Noreen Wald imparts her wisdom on the benefits of growing older with humor and wit. She dispels the notion that the best years are over and gives advice that will help you achieve optimal happiness in reaching each milestone of maturity. Life has just gotten fuller and richer, and it's time to celebrate you, the superwoman who juggled career, kids, friendships, in-laws, and demanding bosses. Defy the rules of growing older -- get better with age.
* Maintain optimal health with exercise and a nutritious diet
* Make-up tips that will magnify your beauty
* The joys of cosmetic surgery
* The importance of good friendships to enrich your life
* Adventures in dating, looking for Mr. Right
* Have a wonderful time at any dinner party ... even if you're the extra woman
Accept and admit that you're getting older, but you're still a WOW - Wonderful Older Woman.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
Noreen Wald has held a variety of positions during her career that include essayist, lecturer, editor and seminar developer. She has previously written three books, Contestant, Ghostwriter and Death Comes For The Critics. She currently resides in Washington, DC
Read an Excerpt
How To Be Foxy at Fifty, Sexy at Sixty, and Fabulous Forever
By Noreen Wald
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2000 Noreen Wald
All rights reserved.
As Time Goes By
"Atrophied vagina" written boldly in the space provided for diagnosis on the health insurance form certainly caught my attention. For God's sake, hadn't the doctor told me not fifteen minutes before, with my feet up in stirrups and the Pap smear completed, "You're in great shape for the shape you're in"?
An atrophied vagina—I'd always figured that would be a near death experience! How had this happened? I looked pretty good on the outside. Well, a little looser in the jaw and a lot lower in the buttocks, but I still turned a few heads, if arthritis hadn't made their necks too stiff to swivel, and I still wore a size 6. Would tearing up the insurance form, paying in cash, and swearing the receptionist to secrecy cover the paper trail? Or would it be better to hire a hit man to give the gynecologist an internal he'd never forget?
Age is a sneak. There I'd been moussed, tinted, toned—well, that's a stretch—cholesterol free, calcium filled, swabbing selected body parts with sunscreen lotion ranging from 4 to 45, sort of an adult's paint-by-the-numbers game. How could my insides have had the audacity to shrivel?
While I was busy running in the other direction, age seemed not only to have caught up but to have delivered a cruel blow beneath the belt, so to speak. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I'd arrived at a place in life I never expected to be: postmenopausal and pre–Social Security. And like many of us, I'd given it little thought and less planning. Yesterday, or so it seems, I partied, twisting the night away in my mini. Invitations had kept coming: I've had entree to AARP for years, Senior Partners Banking, which doesn't save you a penny (though I have enjoyed the lower senior prices at many movie theaters), and discounted rides at Disney World. God only knew what thrills tomorrow would bring.
Up to then I had managed to ignore both the invitations and the calendar. I even moved to Florida, the only place in the world where you can be an ingenue at fifty. Really old people scared me, so I had avoided them, too, which is not easy in Pompano Beach where ubiquitous mortality, dressed in Easter-egg-pastel polyester pantsuits with elastic waists confronted you daily.
Ironically, I'd chosen to revel in the past, far preferring nostalgia and old movies to reality while living a script that didn't have a last act. And why not? It was a great role; I enjoyed playing the part. Not serendipity, but even sans husband or a high-powered career life was good. Often damn good.
I'd reached an age that gave me automatic acceptance in some retirement homes, yet I worked harder at physical well-being than ever before, doing aerobics in the pool most mornings. I was much more grateful for manageable hair and a slim frame than I'd been at thirty. Both were accidents of genes rather than design. Yet despite decades of working in the fashion and beauty industries, I would occasionally buy a beautifully packaged ninety-five-dollar jar of grease that promised to stave off the ravages of time. I applied makeup with the deft touch achieved by eons of practice and plucked gray hairs from my brow with the skill of a surgeon. If I didn't slow down the plucking, I'd have alopecia of the eyebrows. But when the lights over the mirror were pink enough and with eyeglasses vision that was less than acute, it had seemed worth the effort. I'd requested that my cosmetic bag and my rosary beads be tucked into my casket for the same reason, just in case.
Control has always been an issue—big time. I've always preferred being in charge. And I had believed I had the solution to most of life's problems, figuring that if you kept the outside wrappings tight and shiny, the package wouldn't unravel. However, that day in the doctor's office, as I faced the receptionist and the diagnosis, my usual optimistic attitude was seriously challenged. No matter how much I resented it or rouged the other cheek, I was getting older, and it was out of my control. Scary. Would I wind up being afraid of me?
When my periods had started playing hide and seek, here one month, missing the next two or three, I decided not to go on estrogen, alone or paired with progesterone. The history of cancer in my family was paramount in my decision. A woman gynecologist in Manhattan had concurred.
Would this be my reward for having chosen—possibly for the first time in my life—health over vanity? I knew that once my estrogen took a hike, osteoporosis might or might not arrive, my sex drive might or might not diminish, and I might or might not have ghastly night sweats, nervous fits, or the vapors. I'd gone the calcium and exercise route, trusting my bones would hold me up straight. And so far none of the above had plagued me. Did this grim prognosis bode a worse diagnosis?
A blurb in Vogue magazine later revealed the surprising results of a Clinique Truth/Beauty Survey, a nationwide poll that attempted to discover how women really felt about getting older. Notice that wording—not growing old, not aging, but the sugar-coated "getting older." Most of the women polled had considered fifty-four "the end of youth." On the day of the infamous diagnosis I'd already passed that milestone. Never mind ruing the end of youth; what I felt qualified as panic.
And I just kept "getting older"! I'd considered myself a fighter and a survivor; however, it's easy to be spunky when you believe the problem you're facing will have a positive resolution. Growing old seemed totally negative, and facing old age cheerfully an oxymoron. While I had no plans to go gently into that final good night, aging proved more than tough to accept: It was goddamn depressing. If depression is anger turned inward—Group Therapy 101—I'd better do a pirouette and segue into an attitude adjustment. Ready or not, Act 3 would be coming up. I knew I wanted writer's credit!
After that dreadful day at the doctor's I remember driving home on a road parallel to the ocean, parking the car, taking off my shoes, and hitting the beach. The sea comforts me. A true Cancer the crab, a water sign.
I love the beach in real life and in the movies. Deborah Kerr and a young Burt Lancaster locked in sand-covered sex as the waves rolled in; Holly Hunter with her piano in a sand trap, only to be rescued by a surprisingly sexy Harvey Keitel;Beaches, the sandy beginning and ending for Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey; a young Susan Sarandon and an old Burt Lancaster on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. I have great faith that somewhere on a beach in eternity I'll run into Burt.
It had been raining just before I left the car. As Floridians say, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." As if drawn with a brush stroke, a rainbow appeared. Its colors turned the sultry late-afternoon sky into a glorious picture. Did the Pleiades have a day job painting rainbows? The sky brightened, and so did my mood. Breathing the ocean air, I had a mini awakening, a low-grade spiritual experience. Take this age thing a day at a time. Carpe diem. An atrophied vagina isn't fatal. It turned out to be less than an inconvenience. Romance and Replens (an over-the-counter lubricant) can conquer all.
A later reevaluation of estrogen therapy with my current doctor changed my mind and my body! With a daily dose of Prempro, the problem is history.
The time had come to accept and admit that I would grow old. No matter how clever we are, there's no way to beat the clock—and I certainly wanted it to keep on ticking. Though I didn't know it then, I'd stumbled on the first step to becoming a WOW. Over the next several years I searched for and found an irreverent, pragmatic, healthy, and, yes, fun formula for growing old ... while remaining foxy forever.
I knew I had to begin major work on my resentment of aging. Though I'll never wear polyester pantsuits and I'll always believe Easter-egg pastels look better in nurseries—some chic babies, if asked, might prefer checks or plaids—I decided that my acceptance of the aging process would be essential to my happiness. My attitude, along with my body and soul, had to change.
I also knew change is a bitch.CHAPTER 2
The Way We Were is how we got to be the way we are. Wedged between the two most famous generations in America's history, mine is a generation with no name. Rona Jaffe called us the Do-Nothing Generation, but she's wrong. We did do something. We went to the movies.
My yesterdays were spent at double features complete with serial, Warner's Pathé-News, a Bugs Bunny cartoon, a contraband bag of White Castle hamburgers, and an orange crush. Fifty years later I still can't watch Double Indemnity or the original The Postman Always Rings Twice without smelling those onions and pickles.
The war and I hit the movies at about the same time. My grandmother Etta had a thing for Errol Flynn. The Colony, a neighborhood rerun theater, was screening an Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn double bill. Etta brought me along. Lots of swords, tights, teeth, blood, and bodies. I was hooked for life.
In those days, thank God, no one questioned whether a movie could affect a child for good or bad. I saw everything from Pinocchio to Gilda. I watched Mary Astor go from The Maltese Falcon's smoldering Brigid O'Shaugnessy to Little Women's Marmee in eight short years.
Mostly, however, I went to war: Rataan, The Purple Heart, Guadalcanal Diary, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. To this day I've never owned a Japanese car.
Bleak and frightening newsreels, together with grim documentaries like The Battle of the Beaches and The Life and Death of the U.S.S. Hornet, were my early history lessons. Young soldiers were dying on faraway battlefields; children were dying in concentration camps. Who would save the world?
The white hats appeared in the newsreels—Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, the British royal family. I wanted to grow up and drive an ambulance like Princess Elizabeth. Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo were evil incarnate, villains straight from central casting.
Everyone did his part. Fonda, Power, Gable, and Stewart enlisted, leaving Van Johnson in Hollywood to fight the battles on the silver screen. Bing Crosby and Bob Hope went on the road to entertain the troops. Ann Sheridan, Betty Grable, and Veronica Lake urged us to buy war bonds at newsreel-covered rallies, and my mom sold saving bonds in the lobby of the Boulevard Theater.
With four hours of pure escapism every Saturday and Sunday, I was programmed to deny reality. My heroines were Jennifer Jones's Bernadette and Greer Garson's Mrs. Miniver. A budding anglophile, I wanted to be a wife and mother who tended roses and rescued German pilots with equal aplomb. My new favorite song was "The White Cliffs of Dover."
Summer Sundays were spent at the beach—Rockaway, where the Atlantic Ocean meets Queens. The "Irish Riviera" consisted of tiny bungalows filled with large families, saloons filled with serious pale drinkers who never made it to the beach, and Playland, an amusement park filled with suntanned kids.
Even here I played movies. Dog-paddling through the waves, I would keep an eye out for U-boats, checking for a periscope of a German submarine. If a young man swam ashore and did not plop on a crowded blanket, I would follow him, certain he was a spy. If he went farther than the boardwalk, democracy was doomed since I wasn't allowed to leave the sand.
I loved to sit and stare across the ocean, wishing I could be Margaret O'Brien, starring as a teary British war orphan in Journey for Margaret, or brave Bonita Granville in Hitler's Children, defying SS brutality. In retrospect, the latter was rather racy. All those black boots and whips, combined with young buxom blondes flogged for refusing to cohabit with the Nazis.
My day at the beach would end in Bessie the Buick for the ride back to Jackson Heights. Daddy wanted to listen to the Dodgers; I wanted to listen to "The Shadow." Red Barber's calls filled the car far more often than "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"
When not watching the war on screen, we played war in the streets. A big chalk globe was sectioned into six or seven wedges. Each kid stood in a wedge that represented a country. We chose our countries from the newsreels—Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungry, Turkey, Russia, China. One kid stood in the center of the circle and bounced a Spalding into a wedge shouting, "I declare war on Turkey!" or whichever country caught his little Fascist fancy. Alliances were formed, and a series of Spalding maneuvers decided the victors.
We played movies indoors as well. Dressed in my mother's girlfriend's discarded white halter and with my hair wrapped in a white towel-turban, I was Lana Turner. Then we had Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, and Lana paper dolls, complete with cutout costumes from their hit films. We would play for hours with dialogue taken directly from sappy quotes in Photoplay or Modern Screen. By nine, wearing my mother's cartwheel hat, I was a regular Hedda Hopper.
On V-J Day, I was at Times Square surrounded by a sea of white sailor suits and a field of Army and Marine hats jaunty above fresh young faces. The crowd was patriotic pandemonium.
In my starched pinafore braided blond hair, scrubbed and shining outside, bursting with pride and confidence in God's country inside, a child of the forties, I knew this would make a great movie.
The identification with strong women continued with Myrna Loy's quintessential postwar wife and mother in 1946's The Best Years of Our Lives. A less traditional mother was played by Robin Hood's old girlfriend, Olivia de Havilland, in To Each His Own. My mother had taken me to see this "woman's" picture, and she immediately regretted it. I remember asking loudly, "Mom, how could she have a baby when she isn't married?" This led to an abridged mother-daughter sex talk. In our Irish-Catholic home, sex, like the Holy Trinity, remained a mystery.
In the late forties, with propaganda movies no longer relevant, Hollywood turned to social issues. The medium was the message, and often it was right on target. Lost Weekend presented alcoholism as an ugly disease, with Ray Milland's forlorn drunk as its victim. Gregory Peck's Phil Green in Gentleman's Agreement, proved anti-Semitism hadn't died with Germany's defeat; it was here in America, hiding in the closets of restricted hotels and the locker rooms of country clubs. Johnny Belinda covered the rape of a deaf mute. The heroine kept her illegitimate baby, a stigma in 1948. Jane Wyman—Ronald Reagan's first wife—won an Oscar for her role as Belinda. To Each His Own had taught me that an unmarried woman can have a baby. Johnny Belinda taught me that love can win over adversity. Two valuable lessons.
The decade ended, and so did my childhood. I was off to Manhattan, enrolled in the Dominican Academy, a Catholic preparatory school for young ladies. Miscast again!
Audrey Hepburn's princess from an unnamed country, in Roman Holiday, had me rolling up the sleeves on my white uniform blouse, adding a wide belt to my New Look full skirt, and cutting off my shoulder-length mane to achieve Hepburn's pixie hairstyle. It looked a hell of a lot better on her! I tried to walk and talk in her ladylike manner, too, and even began to pay attention to my ballet and etiquette classes. The nuns were puzzled but pleased. It was 1953, and most teenage girls wanted to be Audrey. Or Liz.
A Place in the Sun was the sexiest movie I had ever seen. Elizabeth Taylor was so lush, Montgomery Clift so gorgeous, and Shelley Winters so expendable—I would have drowned her on their behalf. Liz's strapless ball gown became the dream prom dress of the decade. Or Marilyn. Monroe's Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes drove lots of us to the Light and Bright bottle. I learned all the words to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and would sing them in an off-key but passable imitation of Marilyn's whispery tones. The padded push-up bras proved less successful.
And then along came Grace.
Mogambo pitted Kelly against Ava Gardner for Gable, who was reprising his big white hunter role from Red Dust twenty-one years earlier. In that version Mary Astor had challenged Jean Harlow for his affections.
Jean was long dead, Mary was long relegated to mother roles, but King Clark, a quarter of a century older than his current leading ladies, was still roaring for MGM. Any pity for Mary's plight vanished as Grace in designer safari attire—Out of Africa meets Ralph Lauren—appeared on the screen.
Excerpted from Foxy Forever by Noreen Wald. Copyright © 2000 Noreen Wald. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
For the WOW Generation,
1. As Time Goes By ... we get older,
2. Sentimental Journey ... the way we were is how we became the way we are,
3. Ac-cen-chu-ate the Positive ... what choice do we have? For the Body,
4. Put On a Happy Face ... recycling used skin,
5. Paint Your Wagon ... makeup, don't leave home without it,
6. Silver Threads Among the Gold ... hair: mane, bane, or main asset?,
7. Climb Every Mountain ... start with a very small step,
8. Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries ... "diet" is a four-letter word,
9. Buttons and Bows ... dress rich and never pay retail,
10. Moonlight Becomes You ... it's the daylight that drives us to the plastic surgeon,
11. Young at Heart ... and keeping our livers, spleens, and kidneys middle-aged,
For the Soul,
12. People Who Need People ... frankly, my dears, give a damn,
13. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling ... all in the family,
14. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? ... is there a new career in your future?,
15. School Days, School Days ... Grandma is a WordPerfect freshman,
16. Around the World in Eighty Days ... or around the block on Social Security,
17. The Second Time Around ... raising our kids' kids,
18. A Good Man Nowadays Is Hard to Find ... is over-fifty dating Dante's Inferno?,
19. I'll Take Romance ... if you find him, what do you do with him?,
20. Love and Marriage ... couples home alone,
21. Autumn Leaves ... our championship season,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Please read it, it's called survival of the fittest at 'fox' all results. Chapter 3 & 4 will be out by 9:00 pm eastern march 14. Chapter 3 sneek peek is out in res 4.
Can you advertise Darkclan? We have moved to "Directory of Ohio". Thx! |_|?Sunningfern?|_|
♚ A pale silver Tom jogged up. "Please. Advertise for CreekClan. We are new, but large already. We need more active Rp'ers, and Deputy is yet to be founded. CreekClan is a Clan of realisim, Literacy, and Non-Godmodding. This means no such Powers like Poision Claws, Flight Ability, Temperate Nature Powers..ECT..Maybe Powers like Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovewing had. We also accept literate Roleplayers' as we go by the Books. Godmodding is warded off here, as we play by books, and don't go off killing with onehit kills. We don't kill at all. We also don't accept Dramatical interphases. Please join CreekClan at 'Creek Camp' Result 2. But read my post in Result 1 first." ♚
MarsClan @ 'mars landing' <br> CreekClan @ 'creek camp' <br> HorseClan @ 'dog diaries' <br> Tribe of Flowing Winds: the original pact tribe! Dawn the leader is very active! 'Philebus' res 2. <br> <p> ~S&tau rm&gamma&omega&iota&eta&delta - s&epsilon&eta&iota r &omega&alpha rr&iota&sigma r &sigma f Cr&epsilon&epsilon&kappa Cl&alpha&eta
Darkclan- 'othello' first result (it's a double result, btw) <br> Creekclan- 'Creek Camp' second result (rules result one)
Flameclan at 'blue flames' result 1! What to put in da ad ~ <p> Are you need of a home? Are lost with no place to go? does your clan ignore you? Then come join Flameclan! This new clan, led by Fawnstar, will willingly except you, and provide a caring enviroment for you! All positions, excepte leader, are available! NOTE: no godmodding allowed, and we rp just like the books! <p> Thanks! ~ Fawnstar
A new Clan! Forestclan! Join at 'light tree' result two. We are Realistic and go by the Books! Leader is Leafstar, and Deputy will be chosen on March 14th! No Co Dep, but Med cat will also be chosen on the 14th. Thank you! ~ Leafstar
Awesome fanfic at Autumn Leaf res 1 and on. Appropriate for all audiences!
Goldenhope at north star res one.
We are found at lemon res 1 and i am medicine cat apprentice. We are windclan and the first cat there will be named leader!!!! We are very kind and only fight when attacked or VERY angry. We do have rules though, no cloak, no veil no evil or mean cats. *~GOLDENPAW~*
You spelled advertising wrong. It's properly spelled A D V E R T I S I N G
Can you advertise HurricaneClan for me. Say that we've been around since 2011 and we are semi active.