Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All of my grandparents are giving me quite a bit of material about growing old as of late. Some of their lessons are in the “how to live your life” category, and others are in the “what not to do” category. Either way, my observations about growing old are causing me to think about some guidelines for myself, and for whoever has the pleasure of keeping me in tow in my twilight years. So, someone may want to print this out and give it to Sweet Pea as a reference guide. She will very likely want to re-read it to me at some point in the future.

When I am old, I have no specific plans to wear purple. And for the love of God, I will not be donning a ridiculous red hat and camping out in the Cheesecake Factory with all my similarly attired crones. I have girlfriends that I adore right now, thank you very much. And we don’t need to create an old lady society to celebrate our sisterhood and cultivate our wild sides. We’re damn near crazy at 30, 40 and 50 something. I shudder (and grin) to think of what retirement will give us time to come up with. You can bet your sweet ass that we’ll still be sassy, and classy and fun though. I think old age is when my inner southern belle will really make herself known.

When I am old I promise to give up driving when it is no longer safe for me to continue doing so. I will use some of the money in my hard earned savings to contract a nice chauffer in a zippy little sports coup to race me around town to appointments and bridge games and luncheons at the Cheesecake Factory.

When I am old I will remember that things are nothing more than things. I will not insist on being surrounded by furniture and appliances that I don’t need just because they are MINE. I will, however, maintain bookshelves full of fantastic novels and photo albums that remind me of the people I love and the memories we made together.

When I am old I will listen to my children and trust that the years I spent raising them to become kind and decent people will come back to me in good advice and proper care.

When I am old I will gladly accept any help offered lovingly.

When I am old, and I should not be puttering around a house without some assistance any longer, I would like to be put into a retirement facility with all of my good friends. We have already started discussions of how this is going to go down, so you’ll be apprised of the location long before you need to know it. It will be someplace warm, on the water, with cute orderlies and cocktail hour every night at 5:30. There will be a chef. We will dance under the stars after dinner to live music of our choosing, and every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday mornings will be a Brunch to be Envious of. We will eat real butter and drink expensive red wine. We will wear our best evening dresses and shoes, or not. Depending on our mood. We will NOT decorate with frilly pillows and stuffed animals. We will swear, and stomp our feet, and holler and laugh until we cry. We will delight in each others grandchildren, and gossip about our children. We will simultaneously be know it alls, and students of life. We will take all our medicine, as long as it makes us feel good and some of it has to be procured in Mexico on the hush hush. We will be critical of whatever we damn well please. Likewise, we will lavish praise on the things we deem worthy. We will remember how much we’ve loved in our lifetimes and be happy with our chosen journeys.

(Our husbands will likely be allowed to come with us, but we haven’t exactly decided on that yet, so you might want to check in with your dad and see what he wants. It might be more along the lines of all night poker and the NFL on giant television sets.)

When I am old I will try not to fret.

When I am old I will still be me.



heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love this post. LOVE it. Especially the perfect last sentence, that you will still be you.

All too often, when I am with really old people, I think to myself, "and who did you used to be?" It shouldn't be that way. For better or worse, we should just grow more ourselves as we age.

And when you figure out where this wonderful place is, please let me know because I'd like to go there, too. With or without purple muumuu's.

Pass The Butter said...

Amen. I too, love this post and find it to be far superior to the smarmy schlock that has made red-hat merchandizers disproportionately rich. And I too, would like to join you in the retirement villa...please add me to the waiting list. Actually, let's just do it now.

I adopt your manifesto and would like to add: I WILL TRY NEW THINGS EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NEW. A certain oldster holding my baby recently requested a pillow to support her elbow. Thinking I would upgrade her baby-snuggling experience, I brought her the Boppy. She refused to try it. Instead, she made me wad it up and STUFF IT UNDER HER ELBOW as though it were a couch cushion and not a piece of ergonomic genius. She then assumed an attitude of peevish martyrdom...possibly because she was sitting there holding a baby over the equivalent of a beach ball. Maddening.

When I am old I will try the Boppy.