The Goddess Speaks
‘You go girl!’ but be careful
A young reader once complained to her newspaper's fashion editor that her 90-year-old grandmother still insisted on wearing the shortest of miniskirts. The fashion guru responded, "As long as she has the legs to show off, more power to her. Fashion has no limits when it comes to age if the wearer looks good and feels good. Tell Grandma, 'You go, girl!'"
Since reading that, I have adopted the mantra, "You go, girl!" -- especially when it comes to making a fashion statement. Accordingly, my closets are filled with bright colors, miniskirts, tank tops, high heels and chunky jewelry. I still wear my hair long ... no change from the '50s (never mind my age). My greatest shopping pleasures are trendy teen boutiques where everything seems to fit and nobody asks, "Are you shopping for your granddaughter?"
Recently, my sister returned from shopping in foggy London, where she came across a rare find, a purple embroidered tank top. "This is so you," she said. "I thought of you the minute I saw it."
On Mother's Day my son, who lives in Los Angles and shops on Melrose Street, gifted me with a green-and-burgundy lamb's-wool beret, oversize tasseled macramé handbag, brilliant orange silk sari and a pink rhinestone wristwatch. His card read, "To a young-at-heart mom who refuses to grow old."
However, a word of caution: Growing old can be hazardous to your health. Even worse, growing old and not realizing it can be downright dangerous, life-threatening and just plain stupid. I should know.
Two years ago, wearing my highest animal-print heels to a community theater performance, I missed the first step on the way to my seat and fell head-first down 18 stairs while the audience gasped in disbelief. I landed on the bottom row, wedged tightly between rows 1 and 2, while my shoes flew 20 feet into the audience. It took four men to lift me out of my entrapment. While examining my injuries, the worst being a lump the size of a tennis ball on my ankle, the doctor warned I could easily have suffered a broken neck.
Amazingly, two more falls followed, serious enough to land me in the emergency room both times. Once more, forgetting my age and subsequent vulnerability, I went tottering down an uneven sidewalk in loose, floppy wedge slippers. They caught, sending me toppling to the pavement on my face.
Even wearing no footwear can be potentially dangerous, I learned. I was watering the garden when the telephone rang. With wet, bare feet, I ran like a teenager to answer the phone, skidding on the slippery marble floor. It didn't help that the caller had the wrong number.
Despite my emergency-room experiences, continue to think young and "go girl." But nowadays I proceed with wisdom and plenty of caution.
Wanda Kulamanu Ellis Au, a retired teacher and intern supervisor, is a real estate property manager, mother of five and grandmother of eight.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
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