Blog Posts - September 2015
So I Dyed My Hair White
I’m the incredibly square and lazy woman who has never colored her hair. I inherited my mother’s no-gray-hair gene, and except on my right temple, my hair is brown. For an anti-ageism activist, though, that’s kind of a liability, because I don’t want people to think I’m trying to hide my age. I never believed Ronald Reagan when he said he didn’t dye his hair, did you? Read more...
No Heirlooms for One’s Heirs?
My wife and I were at a neighborhood cookout when one of our friends mentioned he had been in another neighbor’s basement recently to help her turn off the water to her leaking hot-water heater. Read more...
The Pleasures and Perils of Aging
Originally published in the
Women’s Review of Books
British feminist Lynne Segal’s Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Aging
(2013) is a thoughtful meditation on aging in the West. Shortly after I began reading it, I was walking on a crowded Manhattan sidewalk on my way to see the new Woody Allen movie when a guy on a bike plowed his way among the pedestrians. I shouted out that he shouldn’t be riding on the sidewalk but in the street. “Seriously?” he said, peering down at me; then he examined my face and spat out, “Old hag!” This was a first for me, so it took a moment before I realized my opportunity and shouted back “Ageist!” I doubt that the young man cycling away knew the word, if he even heard me, but for a moment I felt that old activist rush of triumph all the same. Read more...
My friend's mom was a voracious reader. Well into her 90s, Bernice, having only recently retired, would read several books each week. When I took her to the library, she would check out a huge stack at every visit, give them a few chapters to prove themselves and continue only if worthy. Read more...
The Joy of Joining
A rumor is making the rounds at my retirement community: we’re going to organize a flash mob. I can hardly wait.
In case you don’t know what a flash mob is, according to Wikipedia it’s a crowd that suddenly gathers, performs “an unusual and pointless act” and then just as suddenly disperses. Read more...
"It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is usually not poorer, but is even richer."
Cicero (106-43 BC)