OUR 70TH YEAR

Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies……

Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show, Neil Diamond, 1969

Are you with the other old ladies?

Staff in a Vail shop to my friend, September 2022

Several friends in my cohort are in our 70th year and I bristle when I hear women my age described using pejorative language.

Angela Lansbury just died at age 96. One of her quotes:

I want women my age to be represented the way they are which is vital, productive members of society.

Angela Lansbury, 2008

Amen, Sister! 

One of Angela Lansbury’s most famous TV roles was playing Jessica Fletcher on “Murder She Wrote” from 1984-1996. Her character was loosely based on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

I’ve been reading Agatha Christies’ favorite novels.  I just finished A Murder is Announced which features Miss Marple.  It was written in 1950.  The men in the novel generally discount an ‘elderly lady’ like Miss Marple.  However, Sir Henry has seen Jane Marple in action before.  And, of course, she identified the murderer and solved the crime.

Sticking with older women in fiction, I am listening to ‘The Bullet that Missed’ by Richard Osman.  The two women characters in their 70’s (Elizabeth and Joyce), steal every scene with their intelligence and wit. 

Speaking of intelligence and wit, I am fortunate to be in my 70th year with such great friends! Some of us are having a few physical limitations (knees are a particular challenge), but we are still in the game and I, for one, would also like to be thought of as a ‘vital, productive member of society’!

In addition to fictional roles models, such as Jessica Fletcher, Miss Marple, Elizabeth, and Joyce, there are many real life older women role models in the public eye, such as Angela Lansbury (96),Betty White (99), Judy Dench (87), Helen Mirren (77), Iris Apfel (101), Nancy Pelosi (82), etc.

Not everyone can be famous, so closer to home, my mother-in-law was amazing and energetic well into her 90’s (coincidently, one of her favorite shows was Murder She Wrote). My sister-in-law , now in her 80’s, is a class act, as are my friends…….now in their 70th year!

Allene

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