“You don’t look a day over….

Look at this photo. That’s my sister Shelley (when she was emulating a string bean); my dad; Douglas, my ex, and my grandma Fannie. We were in my parents’ backyard in Queens. The year was 1969.

Shelley was 18 and looked 15. Fannie was about 67 and looked 84.  Fannie looked like the grandma she was. She worked hard her whole life and life took its toll. When most women reached their sixth decade, back in the day, they were over the hill. In mind, body and spirit.

How lucky are we that strong, smart women who came before us helped change all this. Women including Estee Lauder, who changed the way we look; Eleanor Roosevelt, who changed the way we act, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who changed the way we think.

I may not look like I did at 40, and I don’t always act like a spry young thing, but, like the rest of my FOF generation, I have never looked so good, felt so chipper and acted so with it.

Thanks to us, our daughters will be even better.


0 Responses to ““You don’t look a day over….”

  1. Toby Wollin says:

    All I have to do to know it’s better for my generation is to look at my mom:
    Two of her siblings died before she was born, in the 1918 influenza epidemic.

    Got strep throat at the age of 8, which turned into rheumatic fever, which damaged one of her heart valves. Why? penicillin was not available for use until after WWII.

    Fell down an elevator shaft during the London Blitz (the halls in the hospital were completely dark and someone left the door to an elevator open), injured her back and ultimately ended up in a body cast. Today, she’d have surgery. At that time, most people who had surgery for herniated discs ended up in diapers AND paralyzed. She wore a steel-boned corset from hips to bust for the rest of her life.

    Her choices for career when she was in high school were: teacher, shop girl, or nurse.

    Although there have been times when I look at my daughters and think – why is this so hard? Why do we seem to be doing the ‘gender equality cha-cha’ all the time? Most of the time, though, I do know that I have it better than my mom did; and my girls have had choices that I did not have either. I only wish that my mom had lived long enough, in good enough health, to be seeing them ‘doing their thing’ now.


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