The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Only Dead People Dress Their Age

She was maybe thirty-five, cute as a button. Trying on a pair of overalls in the dressing room of a department store and asks me, “Is this too kid-ish for me?”

It was a joke, right?  That’s not anti-aging, it’s pro-aging. Is there some cutoff point when you have to start dressing according to your age? What in God’s name would that look like, after 55?

  • House dresses with enough kleenex in the pockets to service an entire second grade class with the flu
  • Bedroom slippers that flop so loud dogs bark
  • Plastic purses full of more stuff than the Las Vegas city dump
  • Weird plaids that make you disappear in most landscapes
  • For women, pants beneath their bellies
  • For men, pants beneath their armpits
  • Strange shades of pink that startle the dead
  • Floral patterns that make children cry
  • Shapeless clothing into which you could fit yourself, six children, fifteen car bombs or three cases of cheap whiskey.
     The first person that tries to put me in a mumu will die painfully. I still
    wear T-shirts and jeans. I dress about the same as my daughters, judging by the missing articles of my clothing that turn up in their closets and vice versa.

    Sometimes I see white haired people dressing like they just got up or are about to lie down. How sad. They wear their dowdy clothes like a badge of age: old age, not to be confused with maturity, as seen in elders who boogie on.

    They say, “clothes make the man.” If that’s true, then part of staying youthful is the way we dress. Dowdy clothes, clothes made of weird unnatural materials, clothes we could fit a second body into….these are the kinds of clothes to wear when you’re dead. For now, healthy anti-aging means wearing what is comfortable, style-less so that it passes for stylish, easy care, and lets you move freely…because if you’re forever kinda young, you’ll need some dancing room.


    1. It's never dressing to suit's dressing up to feel one's self..independent, refreshed, energetic, and radiating love!! No matter the cuts and sleeves, or tight clad T-shirts..If you feel great, you would look gr8 in any attire!!

    2. I wouldn't be caught DEAD in a muumuu, dowdy clothes, clothes of material of unnatural origin, literally.... so I won't be buried in such an outfit. I wear attractive clothes that are comfortable as well; the only accommodation I have made to my advancing years is to cease wearing pants so tight that farting blows shoes off. Looking good at any age is good.

    3. You should see my red sneakers-really hot. And my short shorts! What is the appropriate attire for a gent of my age? Anything I feel like wearing. Funny, funny post, as always, Janey.

    4. @ Fiducia: how well said! It's true, we dress to suit ourselves, it's the only way to dress.
      @Lian: I gave up those kind of pants years ago. Lost too many shoes.
      @NP: thanks for the kudos, and send me a photo of your feet in those red sneakers. I LOVE red sneakers!

    5. P.S I am contesting for Indiblogger-Yahoo-Dove 'what real beauty means to you' blogging contest. Can you read my post at and if you like it, 'LIKE' it on Facebook or 'Tweet' it or even sign up with Indiblogger to promote my post? The instructions to sign up with Indiblogger are given at the end of my post itself. Hoping to see you there! If you are on Indiblogger, you already know what to do!!

    6. Inside I'm always and only 23, so I can pretty much wear whatever I like. I'm dressing my body and my spirit, not my age! Crone Power!

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    8. Just PLEASE GOD do not buy velour sweat suits with any sort of lettering on the ass. I will officially disown you as my mother. For real.

    9. @Melody: back atcha, woman!
      @Lilly: I would never have thought about a velour sweatsuit with lettering on the ass, but now, hmmn...if you promise to have all your friends accompany you when you next pick me up at the airport, maybe I'll wear one with "mother of difficult children" written across the ass....and I think I'll wear a curly blond wig too...