I must admit that I’ve had my share of fears about the advancing years, but you really have to laugh at what’s going on now around getting older. Anytime I felt vulnerable about aging I would call my mother who at the time was 86 to hear one of her uplifting messages: “You think that’s bad? You haven’t seen anything yet!”
This always makes me feel grateful for a couple of days. Then I get sucked in again, particularly after watching a 60-year-old movie star say she’s never had any work done, and that what you see is merely the result of years of “clean, natural living.” How natural is it to have your eyebrows meet your hairline? Should your face look like you just stepped out of a wind tunnel?
Magazines are loaded with ads showing underwear that is supposed to lift and firm, most of which was designed by sadists. I remember my grandmother’s undergarments, which at the time I thought I’d never be caught dead in. Now I realize she was simply a sensible woman in tune with the aging process. She didn’t want to become a hostage to her underwear. Her bras were sturdy, the straps were wide enough to hold up the Brooklyn Bridge. She used to wear big pink bloomers with plenty of room. I’m sure they could have fit a family of seven.
Nowadays, no matter what size underwear comes in, it looks like it’s made for toddlers. The thongs really get me. I’m sure some people like them and feel comfortable in them. I frankly do not want to pay for a strip of material that could start to feel like a wedgie.
Personally, I use my bizarre sense of the absurd to help with aging. I try not to bathe too often. Showers are preferable. Bathing poses the risk of seeing yourself in your entirety. I have often thought I resemble a landscape of cascading hills. In the tub, certain parts are covering up other parts. I once lost the soap in one of the parts, only to have it drop it out during one of my lectures.
I don’t buy pleated skirts anymore, as I’ve discovered that I am a pleated skirt. My bras are soft and comfortable, and going braless is akin to heaven. There is no miracle bra. Once you take it off the miracle is over. Our bodies change no matter how many visits you make to the gym or how many kale smoothies you drink. We need to accept and attempt to create a new paradigm for aging, that will allow us to resonate in the moment and to value our true nature. Tell yourself: “In every way, I think I’m such a treasure. And that’s why I’m here — to give myself pleasure.”
— Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.