hit 50 I would suddenly get a taste for oatmeal and milk toast because it didn’t matter what I ate, my tongue just wasn’t going to be interested anymore. I figured my years of smoking would help this right along and by the time I was 55 a T-Bone or a candy bar would have all the flavor of a cardboard box.
But you don’t lose your taste for food; your taste becomes more discerning. The results of the survey done by the National Confectionary Association in Jan. of 2008 as reported by Candy Magazine says it best, “Older Americans (55 and over) enjoyed the decadent and delicious tastes of dark chocolate the most — further supporting the notion that the American palate becomes increasingly sophisticated with age.”
I truly enjoy the tastes of more and different foods now that I’m over 50. Pickled jalapenos, Brie en croute with apricot jam, persimmons, asparagus and cactus are nuanced and delicious and I still like a good Milky Way bar (well, not anymore-Mars has gotta step up to the plate with fair trade chocolate.) My point is your taste buds come alive as you age.
8. Pleasure Intensity
Youth is not “wasted” on the young; youth is about all they’ve got. Let them have it. It’s their time to be young. It’s your time, when you are over 50 to experience genuine deep pleasure.
Remember when you were younger and you got pleasure from driving around with your pals at night, dressing up, getting a drink, flirting? That was fun wasn’t it? But it wasn’t pleasure. Pleasure is a more profound experience than fun. You can say you are experiencing pleasure when you are young and it may be true once in a while but as you age pleasure is a thing you experience on a frequent basis.
Pleasures abound in things you walked right past when you were young; the blossom of a flower, the buzz of a bee, the taste of coffee, the light balmy breeze at twilight, the way light shines in through a window. You may have been alert to these things when you were young but the extreme connected bliss you feel surge through you at the amazing bits of life that unfold every day around you is unsurpassed at 50.
9. Singing and Dancing
Some people have always been naturally good at singing and dancing throughout their lives. Some of us are not that lucky. For those of us who would be in the reject pile on “American Idol,” it’s great to finally feel so comfortable that you sing and dance just for the hell of it.
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My grandpa used to make up little ditties all the time when I was a child. I used to think it was delightfully silly. Now, I do it myself. I dance to the bathroom. I sing to the dog and the cat and the parakeet. I make up a tune about the banana cream pie I made for dessert. If somebody hears me, so what? Life is a silly song and a quick dance, isn’t it?
I suppose part of the singing and dancing is that as you age you find yourself less inhibited by what others think of you. You may even make up a song about it; “Don’t be so grumpy, lumpy!”, “I don’t care for your tone so leave me alone!” or “I drive the speed limit so just pass me you dimwit!”
When you sing and dance that much you laugh at yourself a lot. So it’s good clean entertainment, too. When you are making fun of yourself you don’t have time to make fun of others, so you get more tolerant, also. Laughter, tolerance, song and dance-these gifts are showered on you as you age.
10. Your G-G-G-Generation
Well, for better or worse, there are more of us than there are of any other demographic. Even the U.S. Census for 2000 says that “As the large generation of baby boomers began passing their 45th birthday, the population ages 45 to 54 swelled 49% during the decade.” There’s even more of us now than there were in 2000. Someday, marketers will catch on to this and quit sponsoring crappy television shows to which we cannot relate. Maybe. It could happen.
We can be a powerful force for good. We’ve been around longer and seen more stuff.
We saw the horror of the first televised war (which, I suppose, is why they aren’t televising this one,) we saw a man walk on the moon and Voyager land on Mars, we’ve seen penny candy and Godiva Chocolate stores. We’ve seen houses that were priced the way cars are now.
We know, as another great over 50 guy (Joe Jackson) once said, “you don’t have to be a hippie to believe in peace.” We saw teeny tiny televisions in our grandparent’s homes as well as on our grandchildren’s phones. We’ve got all that history under our somewhat expanded belts. We saw Woodstock and Farm Aid and Lollapalooza and Prince at the Superbowl.
We’ve seen a staggering kaleidoscope of technical/scientific advances, artistic triumphs, musical styles, philosophical minds, and literary achievements.
We’ve got some perspective, eh?