Age Only A Number

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Satchel Paige

How I love that and so wish we weren’t ruled and judged by the year we were born.

Why is that? It’s a serious question because we’re the only country who feels age makes such a big difference.

France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Japan…no one is discriminated against because they have a big birthday. They’re celebrated, when here they throw you in a home and visit you on Sundays.

Even men, though they have a longer shelf life, are quite often kicked upstairs.

I especially hate what they do to Catholic priests. If you can’t serve mass anymore or be useful in any other way, they send you to one of their cold, prosaic facilities, their idea of a sanctified pasture.

Father Joseph Brown was a Jesuit Priest I wrote to for five years before he died. He was still so full of life yet relegated to live out the remainder of his in what I viewed as prison.

Why can’t they parole priests with a well-earned pension, like mailmen or iron workers. It’s almost as though they’re punished for trying unrealistically to be perfect.

I realize I’m on a tangent, but this topic inflames me to no end.

Why are we diminished for getting older?

As for me, I feel like the old bunny who gets, at best, to tutor the young ones to hop. I’m probably in better shape body wise than half these model miniatures sprouting like weeds, yet when my age is realized, the air changes.

I have two words for you: so what.

My friend Jackie at seventy was funnier, prettier and even sexier than her two daughter-in-laws who were first-class frumps.

Look at Camille, the poster girl for keep on truckin, no matter how old you are. I make fun of her because she’s good copy, but my admiration runs deep.

When she walks in a room, everyone looks because she doesn’t lug along what society insists are weighty limitations. You’re going to be sixty, you need to lower your hems and conceal that cleavage…it’s just not appropriate.

Says who?

Go to Paris, Milan, Barcelona where all bets are off. Where is it written that women of a certain age need to button up, shut down and close shop.

If it’s written anywhere, it needs an immediate rewrite.

Georgia O’Keefe in her eighties lived with a twenty-five year old right up to the day she died.

Do you think he was only there for her paints? She was interesting, worldly and still very beautiful and no, it wasn’t just for the money.

Audrey Hepburn, of all her men and she had plenty, was happiest with Robert Wolders…she in her sixties…he his forties. When she got sick he never left her side.

Jackie, no longer with us, the last year of her life when she was so, so sick still lit up the room. I wanted to bottle it knowing that level of light would be no more.

But it taught me, age doesn’t define who you are. You can preen, flirt, gleam like the sun right till your last moment leaving sparks twinkling in your tracks.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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10 Responses to Age Only A Number

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, too bad we didn’t take a lesson from the Native Americans while we were taking their land. They honored and celebrated their elders.
    Yesterday, a little first grade boy was very concerned as he said, “Mrs. M, what happened to your hands?” He was touching the popped out veins in my hands, which actually had been there since I was in grade school. As I’ve aged, they have become more and more noticeable. Luckily he said it in such a sweet way.


  2. Exactly, down with ageism. I wonder what life would be like if the concept of age was abolished. As you said, people are a lot more complex than just a number. I hope I’m youthful (at least mentally) until the day I die.


  3. micklively says:

    Well said. We wrinklies have a lot to offer. Go get ’em girl!


  4. katecrimmins says:

    I am still waiting to feel old inside. Hasn’t happened yet.


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