We took these comments
by Jean Pond from the
discussion on fashion in the forum:
I'd like to see some
pressure for an improvement in the marketing to older women. There
are lots of attractive older women but few advertisers use the real
thing. With this central casting mentality, we have trouble finding
anyone to relate to.
There is one fragile
old lady who seems to have a corner on the elderly women's market.
She is about to fall into her petunias and keeps saying that she
"wants to live to be a hundred." Even other fragile possible consumers
are turned off by her ever-presence.
Let's retire June Allyson,
give her some Kegel exercises and that new non-prescription drug
and release her. Surely there must be some other ordinary mortal
who is believable, photogenic and wears "Depends."
The mailbox is filled
with catalogs full of nymphs in sleeveless tops and dresses this
time of year. They appear to be about thirty years from their first
liver spot. Those dental floss panties may be fashionable, but they
wouldn't be comfortable on my anatomy; Bikini waxing is not recommended
Why should I have to
shop the week before Mother's Day to find a sweater that doesn't
stop north of my navel. My position about skirt lengths is pretty
much like the Duchess of Windsor's: she said that regardless of
fashion she wore her skirts the same length because her legs stayed
the same. That means that many dresses off the rack are too short
for me. Granted, this friendly critique is extreme.
With careful planning
I can still look reasonably well groomed and a couple of years younger
than my actual age, but it isn't easy. I'd like to see the fashion
world admit our growing presence. The bargaining chips are our discretionary
income and our vote. Let's use them both effectively.
I designed a website
for our local widows and widowers social group. I get hits from
all over the world. All with the same request: the name of a similar
group in their area. Do you know if there is a central directory
that serves the needs of widows and widowers? I'd be interested
in your feedback on this subject. Thanks. Roz via
Editor's Note: Her website
is the Widows
& Widowers Group
Are we never to come
together as a nation and a united front against negatives in campaigns?
Or are we forever to be seeking power for one group or another.
We must make our minds.
I think lowering taxes
is good for poor and middle class. They pay a great deal of the
taxes, most, I would say. The super rich have foundations and such
so that they don't care what the tax rate is. Granted a family may
save $400 on a tax bill (example) but $400 while not being a fortune,
is enough to pay for school clothes, shoes for the family, and a
good part of a dental bill. I don't understand why lowering taxes
should be such a problem.
I think education is
extremely important. Teachers and politicians may all send their
own children to private schools, but perish the thought of the general
public being allowed to having vouchers and schools of choice. Afraid
parents will desert the public schools? Well then get rid of the
administrations and pay more for books, teachers, classrooms. Isn't
Abortion is legal. What
is so political about that except to win votes of poorly educated
women who want to have choice?
Another bit of nonsense
is "Republicans are for the rich and Democrats are for the poor."
What about the huge middle class? Reportedly, 75% of American wage
earners possess stocks, bonds and savings. Instead of using slogans
like choice and rich, we ought to be looking at what all of these
"issues" mean to the American people.
Teddy Hills via E-mail
I enjoyed your article
on politics (Take
in the Family)
very much. My views on politics are pretty much the same as yours,
and my husband and yours agree, too. I never mention politics unless
I want an explosion and to be told how stupid I am and that because
my husband and I own property I 'must' be a Republican!! I must
admit I do mention this just to needle him now and then! I always
vote and we always cancel each other out. Drives him nuts! Of course,
I'm the one who almost always loses my vote; only rarely does someone
I've voted for get elected.
I, too, enjoy Hillary.
I think she's great. All my "men" (husband and two grown sons) get
absolutely violent when her name is brought up. Strange. Or maybe
not so strange - here in the mid-west (Missouri) people - especially
the men - are very conservative and make no allowances for differences.
Strong, intelligent women are looked upon with suspicion and, actually,
hatred. My men all think Rush Limbaugh (from right here in my home
town!) with his "femi-nazi" (sp?) label for any woman who stands
up for herself is right on.
Esther via e-mail from
I enjoyed your
piece tremendously - you and I share many of the same memories
of the men who started flying in those early days, even before the
Harlan airport was built. I went with my Dad to a little airport
near Marne, IA. My Dad and two other men owned a Piper Cub - bright
yellow with a big #5 painted on the side and NC27974, painted on
the wings. What absolute joy it was to fly with my Dad!
Mom wouldn't fly with
him because "one of the family needed to keep her feet on the ground,
just in case!" I'm not sure she really wanted to fly anyway. I remember
doing barrel rolls and spins, flying through wispy clouds and loving
every minute. When the Harlan airport was being built my dad, a
road engineer by profession, helped lay out the runways. Men pitched
in to plant and harvest the corn crop that grew around the field
and profits went to airport maintenance. Flight breakfasts were
exciting, watching all the planes landing and listening to all of
the plane talk.
I married a dashing young
man who only wanted to fly and marked time at ISU until his induction
into Cadet Flight Training came due. We were married after he graduated
from training in l956 and he spent 10 years in the U.S. Air Force.
Later he became a pilot for TWA until his retirement. Our son, David,
received his private license at age 16 and during one of his cross-country
flights took me on a nostalgic trip from Kansas City to the Harlan
airport. I must admit I was a bit nervous, yet found myself feeling
absolutely giddy when we landed at the Harlan airport. Mother was
there to meet us, and she was so very proud of her grandson that
Thanks again for reminding
me of those wonderful days.
Joan Camery Prather via
It has never been possible
for the young to fathom what the old get out of life, because they
are simply too young to appreciate it -- as I used to feel when
I was very little that life had passed my parents by because they
no longer enjoyed sitting on the floor reading the funny papers.
Madison Avenue tends
to disappear up its own navel. They select for similarity, and never
encounter any diversity of viewpoint. This applied when no one who
worked in advertising could be overweight, so all advertising to
the plus sized community appeared on willow-thin models. It was
a shock to them when advertisers who filled their catalog with women
of the size that would actually wear the clothing got all the business.
Remember the "Ring Around
the Collar" ads around the time women's liberation got off the ground?
I knew a number of women totally infuriated by this concept of them
as having the most vital issue in their life how clean the laundry
was, and the attempt to shame them by making them responsible for
their husband's appearance. As my more liberated friends and I remarked,
"Why not nag the guy to wash his neck once in a while?"
The same myopic view
of the elderly is a picture of people on low fixed incomes with
no spending power, living on dog food. Since most of the wealth
in this country is concentrated in the hands of older people, this
is a very self defeating point of view.
Once upon a time teenagers
and young people with generous parents had disposable income and
spendthrift habits, but not today, with housing and food prices
where they are -- parents simply cannot afford them, even with two
incomes. However, if they want to waste their advertising dollars
on teenagers, who are we to say them nay?
We have much better resources
for finding the products and services we want than the kids, after
a lifetime of practice, and we also tend to remember who our friends
are, while teenagers are much more forgetful in this regard. Modern
Maturity is going about it all wrong, though. (Editor's note:
they're reducing their advertising rates.) They need to hike their
ad prices above those of the magazines for the young, pointing out
that their space is more valuable, since it targets the people who
actually have money enough to buy things. No one values what comes
Inki in California via
Still enjoying Seniorwomen.com,
especially the Letters Column -- reading it is like sharing thoughts
and a camaraderie with my peers. The letter asking for a makeup
and skincare column ) interested me because I'm a senior model who
does skincare shows once a month on national TV, demonstrating many
different products in a two hour period.
I've always dreamed of
living the motorhome lifestyle, so after reading all the books on
RVs I could find, I went out and purchased one. I've taken it on
three shakedown cruises and I can say, unequivocally, that the reality
is even better than the dream. Housework never held the joy for
me that this "coach" does. I love cleaning it. I enjoy learning
about the engine, the generator, how to keep the gray water and
black water tanks balanced. I even like reading the manual about
the electrical and propane aspects.
For those who are not
familiar with this lifestyle, it's a growing phenomenon. In my opinion,
the best book on the subject is "Over The Next Hill",
an ethnography of RVing seniors in North America, by Dorothy & David
Counts. I will sample the full-time RVers life when on the road
finding places like campgrounds, libraries and truckstops to plug
into when traveling. I took my 33 ft.-long motorhome in for an oil
change today and asked the mechanic to put it up on the lift so
I could take a picture of it. He thought it was pretty funny, but
I saw it as documentation. I'll stay tuned to your site, and try
to post something from the road.
Anita Shumway, Publisher,
ROADSONG, Traveling with Anita.
I turned 60 and am retiring
as an Administrative aide at the National Institutes of Health.
I'm looking for something interesting to do until age 65; I have
good computer and excellent interpersonal skills, a great deal of
energy and splendid health. If you have received similar correspondence,
to what resources did you direct these inquiries?
Thanks for your help.
Helene Shapiro Helenemshapiro@aol.com
Helene: We have
gathered some resources for you and added these on our employment
Dear Senior Women
Readers who have enjoyed
David Westheimer's wry humor in SeniorWomenWeb should do themselves
a favor and check out their local libraries and out-of-print book
sources for his novels. "Going Public", which is hard
to find but worth the search, is uniquely clever and funny.
But David has a lot more
than humor to offer. Von Ryan's Express, which many will
remember as the movie starring Frank Sinatra years ago, is masterful;
and his poignant "My Sweet Charlie" is very touching.
"Sitting It Out", a memoir of his 869 days as a prisoner
of war during World War II reads like a novel; it's hard to put
down. He reminds me of Meryl Streep--no he doesn't look like her!--but
like Meryl and her movies, all of David's works are completely different.
Rose Mula via e-mail
article on the Senior Women web page was right on target and
really hit me - I just spent last Saturday trying on swimsuits until
I just couldn't stand it! Prior to that I had tried to order from
a couple of catalogs; the suits were just awful. The size charts
meant nothing. The fabrics were thin and the suits were just plain
I, too, am a serious
swimmer. We have a pool at home and I love to swim. Yes, I use up
swimsuits, too. Oddly enough I bought a very good suit from AVON
- yep - my Avon lady and her little sales catalog. The suit is basically
black with a little leopard trim. The tummy area is criss crossed
and the fabric is heavy. I find one should wear a size smaller than
they think (ahem - I take a 14 that way).
Thanks for the sympathy
article. I'm 61 and still put in a full day in my printing and awards
business but swimming helps to keep me in shape.
Pat Lehman, Lehman Graphics
Center Beebe, AR
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