Aging backwards

bag ladies

I’ve learned two wonderful things over the past few years.  1) My gang of Baby Boomers  has suddenly grown too old to die young – whew, what a relief.  But 2) more important, we’ve found one is never too old to be young at heart – or so someone said – and we decided to test the hypothesis. (This photo is special because it has two of our “mamas” who left us much too early – Mrs. Higgins and Mrs. Hooker who are seated at left.  They could always hang with us despite being a generation ahead of us.)

Marganitas Xmas 09 013

We manage to celebrate everything – Christmas, Mardi Gras, birthdays, good hair days, a two pound weight loss – anything will do. During our 60 plus year friendship we have  discovered a sure-fire list of  “young at heart activities” that will have you aging backwards before you can say “medicare.”.

Here’s what happened once upon a time when my “tribe” got together at my house to celebrate spring birthdays. It had begun to drizzle just before party time – just enough to mess up a good hair day, so my always fashionable friend, Marie, arrived wearing (gasp) a grocery bag over her head. At first we were horrified that this fashion plate would resort to such, well, tackiness.

But wait, she had arranged it so creatively that  it had a decidedly “French beret” sort of flair.  It was actually quite chic. The rest of us wanted to achieve the look so I began pulling out my wadded up plastic bag collection which by now had reached a population of at least several hundred.  I had no idea what I planned to do with them, but see – you save anything long enough and you’ll find a perfectly good use for useless things.

Beth grabbed a Wal-Mart bag; Carole got a genuwine Fred’s; Barton selected a little Kroger design; and Ruthie chose a vintage Dollar General.   Norma yanked a Nordstrom’s bag right out of my hand – It was the most upscale I’ll ever posses..  That  left me with the  “Dirt Cheap” number which wasn’t all that inappropriate. 

But here’s the thing.  We frumped them a little this way and that and the results were stunning – worthy of a Easter parade.  We were so impressed with ourselves I went looking for a neighbor to take a snapshot of our creative attire. We even picked up a few more folks who wanted to join the fun.  It certainly gave new meaning to the term “bag”Mardi Gras and Norma's bday 021

ladies, but we like other hats too. 

This week I was looking at old pictures from Easters past and reminiscing about the Easter bonnet which very few women include in their Easter ensemble these days.  I can’t imagine why we gave them up because they can cut primping time in half since you can plop them right over bedhead and sail into church with no one the wiser.

The whole idea of purchasing a brand new Easter outfit seems to have evaporated and folks are as likely to wear blue jeans and flip flops to Easter services.  I remember my mother telling me 50 years ago  that Easter wasn’t about the clothes we wear.  It’s about paying homage to the sacrifice Jesus made for our sorry souls.  

Now that I think about it, Easter Sunday would be the perfect time to wear a bag over our heads in a show of humility and shame for our many sins.   Why not pull out your best bag for Sunday services.  I think I have a Pop-eyes bag somewhere which still smells like fried chicken.  Chickens are among the many  icons of Easter, right? 

If anyone questions your selection in head wear, just tell them you’re trying to be young at heart.

9 thoughts on “Aging backwards

  1. That made me teary. Don’t know why unless it was because I turned 71 last Monday. But just as your gang feels, my mind will never be as old as my body!

  2. Emily, as always I love the stories you share. I especially loved this one which included a photo of my Mama. She loved “hanging” with you girls. As her eyesight began to fail her, she loved for me to read her your writings in the Daily Times. Thank you for touching so many lives. Beth’s little sis, Jane

  3. it warms my heart to read of such love among women. We ALWAYS need each other.

  4. Emily, this picture of us in our hats makes my heart smile and tears flow. Like Yvonne said, we’re too young to be this old. These past five weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions, I’m so ready to “let the good times roll,” start saving your bags, I’m ready to make a new hat!

  5. Love this picture of my Mother! She loved being included. Hope everyone had a blessed Easter Day.

  6. You know this picture is my favorite also…..thank you……I miss you all so much…looking forward to May……

  7. And everyone in Starkville has seen the coaster you had made with our bag lady photo, Linda. II have it on my desk at thr daily news. Love you girl – now get on home so we can do it again – you too Carole – can’t wait for the reunion!. The Title of my new book is “Old is the New Black”

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