As if it’s not bad enough to be past 60, at 62, I seem to have fallen into a demographic no-woman’s land. Where did everybody go? I seem to recall boys and girls in class with me all through school, even in college! Did they all scatter and run for cover? I’m out here all alone!
I’m too old to be a sought-after “boomer,” that high-energy, once-rebellious crowd, and too young to be that sought-after, discount-laden “Senior Citizen,” that serene, wise if slightly forgetful clique. Ok. I do know of the recent, highly unsatisfactory euphemism, the Junior Senior. How concocted is that? It intimates that we still have a lot to learn from those revered elders only 3 years our senior. I worked almost 40 years and, thanks to years of diligent saving, have been able to retire. Does that count for nothing? What bolt of lightning is going to strike me in the next three years and magically transform me into a, dun tada (to the tune of Superman’s theme), “Senior Citizen?”
I guess what I’m looking for is my very own niche, a desirable customer for something now before the geezer mail starts to pour in. Hey, I didn’t name it geezer mail! Martin, John Mahoney’s character on “ Frazier” was my source. But I digress.
For example, the entire retirement industry is gearing up for the arrival of the almighty, blessed “boomers.” They’re not due for years. But I’m looking for data now. Yes, I was somewhat ahead of my time, I smoked pot. But got smart and stopped fooling around with dope and dopes very shortly thereafter.
Now everybody’s worried about what will happen when THEY (boomers) start collecting Social Security; when THEY start needing Medicare, when THEY will need long term health care.
Maybe I’m onto something. Maybe I’m not out there alone. Maybe those long-lost classmates of mine and I should be targeted and not overlooked by Madison Avenue and their ilk. We spend money. We like “age-appropriate” stuff. You’ve got years to capitalize on our unique needs.
Such as? Well, for starters, clothes that flatter and cover our bodies. Mama Mia! Just because we eschew “tummy tees” doesn’t mean I want “tees to the knees”! And those of us who are trim enough would like to wear skirts that flirt without a bare dernier!
I have read that one of our failings as consumers includes the fact that we tend to buy the same product from the same company repeatedly. Isn’t that the very brand loyalty manufacturers spend thousands to establish, or do I not understand loyalty programs such as frequent flyer miles at all? When I shop for those very tried-and-true products from those very manufacturers, as often as not, the product has been discontinued with no comparable replacement in sight!
Make-up manufacturers are the worst. After experimenting with bizarre colors with every season change for many (40+!) years, we probably know what makes us look attractive (young) and what makes us look like a clown (bright green eye shadow and magenta lipstick). All we want is to be able to buy the stuff that works. So we’re predictable. Fickle is better? I don’t think so!
Oh, and then there’s the shoes! Having been there and done that, I’ll never understand why women are willing to torture their poor innocent feet with stiletto heels and pointed toes. When MY contemporaries started to wear sneakers to and from work regardless of what they were wearing, I was sure that we were witnessing the dawning a new era of foot/knee/back-smart shoes and intelligent women. HA! But, hey, if they want to suffer, let them learn the way I did—the expensive, painful way. (By the way, flip flops are not an alternative, nuh uh). Please, sell a few styles so I can be comfortable and not look like a prison matron. Thinking about Queen Latifa in Chicago now, are you?
I don’t know whether 60 is the new 40 or not, but I have been told I look like I’m forty and I feel pretty healthy and fit and when I can find people my age, I think they look pretty good, too. And the actuaries say we’re going to live about 30 more years. That’s a lot of spending time.
What’s so hard? When I buy a skirt, I don’t want to show my underwear. When I shop at the same store, I want to find my favorite products or some reasonable (New! Improved! is OK) replacement—not brown eye shadow replaced with Kelly green because that’s what the designers are “showing.” And if the Gen X’ers are willing to surgically remove toes to squeeze into pointed torture chambers, please have a couple reasonably-priced styles for us—the Junior Seniors.