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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Role Models for Twenty-Somethings: Grandpa and Grandma

Pam's parents, Ev and Walt, who are the subjects of her book, A Survival Guide for Children with Elderly Parents (Who Still Have Their Marbles)
Mireille Silcoff wrote a piece in the NY Times Magazine on April 28, 2013, about a rage called "Advanced Style."  The rage was created by  31-year-old Ari Cohen in his coffee table book featuring photos of women, mostly, who are too old to care what the latest style is.  By not caring, the women create a style of their own.  It's called "dressing for yourself instead of other people."

So, if you're over seventy, don't throw out your old stuff.  The twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings want to get their hands on it.  Put it on E-bay.

Which led me to wonder about the twenty-somethings:
-don't they know the shirts are stained with tobacco drool from grandpa's pipe?
-don't they know the pants have holes in not-so-appropriate places?
-don't they know the orthodic shoes are misshapen from the bunions that grew inside?
-don't they know the sweat stains in grandpa's baseball caps will never disappear?
-don't they know that tea cozies are dust collectors?
-don't they know that grandma's handknit afghans smells of moth balls?
-don't they know the thick socks with nonskid rubber underneath are from hospital overnights?
-don't they know that platinum highlights will come naturally?
-don't they know that herb-scented enlightenment is a reward after fifty years of working overtime?
-don't they know that retirement's freedom was paid for with a social security system
     that is broken, a pension that was tithed, and a savings account that started
     the minute grandma and grandpa married?

I guess the appeal of the twilight years is their authenticity.  You can eat when you want, fart when you want, sleep when you want, make love when you want, stay up all night on the computer if you want, wear what you want, follow the dream you want, go where you want. 

That's assuming you can still walk and see and digest and hear and have money to get there.  "Getting old is not for sissies," the saying goes, and that's certainly true.  But twenty-somethings don't want to hear about back pain, hip and knee replacements, arthritis flare-ups,  kidney stones, and cataracts.

Their grandpas and grandmas have held them in diapers, attended their graduations, walked down the aisle at their weddings, and now are travelling around the world with them.  They have become role models who have the younger generation's attention, and that is a testament unto itself in this culture of risk and exponentially increasing speed.  Grandma and grandpa's histories need to be repeated, and time is of the essence.  Forget the vinyl and afghans.  Forget style.  Tell the stories.

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