As I stand on the threshold of my seventy-third birthday, I find myself at odds with some things our modern American society appears to relish or merely accept. Now don't get me wrong. I am a very active, energetic older woman who continues to be involved with many worthwhile projects, but recently I made a list of things I have issues with and found myself wondering "Am I the only one who feels this way?"
Reality TV shows top the list. I have enough reality in my life. If and when I watch TV, I want to be entertained, not subjected to another helping of pain and misery. Some of the shows should simply be called talent shows. And no, thank you, I don't care to watch someone do a make-over on her house.
Number two on my list is Botox. Face lifts, Botox, and liposuction are promoted in the retardation of the physical aging process - in essence, used as weapons of denial but how healthy is it to live in denial of a life process? Older women have been fed a lot of nonsense by Hollywood and the media. Growing older gracefully and wisely is something I value. I wear my "silver threads" and wrinkles with pride.
For years I had dyed my hair and then one day when I was in my early 60s, I looked in the mirror and asked myse1f: "Who are you trying to impress? Enough is enough! You have no one to impress but yourself." My hair was thinning and the dye made it even more noticeable. I decided to let the grey take over. Within a short period of time, my hair got thicker and the bald spots disappeared. I wasn't exactly looking to grab any man's attention but I was soon being pursued by four different admirers who liked my classy "silver threads".
Aging, I repeat, is a life process and regardless of how many facelifts a woman might have, this process continues internally as well as externally. Growing older does not have to be synonymous with failing sexual, intellectual, or emotional powers.
Those annoying telephone prompts rank Number three. Press one for English. This is America where English is our language. Why should I be made to feel that I'm in some foreign country? Now some companies have wised up and give a Spanish prompt immediately. Can anyone tell me if there are prompts in Chinese, Arabic, or Hindi?
Professional sports occupy the Number four spot. Football, baseball, and basketball morphed into big business. There was a time when I was an avid fan of the Baltimore Orioles but as players' salaries ballooned into ridiculous figures I could not, in conscience, continue to support them knowing how little our teachers, policemen, and firemen are paid by comparison.
Supermarket ads make Number five on my list. We speak of the ~'dumbing down" of America and these ads are a prime example of this. Why do they advertise certain items like yogurt as 20 for $10.00? Can't they just say fifty cents apiece? They make it sound like you're getting some kind of a bargain. And then you see ads for certain grocery products listed as 3 for $5.00 because the marketing gurus know that ninety-eight per cent of readers won't bother to figure out the cost of one as $1.66.
Number six on my list are women over sixty who have babies. In my opinion, this is nothing more than an ego trip. When a woman is old enough to be someone's grandmother, I doubt that it is wise or healthy to be bringing a baby into the world. Want to hold a baby in your anus? Volunteer at a hospital with AIDS babies or at a daycare center. Keeping up with your teenager at forty-five is formidable; at seventy-five, next to impossible.
Ah, yes - and let's not forget cable television with one hundred thirty-four channels to choose from. This one is Number seven. Who could possibly need all these channels unless that person is a couch potato with nothing else to do all day except flip through channels. I have better things to do. My philosophy of life is: find a need and fill it. It keeps me occupied in a productive, positive way.
Last but certainly not least are the requirements for the presidency. They are downright laughable compared to requirements for other occupations.
If I had any say in the matter, anyone aspiring to be a presidential candidate would have to undergo a rigorous four years of training at an academy specifically designed for this purpose. Moreover, he or she would have to pass a tough exam.
Sadly enough, we live in an era of political big spenders who ought to be putting that money where their mouth is.
There you have it ... my pet peeves. And my question still remains: Am I the only one who feels this way?