Tag Archives: baby boomers

Why life is a lot like jazz

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I’m something of a jazz fan. Not an informed one who can tell their Basie from their Mingus and who thinks BC means Before Charlie (Parker). I’m more the kind of fan who matches the music to my mood. Right now, as I write, I’m listening to John Coltrane and Duke Ellington getting very sentimental. Taking my cue from the music, I’m so languid I could almost slide off my chair. Or gaze soulfully into a cocktail glass. Continue reading Why life is a lot like jazz

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The odd thing about getting older

Quirky or eccentric?
Playful or peculiar?

Let me ask you a question. If someone called you “quirky”, would you regard it as a compliment? What about “eccentric”, “idiosyncratic” or “odd”? I know what I’d be thinking: quirky good, eccentric and the rest, not so much.

I have a point to make here, and it is this:  there’s a whole group of words all basically suggesting the unconventional. Yet some people are applauded for being different while others are dismissed as distinctly strange.

Continue reading The odd thing about getting older

The AbFab guide to being fabulous

Frightfully fabulous - champagne already imbibed intravenously.
Frightfully fabulous – champagne already imbibed intravenously.

Today I would like to pay tribute to the twosome who have absolutely set the bar for fabulousness. Yes, ladies (and gentlemen if there are any of you), I give you Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone. Who else? The stars of Absolutely Fabulous are in a class of their own.  When it comes to the art of being über fabulous, these two wrote the manual and then tossed it away. Continue reading The AbFab guide to being fabulous

Why I’m a Glee fan

Confession time: I am a Gleek. Yes, at 60 – older than the oldest character on the show – I am a devotee of high school musical show Glee. How did this come about? Is it a case of uncanny attunement with Gen Y? Or simply arrested development?

In my previous post LOL I briefly touched on how much our taste in humour may change with age.  Glee is  billed as a “dramedy” but for me it’s the comedy aspect that’s most appealing, especially those insulting riffs by Sue Sylvester, Brittany’s deadpan delivery and Kurt Hummel‘s camp dance moves. I love the song ‘n dance numbers, the more dancing the better. Straight songs, not so much. I’m not a fan of the big swelling ballad (or smaller ones, come to that) and all the blatant manipulation wrung out of every emotional note.

But back to Glee and why it keeps drawing me in. Could it be I’m indulging in la recherche du temps perdu, even though my own adolescence had only the vaguest resemblance to the Glee scenario?  Or maybe a secret sense that if I can still laugh at (mostly) the same things that amuse the young, then maybe – just maybe – I am not completely past it (whatever “it” means). In short, maybe I still have a vestige of awesome wickedness…?

In the spirit of Glee, I dressed up in an outfit that I imagine an Ancient Gleek might wear (see pic). Everything is from my regular wardrobe, though never before assembled in this particular juxtaposition (except for the hat, which is actual fancy dress I once wore to a party).

Ancient Gleek.
Ancient Gleek.

I can’t end without mentioning the sad death last year of Cory Monteith, Glee’s beloved Finn Hudson. The storyline that traced the relationship between him and Rachael Berry was one of my favourite parts, as it was for most Gleeks. Now we’ll never know the next chapter. Cory’s lopsided smile will always tug at my heart.

Mel Smith in memoriam

Some of my fondest  LOL moments are from the satirical UK TV show Not the Nine O’Clock News which aired in the early 80s. The recent sad demise of one of the stars, Mel Smith, at the age of 60, got me thinking about what we find funny and how much that changes (or not) as we grow older. We’ve probably all had the experience that what once made us laugh hysterically can no longer raise more than a nostalgic smile. Or even cause a grimace of embarrassment.

Mel and the team, however, can still press all my laughter buttons. One of my all-time favourite scenes features Mel as a gorilla expert, though, as he acidly points out, decidedly nothing like “David bloody Attenborough”. And FYI, it’s officially a “band” of gorillas – though apparently “flange” and “whoop” are becoming acceptable in actual scientific circles. Gerald the gorilla (aka Rowan Atkinson), that lippy and opinionated primate, has much to answer for.    

Too cool for my boots?

Way back in the last decade of the last century I stepped out in a pair of Caterpillar boots. Pretty cool and audacious for a 40-something, I thought, as I clomped around town. I felt ready to kick ass big time, should the need arise. Not that it ever did.

In the fullness of time, as Cats waned in coolness (as all things must), I packed my boots away and forgot about them. The only time they saw the light of day was during occasional bouts of decluttering, but somehow I could  never quite bring myself to pass them on and they survived every cull, every move around the globe. It probably had more to do with their sheer size – it seemed oddly wasteful to throw away something so hefty and substantial – rather than any lingering nostalgia for coolness (real or imagined).

Then the other day I came upon them at the back of my wardrobe and vaguely recalled a current trend for the clumpier boot. And the thought occurred to me: If they were cool at 40, could they be cool again at 60? Does the coolth ratio increase with age or is there an inverse dwindling ratio? Do fishnets make a difference? Could it be that I’m too cool for my Cats?

Still trying to figure that one out. See for yourself.

Das Boot.
Das Boot.

 

When your wattle starts to show

I first became aware of The Wattle phenomenon thanks to Ally McBeal way back when. Not Ally herself but the Dyan Cannon character, whose wattle was an object of desire for one of the male characters (a toy boy to her cougar). It was just another of the bizarre plotlines which were such a feature of the show. Who in real life would want to get up close and personal with a wattle, even Dyan Cannon’s? Nothing I could relate to then, not at all, thought I, complacently stroking my silky smooth underchin area.

But in the last year or so I’ve become aware that I too have a wattle forming below my jaw. Turkeys aside, it’s not just Dyan Cannon and I who are thus afflicted. Nora Ephron (RIP) had a lot to say on the subject in her book, which I haven’t actually read but I’m sure must touch on the wattle. Judging by the title, not only do we women of a certain age have wattles, we also feel tremendous shame for having them. Like it’s our fault for making the world an uglier place by parading with our wattle necks.

Now I ask you – is that fair? Should we be held responsible for our wattles? Did we bring them on ourselves by daring to grow old? And compounding our sin by sullenly refusing to rush off to our friendly cosmetic surgeon to make it all look better? In my case, I couldn’t afford a CS, no matter how friendly. So is that another link in the chain of shame, the financial lack that stops me from fixing my unsightliness?

Kiss my wattle.
Kiss my wattle.

I think I’ll go and have a coffee now. Meanwhile, welcome to my wattle world (see right).