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Archive for the tag “getting older”

What’s With the Holes In the Shirts?

The $1,625 T-shirt. NY Daily News

Hey everyone. I’ve been having a lot of back-to-back “I’m an old-head moments” as of late.

I’m 35, and I’ve been peeping my very persistent strands of grey hairs from time-to-time and I attempted to watch the Billboard Awards and I didn’t know who a majority of the acts were. Then, on top of that, I was most excited about performances by Celine Dion and Cher and shaking my head in disbelief that the biggest movie of my teens, “Titanic” had turned 20 when I wasn’t looking. This is some nonsense.

Then, I told my sister on the phone to hold because I had a meatloaf in the oven.

I might as well invest in a “Clapper.”

Da party done.

My most recent shopping trip involved key grown lady things.

I had to get a bodyshaping navy bodysuit, because I was wearing a formal dress that had serious sideboob, if I was going for drama. I was not. The navy bodysuit would help me accomplish the goal of remaining tasteful if I happened to raise my arms, without ruining the dress. I had several comments including “regal.”

At 35, being sexy is fine, but there’s something kind of cool about being described as regal.

Then, during this trip, I was bugging out because Ann Taylor Loft had a sale. I swear I really started digging Ann Taylor and Loft and I just don’t remember when it happened, but hey, I’m glad it did. It’s the right lane for me in terms of stuff to wear for work and casual stuff that I can jazz up in my own way.

So, yeah, after buying another pair of cargo pants but in a lovely pale blue color, and a great sweater jacket perfect for work all under $60, I was on a high.

But I needed one more thing. Inserts for the shoes I’d be wearing to the wedding I was going to later that day.

As you get older, you stop making fashion sacrifices for your feet. When your feet hurt, you are miserable. You can’t walk another block, you can’t make it across the dance floor, you beg for mercy. So, proper inserts are a practical and life-altering move that you will be happy you made, because, hey, you are grown.

Speaking of fashion decisions as we get older, I think the cold-shoulder trend looks great, but in my opinion it’s tooo trendy. That’s why I refuse to buy a cold-shoulder dress, shirt, tank or sweater. Once this trend it’s done, it’s so done. I’ve even advised my friends not to go this route. Instead, I offer up off the shoulder looks. I think off the shoulder is a steady classic that always comes back around. Cut outs at the shoulder are past its prime.

Speaking of random holes and things. I’ve been really confused about tee shirts, sweatshirts and whatever else with raggedy holes in them. Ah, the distressed look. Pardon me. Cosmo gives a primer on the stars rocking this trend.

It certainly follows the whole Walking Dead, Hunger Games Kanye Fashion thing, which he will probably take credit for. One really holey shirt is running a cool $1600… Yeah. Hell naw.

I don’t know about you, but our parents and their parents worked really hard to supply us with good clothes. When they had holes in their clothes, they worked hard to patch them up.

So why are people going around looking like swiss cheese? I know, I sound so old. But, I’m genuinely confused.

Ripped jeans or holes in jeans? I’m down for that all day long. But these struggle swiss cheese shirts? They just look really raggedy.

Does anyone else feel old? What current trends have you shaking your head?

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No Ma’am, Birthdays After 30 Are So Worth Celebrating

A co-worker of mine recently had a birthday. I consider her a peer in a lot of ways. She is also a young thirty-something like me. She started at the company about a year or two before I did. And we both worked very hard, were early adopters to switching hats from straight up writing and editing to the tech side of publishing and I think she’s a super cool person. I admire her grind. Sometimes we just give each other a knowing sigh on days folks are acting a plum fool.

She also celebrated a birthday this month, and I wished her a happy birthday and asked her if she did anything fun.

And with a straight sad face, she said, “After 30, there’s not much to celebrate.”

The “urban” side of me was wanting to say, “Girl, bye.”

Or:

“Lies you tell.”

tamar braxton the braxtons gif from theofficialstacey.tumblr.com

However, I simply smiled and said, “Girl, what are you talking about? The 30s are great!” We were walking and parting ways to our desks by then.

But the look of defeat on her face, and such words of defeat made me sad for her.

Here she is, this pretty girl, who is married to a well-off man, seems to be a doting step mom, very physically fit and has accomplished really difficult grueling physical activities like marathons and such, who seems to be so unhappy.

Just because you are pretty and fit and well off, doesn’t mean you have bad days. I totally get that. But right in that moment, I said a little prayer for her.

I thought about a conversation with one of my dearest best friends and we discussed getting older and said we looked forward to being senior citizens traveling together and sexually harassing young waiters when we’d go out to eat. We were looking forward to when it’s socially acceptable to talk that ish and folks let it slide.

But for now, warts and all, we agreed our lives so far have been filled with blessings and opportunity. We were relieved we’ve learned from our mistakes. And while we both traded stories about being single and how we can’t seem to find men who suit us, there was still a quiet confidence we shared about being grown women that we can be proud of and that our families can be proud of too.

We may have had a regret or two, but overall we were blessed to catch the lessons that accompanied our not so wise decisions. And that’s cool. That’s the silver lining of bad decisions, the lesson, the scar that reminds us, “girl, don’t do that again.” The reminder of our pain and consequences gives us a knowing twinge in our tummy when we are about to enter dangerous territory. As someone past 30, I appreciate developing that sixth sense through the dumb mistakes of my 20s.

You all know, that for some reason this year I really wanted to celebrate my birthday and I’m not one of those people who want to do something every year. But I felt good about who I am and where I am, and I wanted some friends around to have a good time. And we did just that. I wore something that made me feel good and we had a blast.

Every birthday is worth celebrating, whether it’s a quiet observance at the house, spa day or moments of reflection or flinging yourself out of an airplane, or buying a bottle at the club.

Everyday is worth celebrating. Even if you are past 30. Girl, get your life! I’ve never felt so self-aware, EVER. I’m so excited that I’m really getting to know me, and that I’m less and less afraid to say no to others and say yes more and more to myself.

A Different Kind Of Party

Hey hey folks,

It’s me again, and I’m back.

I’m still on a high from a great week of doing all of the things I want to do. I kicked off 32 last Wednesday, at a local venue called the Strathmore after I treated myself to a great meal. At the Strathmore Mansion (a mansion next door to the large performance complex), I treated my ears to the lovely vocal stylings of Christie Dashiell. You may remember her as one of the lead singers of The Sing Off Season three stand out vocal group “Afro Blue.”

Watching her sing flanked by her very talented brothers on stand up bass and drums, I was witnessing something. And I knew that sooner or later she’s going to be ridiculously famous and well-respected in the jazz world for years to come.

By Friday, I had a “date” with a guy who I consider to be a friend, who I’m figuring wants more. I don’t mind him being around, but I’m not feeling him like that.

Saturday was the big night. About 12 friends joined me for a five-course Indian feast, made complete with a belly dancer. And I joined her and the crowd hooted and hollered, cheering me and my fabulous self on!

After the marathon meal, we sang and danced at a Karaoke spot where you can rent private karaoke rooms by the hour. We had a blast. All week, folks have asked did I party hard? Well, I wasn’t sloppy drunk, or even drunk at all.

I quickly had a glass of wine and maybe one drink, but was too busy mingling and swapping fun stories with some of the most fantastic people I know, drinking wasn’t the main thing on my mind.

I kept saying, as I mature, “It’s a different kind of party.” I like to have drinks, but I don’t surround my weekend around it. The people in my life made my weekend and my entire week. Folks showed up with gifts and love and smiles and warm hugs and I couldn’t have been happier.

I wasn’t even expecting gifts. I was being real when I said that none of those things mattered. I just wanted people to have a good time. Folks were expected to pay for their own meals, and I provided two hours of karaoke. Whatever drinks or extras they purchased there, they’d have to take care of individually.

Sunday, I enjoyed a great brunch with my cousin went to check out American Hustle which is an awesome movie and enjoyed the sorry football game with another good friend and her family. I was serenaded and presented with red velvet cupcakes.

Monday was my actual birthday and it was super low-key, which I didn’t mind. Before my cousin returned to New York, we had lunch after my 90 minute hot stone appointment. I think I like hour massages better. 90 minutes may be too long, but it was still heavenly anyway. Good times.

I was most excited when a gentleman caller who I am very interested in asked me if I had plans for the evening. It was a simple outing to a local steakhouse, but I enjoyed every minute. We cuddled by the fire at his home after and enjoyed an even hotter kiss. I was golden.

Being 32 is fantastic. I didn’t need to be in a club. I didn’t need a whole lot of alcohol, or not to remember what happened the night before to signal I had an epic night. Because it was just the opposite. And I was happy to remember it all and I will cherish the memories from my week for a very long time.

Oh, and to put the icing on the birthday cake, I was fourth row center witnessing the breath stealing Alvin Ailey Dance Company last night. They never disappoint. I love that their annual engagement at the Kennedy Center always falls on or around my birthday. It makes the time feel even more special as if they are celebrating me!!!

I just told a friend of mine, it’s an excellent feeling to have the people you love the most tell you all at the same time that you mean so much to them and that they love you and that they are glad you are a part of their life. It doesn’t make you conceited. It doesn’t make you a jerk to take those moments in and accept their gifts, and favors or when they reach to take the bill and shoo you away. I’m so glad to have these beautiful people to walk through life with.

And so far it’s been a great life at that. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

32.

Return to Sender

Maybe, just maybe I’d consider a scooter like this one, one day. Photo courtesy of nationwidemobility.co.uk

Now that I’ve eaten food from my favorite chinese food spot and had a glass of wine, I think I’ve composed myself enough after an unexpected emotional reaction I had to a single piece of mail.

I was feeling good. I had just arrived home after pushing through a challenging Zumba class. I went to my mailbox, rummaged through the mail, and there it was.

A promotional mailing from The Scooter Store.

I looked at the addressee long and hard, because surely, this was a mistake.

No luck.

Sure enough it was my address and my name, spelled correctly.

I was flabbergasted. I was outraged, I was hurt and even vexed.

I’m not even six months into 30, and I’m getting offers to aid my mobility, accompanied by a test to be taken by me or my caretaker that will help me  assess my need for a motorized “power chair or scooter” that will make me “much more independent” than I’ve ever dreamed!

On every stinking page, there was my full name in bold, large, letters, because of course I’m feeble and my eyesight is slip..slip…slipping away.

I took a photo and sent it to my friends. I texted how outraged I was, and that not even *AARP (which likes to offer early memberships to people 40+) has approached me yet.

Don’t get me wrong. I think aging is a gift, after all, there’s only one other alternative.

Usually I don’t get crazy about this kind of stuff. I had a small moment when I spied my first single strand of grey hair in my right temple area at 25.

I blew it off because I was horribly stressed and working like a maniac.

Occasionally that single, defiant strand reappears in the same spot after I’ve yanked its adventurous predecessor, cursed it, waved it in my mirror and in my best Tony Montana voice yelled, “And let that be a lesson to your friends not to come round here!”

I laugh and then I examine it. The color is actually quite pretty, seemingly dyed in a vat of character.

Then I imagine being a sexy old lady, married, but still flirting with boys at least 30 years my junior for fun with a head full of that silky grey stuff.

BUT I AIN’T THAT LADY RIGHT NOW, AND EVEN THEN I’M NOT GOING TO WANT NO DAGGONE SCOOTER!!!

I’d clutch my pearls, breakout in raucous laughter and bust into a handstand in my foyer. I’m going to have a foyer, and then I’m going to grind up on my husband, while ripping up the Scooter Store’s offer, pass him a glass of water to wash down his happy pill and slap him on the booty.

I’m going to say with a devilish grin, “Maybe I shouldn’t have ripped that up. You’ll need that scooter once I’m through with you.”

Then hot geriatric love with the love of my life for the last several decades will commence.

Back to like, now though.

Now that I’ve written about this, I feel better. This helped.

My recent mail delivery has also prompted me to make the executive decision to buy a pair of Pastry brand sneakers I was debating about last weekend, concerned the brand was too young for me (Yes, I think about these things now. The 30s can be a confusing funky time for your fashion sense. You got to walk the line carefully. Lots of folks get it wrong. I don’t want to be apart of that age-inappropriate community.) and would make me like old women dressing like young girls (think Mama Jones from Love and Hip Hop).

My future purchase is justified. The pair I want is on sale and among the more conservative of styles they offer.

Actually, as I looked for a photo of an older person riding a scooter, I came across this post “12 Badass Mobility Scooter Users,” I literally laughed out loud and thought to myself, these folks are so wrong, but I needed to see this. If you see number 9 and 11, especially, you’ll see what I mean.

*For my international friends, AARP is the American Association for Retired Persons. It’s a pretty powerful group with great membership benefits and discounts on basically everything. Folks get excited about these discounts when they get their AARP card, usually around the age of 60.

PR Press Tour: An Ambassador for 30

renjith krishnan/freeimages.net

So as word spreads that my birthday is quickly approaching, my co workers surprised me with lunch and a celebratory cake today since I’m off on Friday, my actual birthday.

Some people asked how old I was as cake was being cut and distributed, I told them it was a milestone year and flashed a smile. The women nodded, they knew (most of the women in my office are 40+).

I call this the press tour, because so far I have been asked some interesting questions aside from the usual what are your plans? (People at work are digging my plan to go to Medieval Times, fyi)

1. Are you where you thought you’d be?

My answer: No. But honestly, I think about the things I thought I wanted by now and I’m relieved, because maybe I’d be miserable if I actually ended up where I thought I should be right now.

2. How do you feel? I was sad I was turning 30.

My answer: I don’t feel sad at all. I’m actually looking forward to it. I don’t feel as self-conscious, I’m the most comfortable with myself than I’ve ever been, and if that’s going to continue to grow, I’m very excited about this decade.

3. What do you hope for in the next 10 years?

My answer: I’d like to have a family. Good health, a roof over my head and to have enough money to travel when I’d like and occasionally buy myself a nice pair of shoes. I want to be happy. There was a time I thought I wanted to be Oprah or running some large massive company, but as I get older, I really want to be happy and financially secure.

It was quite ironic that when all of the cake was had, the chunk that remained was “happy”. I took a photo of it, and thought to myself, God speaks to us through everything. I can’t even trip off of those people who see Jesus in a burnt potato chip or in a milkshake; if you are moved or inspired to be a better person off of that, then so be it.

Back to my point. It just hit me looking at that last hunk of cake with the word happy staring back at me, bold and almost as if it were a directive and a one-word fortune cookie all wrapped up in one.

Then I thought, if happiness is all that’s left, then you are doing quite alright.

Maybe that’s deep. Maybe I’m on a sugar high.

But it looks like now that I’m entering the 30 club, I also have a job to be an ambassador of good will for 30.

30 is nothing to fear.

30 is not a hard deadline for your best and only life achievements.

It’s okay to pursue success, it’s okay to pursue happiness and it’s ok to switch off and focus on one more than the other, but find ways to come back to center.

It’s ok to know that success and happiness is defined by you and only you and if anyone takes their measuring stick and tries to line it up to your life, you tell them to mind their own damn business.

It’s ok to take a risk.

It’s ok to tell folks no. Really. It’s ok.

As an ambassador for 30, I’ve put together an oath for myself.

(Raising right hand) I will spread the good will and good news of being 30 and be a well-adjusted, happy, yet realistic woman.

I will accept what life has given me and I will do my part to improve my circumstances.

I will not compare my life to others, because I do not know or want to know what struggles and sacrifices they have to suffer through. God is sparing me from their sorrows.

I will be more patient with myself and others and understand timing is everything.  I want all of the positive dreams and goals I have to make themselves available at the most optimal time of my life so I may enjoy them to the fullest and be a blessing to others.

I will be truthful to others and share that life is not always easy.

I will be truthful to myself and to others when I want to say no, and I will not change my mind just to satisfy someone else out of guilt.

I will protect my heart, health and spirit at all costs.

I will be an example that life at 30 is liberating and filled with adventure and promise as well as challenges and struggles. Through good times and bad, I will maintain my integrity and dignity. 

The Reality of Your Parents’ Mortality

One of the harshest realities of getting older is the fact that everyone is getting older too, including your parents.

I’m not even 30 yet, and I’ve already had a number of friends lose a parent or be faced with the challenge of standing by and taking care of a parent who is seriously ill.

A good friend traveled to see his father in the hospital recently and while he was there, it seemed his father improved. Unfortunately, his father has gotten worse since he left town and he told me simply, “What it comes down to is he’s dying and the most important thing is to keep him comfortable.” He said the family will have to now start looking at hospice options and prepare to say goodbye.

My friend is trying to take it all in stride, while being a rock to his siblings.  I told him if he needed anything to please let me know, but I’m sure there is nothing I can do or say to give him enough comfort in such a difficult moment.

Sometimes my father tries to talk to me about his concerns after he is gone and I really can’t stand it. It makes me uncomfortable, it scares the crap out of me. I’d hate to think that my superman will ever leave me. Aside from Jesus, he’s the only man who has NEVER let me down. I’d hate to think that someday my mom won’t be able to make me hot tea so perfectly when I come home or feel her hugs. Who else will tell me bluntly, when I’m just not on point as I should be?

As our parents age, and as illness comes, the tables start to turn. We become protective of them, we admonish them to take better care of themselves, some of us even go as far as physically dragging them to the doctor ourselves. Maybe these actions are our desperate attempt to possibly outwit the inevitable, but we do whatever it takes to keep them here forever.  No matter how grown we are, our parents keep us grounded, our parents make us feel safe and they give us their strength and wisdom. When we stop being stubborn and difficult, we accept those gifts and we cherish them. They remind us to be better people. They take pride in our successes and they build us back up when we fail. Even in the face of old age and or illness, our parents continue to prepare us throughout our lives, for our lives. If we are blessed to have them in our adulthood, they are working even harder to prepare us for our lives without them.

When we lose them, there is a pain that can’t be described, I am told. Those scars remain, and I notice that on holidays, birthdays and special occasions, while my friends who have lost their parents do their best to carry on, there is a private part of them that is solemn. You may catch them quickly in a special thought or memory looking out with a faraway gaze. When I notice it, I dare not disturb it. It is fleeting and they’ll usually sneak back into the groove unnoticed. Even for my parents, while my grandparents may have been gone for decades, I know there are times they really miss them still and wish they were around to guide them or share a moment.

My sister often jokes that when she goes to visit our aunt’s grave, she imagines our Aunt Mae telling her, “Girl, stop looking at this piece of stone in the ground. Don’t stay too long, because you have to go out and live your life.”

For some reason, I think our lost loved ones do believe that wherever they are. It is more than alright to remember (it is our duty), but we must not linger too long, because we must live the lives they wanted for us and to live them well, filled with happiness, because one day, all too soon, we too will be gone.

Side note: I don’t want anyone to take this blog too literally to apply to biological parents. Whoever was a parental figure to you, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, adoptive parents, this is for everyone. 

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