If you think this unconventional guide to older women is about anti-aging creams or how to cover your gray hair, you are mistaken. Put aside your preconceived notions, kick back and read on.
No matter how much life experience we have or how evolved we think we are, the burden put on older women to preserve their youth runs deep and never ends. We go to great lengths to keep it all tucked in, smooth and magical. I will give you a perfect example.
The secret pact
My aunt and my mom had a secret pact for years that I only just found out about.
The secret pact essentially states that if either one of them were to end up in the hospital unable to care for themselves, the other must come in to the hospital every morning and do away with all facial hair from the other one before anybody can see it. As an older woman myself, I understand but it still surprises me for two reasons:
- They never mention being upset about being in the hospital.
- They are more concerned about facial hair than death.
The sheer power and energy generated to avoid anyone detecting the secret whiskers cannot be hindered.
I laugh anxiously to myself when I remember the time I had to wrench a razor from my mom’s hand, when she was severely medicated to diminish the painful side effects of chemotherapy. Mom didn’t know what day it was, but she STILL felt the need to shave her facial hair every morning.
Older women have thoughts about sex.
Mom didn’t talk to me about sexual things as a rule, but this one time, she held nothing back.
Mom said to me, with a straight face: “You have to really love a man to have sex with him, because when he’s naked, it looks like his kidneys are hanging out.” Thanks so much for that visual mom, because I have never been able to un-hear that gem.
A Secret between me and my wonderful Aunt Alice
I had a great-aunt Alice that was so fun, and she loved to laugh. Everyone loved to be around her. I think she even talked about being in vaudeville shows. She taught me that older women could be just as much fun as young people.
When I was a little girl, and I would visit Aunt Alice, she would cover one of her eyes with the palm of her hand when she looked at me. The first time she did that I had no idea what she was doing. Alice took me aside and told me that when she covered her eye like that it means “Fuck you”. Oh, my word, I thought I was in such a special club with my great-aunt. Can you imagine being a child, treated like a grown up, included in taboo behavior and not getting into trouble?
As an adult, I figured Alice did that game with all the kids in the family. I spoke about it with many family members years later, and no one ever heard about that game she played. I’m sure Alice is in heaven making the angels roar with laughter.
While this unconventional guide to older women doesn’t encompass everything, I hope you get a better understanding of these special ladies. There are many older women who zip line through the jungle, get tattoos, have secret body piercings and have more energy than most teenagers. All I ask of you is to please don’t think of us older women as finished, we are just getting started.