jlsathre

jlsathre
Location
Illinois,
Birthday
July 30
Bio
I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.

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JANUARY 8, 2013 1:01PM

Where Have All the Grandmothers Gone

Rate: 15 Flag

She's standing in a grocery store check out lane, fit, slight of frame, with orange-red hair, obviously dyed. A short cut, just shy of spiky. No product in it today to hold the spikes, but it's early. A Sunday morning, quick trip to the grocery. The product will probably go in for the next trip out, after the coffee, I imagine .

She wears jeans with a darkish wash, slightly distressed. Tight. No winter wool coat,  just a gray hoodie with a pattern. I can't see the logo, but it looks like it could be American Eagle. Ugg boots. Trendy glasses with wide stems. Mid to upper sixties is my guess. Although she could pass for a teen from the back. Or a distance.

She looks a little silly. A grown woman dressing down. A reversal of the little girl wobbling in her mom's high heels.

I think about her all the way home. Who's telling her that she looks better when dressed in the style of the memories of her younger years?

It seems prime for a blog post. A class of women dressing like their daughters. "Where have all the grandmothers gone?" I think. A perfect title.

I sit down at my computer. A framed picture of my grandson to my left. My reflection in the glass.

Slight of frame, fairly fit, with blonde highlights in my brown hair, obviously dyed. Longish hair, growing out, usually worn straight, parted in the middle a la Peggy Lipton. The gray streaks at the temples touched up regularly. The side swept bangs in need of a trim every few weeks.

Hair pulled back in a high pony tail today. Wearing low ride jeans with some planned fading in strategic spots. Tight. A long sleeve t-shirt from Gap. There is a hoodie on the back of my chair, probably Gap. A down parka hangs on the coat rack. Ugg boots in the closet. I take off my new glasses with the thin black frames that looked good in the picture of the model in Glamour magazine, but don't work so well for no line bifocals.

I find I have nothing to write.

I grab a cardigan. And think about baking cookies. But surf the web instead.

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Comments

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funny, my 3 year old grandson told his mother, "We need to buy Nanny some new jeans"--apparently mine are not in style anymore!
Christine--You're going to be in for a ride with that one.
I can see the resemblance to Peggy Lipton. But you know, she faded, and you are going strong!
Ha! I think your "look" sounds perfect! Ironically, my daughters all dress like 1950's movie stars, while I have pretty much always dressed like Neil Young circa 1969. During the "grunge" period the girls were always borrowing my torn Levis & flannel shirts. Ah! but I found some photos of my grandmother when she was around the age I am now, & she is resplendent in silky pink polyester, laughing with her fellow blue-haired ladies.
Nilesite--I went for the Mia Farrow look with really short hair when I was young. Peggy was always out of my reach. Maybe I can finally catch up.

Suzy--Blue hair and pink polyester. Now that's something to aspire to.
Love this, Jeanne! This made me chuckle a long time.

You know what, your grandson does not have a preconceived notion of what a granny looks like. YOU are his model.

Do you know that BBC show calle My Family? With Zoe Wanamaker? (with spiked hair) I like her line, " I want to be the groovy granny!"

Honey, you are.

Red hair is too much says moi, the Oracle of Granny Fashion.
JL, your work gives such a new age notion. Today's grandma, rides the web, wears jeans , writes books and makes the young feel old. Wish I can be a rock grandma someday!!!!

Good work.

Have a beautiful new year.
Here's to grandma's everywhere...may we never look like our grandma's did!
Emily--Well, his grandma rarely bakes cookies, but she almost always has oreos. And she agrees that dyed red hair is a step beyond groovy.

Stathi--You're still young. Don't rush it. Enjoy every day.

Trilogy--Grandmas united!
They're all blogging, that's where they've gone!
R
Hoodies, jeans and Ugg-like boots are practically a uniform for any age these days. They can go almost anywhere. And are so very comfy. I love that that woman's in her 60's and dressed like that and I also hope she uses lots of product to get the spikiest spikes possible in her orange-red hair.
Like you, I'm one of the new versions of grandma. I think that social media has helped blur the lines of generations, which is a good thing.
Funny I should read this tonight. Just today I saw a "little old lady" at the city hall in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo with age spots, a walking cane, and cotton-candy blue hair. Grandmas in Japan usually look the part. Not this one.
Ha! A generation lost in space, now Wikkintellectuals buying Visine, organic Fruit Loops and eye-level gin while the grand kids text about reverse engineered holograms dreaming of teleportation via Einstein-Podolsky-Rossen entanglement. Thank you Steve Jobs: 2005 Stanford Commencement Address--'life is too short to be living someone else's dream.' And (closing with an aphoristic sayonara from a 1975 issue of the Whole Earth Catalog) 'stay hungry, stay foolish...'
It's all about the cookies and the 'pennies'. Grandma clothes are a thing of the past. But I think it would be a great theme for a ladies luncheon. Come dressed like Nana. Bet you couldn't find one of those print dresses...
Unbreakable--And thank goodness for blogging. I think we may be set to take over Facebook too.

Margaret--I've never been able to figure out exactly what "product" is. Or what specific type of "product" might actually help me out. In that respect, I'm way back there playing catch up with the spiky haired lady.

Lea--Well, it's certainly allowed us to see what the kids are up to.

bluestocking--I think that might have been worth a picture.

J.P.--My dream is Peggy Lipton hair. Not exactly lofty, but....
Ande--I love your idea for a ladies luncheon. Better than a bad Christmas sweater party. It could be perfect for a baby shower.
stereotyping isn't a good idea at any age. I didn't know that applied to what women over 60 looked or acted like until I got here, but it does. personal style doesn't stop once one crosses that age line, thank dog.
I'm no fan of stereotyping, but some of the ones for grandmothers of past years are pretty hard to dispute. I think we're shredding them though.
I would be very pleased to look like my grandma. She was a beautiful woman all her life. I know she is probably the reason I stopped dying my hair.
Mary--You have that beautiful white hair that we all wish for, but most don't get. My grandmothers gave me a lot of things that I admire, hold close, and try to duplicate. But their style wasn't one of them.
You nailed this one, Jeanne. Always think of a banker friend of mine who, one morning early while climbing out of the shower, caught his reflection in the mirror and thought "Who the hell is that?"
My 3 1/2 year old granddaughter is moving to Nevada and while her and I were talking about how much I will miss her she looked right at me and said "But Nana, we can skype!" We have come a very long way since how our Grandparents were there for us :)
Sometimes nothing is better than a load of everything. I had my ponytail up today too. Think I should write about it?
It's not just grandmas, no one knows how to dress appropriately anymore. I swear I will not be the gramps in the tank top, shorts and flip flops with socks. Yup, no socks for me! R
It's not just grandmas, no one knows how to dress appropriately anymore. I swear I will not be the gramps in the tank top, shorts and flip flops with socks. Yup, no socks for me! R
Rob--The lesson there is never look in a mirror until fully dressed.

lunchlady--We have come a long way. I'm just afraid our grandkids are going to surpass us on the technology stuff before they reach grade school.

Scanner--Go for it. Mine's pretty straggly. I bet yours is better.

Gerald--This from a man who's wearing a tux in his picture. You are not to be believed.
Thank you for this lighthearted look at how well we Baby Boomers seem to be aging. I guess most of it has to do with healthy habits, good genes and rock 'n' roll mentality that never dies. Rock on, Sistah!
Thank you for this lighthearted look at how well we Baby Boomers seem to be aging. I guess most of it has to do with healthy habits, good genes and rock 'n' roll mentality that never dies. Rock on, Sistah!
Thank you for this lighthearted look at how well we Baby Boomers seem to be aging. I guess most of it has to do with healthy habits, good genes and rock 'n' roll mentality that never dies. Rock on, Sistah!
Thank you for this lighthearted look at how well we Baby Boomers seem to be aging. I guess most of it has to do with healthy habits, good genes and rock 'n' roll mentality that never dies. Rock on, Sistah!
Thank you for this lighthearted look at how well we Baby Boomers seem to be aging. I guess most of it has to do with healthy habits, good genes and rock 'n' roll mentality that never dies. Rock on, Sistah!
My mother, who's a very girlish 52, pointed out to me the other day that Jean Stapleton was 49 or 50 when "All in the Family" came out. The contrast was stunning. In any case, though, rock it.
I'm a 50 year old step-grandma who wears black tights and clunky black boots, knee-grazing denim skirts, shoulder length (not dyed but still naturally all-brown) hair, dangly earrings, fitted v-neck top (also black; I'm a New Yorker.) My concession to aging has been replacing my contacts with glasses because I can't read in contacts anymore and reading is part of my job. I'll dress like an old lady when I feel like one. Maybe in another 50 years...thanks for a good and thoughtful post!
Marlan--I think it's the rock and roll mentality. Minus that "never trust anyone over 30" thing.

Christoper-Great example. It's both depressing and exhilarating when I look at pictures of my grandmothers and realize they were ten years younger than I am now.

Eva--Good attitude. I bet old age never catches up with you.
LOVE this! My grandmother was short, chubby, gray, and almost always wore a dress. I loved her dearly. She made the BEST chocolate chip cookies in the world. I think of the grandma I want to be, and I think of her. I will put away my hoodie when the time comes.
Most of my grandma friends look young and hot, not frumpy. The miracle of botox, skinny jeans and gym memberships.
I'd like to add that socioeconomic status plays a role. I do know people who can't afford hair dye, fancy chemicals, and don't have the luxury of time to exercise much and they don't look so great but they're great at being grandmas, too.