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5 THINGS WE ARE TOO OLD FOR

Age gracefully.  This old saw has been cutting into our psyche for generations.  We are supposed to age like a ballerina, tiptoeing through the pasture.  Lovely snow-white hair lifts on a gentle breeze.  A pacific smile plays around our delicately chapped lips.  Our body, in a flowing dress or Lady Mao drawstring pants and cotton top, is generously plump.  We stop, to rest upon a small outcropping of rock overlooking the Valley of Death, where we will soon arrive without a single complaint or “What the fuhh???”

Not me – and from what research into our demographic reports, not my generation.  Today, women and men 50+ are aging radically.  We are the Zuccotti Park of aging.  Question every assumption; stir each stereotype.  Are we too old to start a new career?  Too old to move to a new place?  Too old to be beautiful?  Sexy?  Strong?  Healthy?  To fall in love?  Ride a roller coaster?  Get married?  Get un?

Is there anything we’re too old for?  Wearing stiletto heels, maybe.  Because we do take a little longer to heal.  And, for women and most men: too old to start a family.  (The 1% of men who are richest can still have babies because they’ve got the money, staff and gold-digging young thieves, I mean wives to help.)

Yet there are some things that we have outgrown:

  1.  We are too old to wait for a man to call.  Hell, if he doesn’t get what a fabulous catch we are, with all our life experience and particular beauty (all young girls look alike but every middle-aged woman looks like herself), we don’t need him.
  2. We are too old to hate our bodies.  Having finally realized that we were exquisite when we were twenty, even though we probably hated our bodies or some part thereof, we know better and appreciate the beauty that we have.
  3. We are too old to be treated shabbily.  The days of being a meek yes-woman are past.  Speaking our mind feels natural and necessary, and if he can’t stop staring at that thirty-seven year old across the room, we’re outta there.
  4.  We are too old to put up with nonsense.  Our bull-o-meter has gotten fine-tuned to all that is flattery, brown-nosing and insincerity, unless we’re out on a particularly hot date, when hell with it, sweet-talk me.
  5. We are too old to sweat the small stuff.  If we’re still fretting about the fact that the parking meter ate an extra quarter, we’ve probably led too sheltered a life.

And one more thing that we are, hopefully, too old for: habit.  I am what I am?  I am what I can become.  There is a new and different way of doing just about everything, and while change for its own sake may not be good, a life without change is like a bus without wheels.

And that, gentle readers, is why my hair, or as we now say my “’do” has evolved from the long, brown locks you see in the photo above (taken, despite what you may have thought, Rick, just a year ago) to short-cropped and snow-white.  It’s a new look and I’m loving trying it on and yes, there are a few enlightened men who find it sexy, or maybe, they’ve just got a thing for long, bare, soft, kissable necks.

Diana Amsterdam is a published and produced playwright, screenwriter, scribe and branding guru; and former ghost writer for the Emily Post Institute. She is the mother of two brilliant sons and five exceptional grandchildren.
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12 Comments »

  • Dave says:

    Mike,

    To quote a great line from the movie, “Stripes”…. Lighten up, Francis!

    Women over 50 have issues. Men over 50, too. So make a nice life for yourself, by yourself. If you find somebody who fits it, great. If not, that’s great, too. Certainly don’t take crap that you don’t want. Like the old Vaudeville routine, “Doctor, it hurts when I do THIS”. Doctor replies, “So don’t DO that.”

    Sure, we all get lonely, we have unmet needs, even when we are happy being alone… it’s OK to be not-yet-content. But nothing magic can fix those things and there’s no guarantee they will be ever be fixed. Just gotta cope better.

    Gratitude counts a lot towards coping (and I don’t read much gratitude in your posts, though I don’t know you, I admit). Focusing on what you don’t have keeps you from feeling grateful for what you have now. Live in the moment more, be grateful for what you have in the here and now.

    So I repeat: Lighten up, Francis!

  • Katherine says:

    Diana,

    I enjoyed this blog and have dated many lovely men as well. It is depressing to me the number of men who are threatened by your gentle and humorous words.

    Nevertheless, if a man (or woman–they do exist!)over 50 wants more kids I say go for it, although how any rational human being would want teenagers into their 70s is beyond me! I am sure such heroic people exist, but I won’t be dating them. I want fun, not more responsibility.

    But that’s just me. I am sure many 50 and even 60 year olds are eagerly looking forward to staying up all night with colicky babies, staying vigilante and focussed on a two year old 24/7, being there for a seventh grader being teased or bullied, dealing with teen issues of drugs and sex. Being a parent takes an enviable amount of emotional, physical, and financial energy.

    Not me–I’ve done my job and I want to have fun! I don’t begrudge anyone the very real joys and responsibilities of parenthood–they are a major part of being human. Right now, I want the pleasure of a wonderful relationship between equals. I want to sleep late and go to brunch and run out to movies when I want. I don’t want to have to be a role model. I want to enjoy myself! If that makes me an evil witch then so be it!

  • Michael says:

    I am writing as a male over 50 (well over…) and I am not sure what ails “Mik” and, also, I am not sure what Diana is writing about. I try to be courteous to women of all ages, am polite when I do not wish to continue and, all in all, have found women over 50 to be intelligent and often interesting. So, I have no complaint at all. Just try to be nice.

  • Neal says:

    “If you’re receiving flak, you’re over the target.” — from “Augustine’s Laws” by Norman Augustine (USAF, Retired; former CEO of Martin-Marietta Corporation.)

    If your discourse, Pamela, is aimed at poking older women’s angst (and more), then I believe you succeed by the bucketsfull. There is no shortage of pondering one’s past and fate in the Jewish community. The quote applies to men, too, since there’s apparently an element of truth in your descriptions and analyses.

    What women are saying speaks volumes of what’s happened to the male sex for two generations past; it also speaks of what’s happened to the female sex. I do realize that if nothing controversial appeared in JDate it would be nearly as dull as it is right now, yet I also believe that men and women are just plain tired–eyerolling, deaf, and dismissively tired–of the drivel perceived to belch from the other sex’s collective mouths…especially at The Bitter Ages (40 and beyond as I observe it).

    What I have observed is disturbing. I’m alarmed by women who seem to not give it a second thought to consider mutilation as some form of “getting even” as well as symbolic (sexual) dominance. Men take other routes to express their dismay and sense of betrayal/confusion; unfortunately some of them include physical violence. Yet the rhetoric of labeling and discounting comments from others reveals a base form of hypocrisy that renders whatever is useful in counter-arguments as moot.

    The Lorena Bobbett solution should be no more an example of problem solving for women than is The Beating-His-Wife man should be for men. Most people would rather be happy than right, as the saying goes, in my opinion. Plenty of people in both sexes have had what appear to have been overwhelming difficulty in their lives, yet many move beyond it with the help of a good attitudes and a strong support system. Women beyond the age of 50 have had it no worse than men beyond the age of 50–a person can choose to wear their survival as a badge of honor or a chip (some appearing as large as a California redwood) on their shoulder; guess which ones have better results with the opposite sex.

  • Bruce says:

    You are so angry.

    My friends who remarried and now have more children are happy and tired as well as their wives. Gold-diggers for wives-no. They know that their husbands may still have obligations to older children. Conflicts yes. What are relationships about?

    Men –as Mike has eloquently said should take no crap. Neither do the smart women, however, no need to stick around if the relationship is lousy. Next. That is the mantra.

    Yes, men as well as women need to be comfortable with their age and bodies. No excuse to let yourself go. Plenty of hot, smart, fun and very good looking women over the age of 50. Why look and settle for anything else..

  • Mike says:

    Diane Anderson: Nice to see you had the courage to publish one man’s response to your rhetoric (with all due respect) and that you even responded to me. Since this is on jdate site, which is a dating site, my response was directed with the dating perspective of the over 50 single. BUT women, as you so eloquently noted, seem to prefer to continue with the “women power” syndrome, which is fine for venting but a failure for dating. To ‘date’, I am the only man that has had the privilege to be published in your ‘Blog’, and since the topic is “A girl over 50 tries to find love”, I thought you and your readers would appreciate a man who dates women over 50, opinion. But there seems to be a blockage between what women WANT to hear and what women NEED to hear (if they want to actually date men when their over 50). You preferred to answer me with the usual “Women should stay submissive” babble, which had NOTHING to do with my post. Then there is; “Patricia” who choose the “attack the messenger route” with; “.maybe if you didn’t feel so hostile towards women, they wouldn’t berate you and leave you….” THAT had nothing to do with my post! HOSTILITY to men never gets a women into a real relationship! Either women over 50 start to recognize mens feeling or they will just continue in their self absorbed agenda.

  • Suzen says:

    Diane, Diane, Diane,
    Where have you been all of my adult life. I wish I’d written that blog as you took all the words out of my mouth, re worked them beautifully and published a masterpiece on what we all wish we said but definately feel. We must be soul sisters. And I wholeheartedly agree with Patricia on poor, dumped one too many times, bitter Mike, who will never get what he’s missing. Rock on, Diane

  • Patricia says:

    Poor Mike seems to have had some bad experiences with women who have either asked him to “take crap” or have moved on and left him. Sorry about that Mike….maybe if you didn’t feel so hostile towards women, they wouldn’t berate you and leave you….
    I think you’d better listen to Diana and grow up and get real yourself, though. This is not your grandmother’s dating scene. Take some responsibility for your part of these interactions you’ve had with these women, Mike! You let them know how YOU are responsible for your part and they’ll stay with you forever….A little self-awareness goes a long way…..really!

  • Karen says:

    Diana,
    This is your most insightful and honest blog yet. I loved it! Time to be real – time to be honest. Time to stop the bull and know we can be loved for our adventurous spirit. It makes life around us more meaningful and the ones we chose to love bask in our wonder of the world. And that’s not even touching on our beauty that can be seen and touched.

  • Rosemary says:

    I so loved this blog intry. I couldn’t agree more with Diana’s intention. I’m not sure why a certain male reader had to comment on this article as a war between men and women over 50. Diana wrote a very uplifting and encouraging message. Let’s focus on that and embrace the wisdom and experience that we have earned with the years

  • @ Mike: You’re right. Women should stay submissive, easily pleased, and have little or no opinions about anything; that makes us so much more dateable! Oh, and isn’t it important to smile a lot? Anything more substantive is “crap” (I quote you) and we all know that powerful women are not sexy.

  • Mike says:

    If you want a mature mans perspective: Stop the psycho babble and get real. This is just reflective of the article and not personal. I have found on dating sites (and most mature men agree) women 50 plus think that men are going to put up with their Change of Life attitude where their employers will not. The time when men just take crap from women is over. Men 50 plus want relationships and women 50 plus just seem to want to be recognized as a women then move on. If younger women acted like women 50 plus there would be no marriages and no babies and no home life. Unless women in their 50′s change their dating attitude, they will also be alone in their 60s and 70s.

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