You know how your mother always told you to wear clean underwear – because you could be hit by a bus?
As I am now face-to-face with old age (and thank you everyone for the amazing response to my last post!), I can certainly see the wisdom behind good underwear.
There are, of course, different stages of good underwear. In elementary school, I could get hit by a bus. In high school, there were all those staircases and very short skirts. In college there was the remote but intriguing possibility that I could find myself with the opportunity to shed my clothes for a roll in the Indian-batik bedspread. For a long time as a financial executive, good underwear meant my business suit fit better, and the knowledge that I had French lace under said suit gave me secret confidence. And now that I am old – well…I could get hit by a bus.
(By the way, Facebook: Yes, you know I am 65. I do not need a daily ad for pee-proof panties.)
Besides clean underwear, I have identified a few things I should have handy for my old age.
1. A well-stocked medicine cabinet. It’s already a pain in the ass to discover I am out of cough syrup when I have a cold. It will only get worse. I don’t need a trip to the pharmacy for aspirin when I already have a headache. Or sneeze my way to the pharmacy because I forgot to get my allergy spray. And I especially don’t want a terrifying trip to the pharmacy for Kaopectate.
2. In a similar vein, I should make sure my car is in good repair, and never too low on gas. As I age, I am finding that I don’t like gassing up when the weather sucks. And my standard of weather-suckiness is getting pickier and pickier. Like rain. Like cold. Like wind. Like nighttime.
3. A good pet-sitter. Now that I will soon be retired, I’ll have more free time. And I may have opportunities to travel a bit. An overnight to Newport. A trip to the City (that’s what us snooty folks in Connecticut call New York) for a play or museum exhibit. A writing seminar to someplace with a better climate than here. But we have a dog now, as well as the two cats. I need to have someone lined up to take care of my pets on short notice. Someone who will keep my fur children happy and my husband un-freaked out.
4. A company-ready house. I’m a pretty solitary person. And solitude is a wonderful thing after a day at the office. But soon there will be no office. I will be needing some socialization. I’ll have to invite people over a bit more often. So I need a reasonably clean house, a drawer with some toys for kids, and a coffee cake. I think that would do it.
5. A Roomba. In order to have my house reasonably clean for company, I would like an appliance that will clean the house by itself. If I can find a cordless hairdryer, I can probably dust pretty easily too. The Roomba can double as entertainment, if I can teach one of the cats to ride around on it. I’m not sure I can get Stewart into a full costume though. Maybe a sombrero.
6. Two nice outfits. I’ve always loved to shop. But I have found as I age that I enjoy it less and less. I don’t want to scramble for an outfit for a special event. And I don’t want to grab just anything and say ‘good enough.’ I want to have clothing that I love waiting patiently in my closet for the appropriate event. I live mostly in jeans. I figure I need two dressy outfits. One happy and pretty – for weddings. Weddings where I will now be the sweet old great auntie. One of my own old great-aunties once wore a feather boa to a wedding. Although part of me would love be THAT kind of auntie, I think something a bit classier would go over better. My other outfit should be somber and dignified – for funerals. As time goes by, I will be wearing that ensemble a lot. Hopefully as a visitor, not as the honoree.
7. A good swimsuit. Not only will I continue to wear a bathing suit, I want it at the ready. Last year I had two opportunities to go swimming, and no swimsuit. That will not happen again. I plan to keep a little bag in the trunk of my car with a bathing suit and towel. I don’t care if I am ninety. I don’t care if I have varicose veins that look like pythons. I don’t care if my tummy is bigger than my breasts or my ass is down around my thighs. I am going to jump in the water every single chance I get.
8. A lightweight lawn chair. I love to sit outside in good weather. My lounge chairs weigh a ton. I need a light one so I can follow the sun as it moves through the yard. I am particular about sun angles. I have been known to move my chaise every ten minutes.
9. Comfortable pretty shoes. I have pretty shoes. Comfortable is a different story. My toes and bunions will no longer stand for any suffering. But I am determined to find comfortable shoes that are also beautiful – even if I have to have them specially made for me. I want them comfortable enough to dance in. I want to dance a lot in my old age. When I was young, there was a definite distinction between young people’s music and old people’s. At weddings, the Rock ‘n Roll would kick in after the old people left. But I belong to the first generation of old people who GREW UP on Rock ‘n Roll. Start the music early, kids. Your old auntie wants to DANCE!