Things I’ve Noticed

  • I find it not only easier to tolerate but almost enjoyable when intelligent people bash the “tyranny of virus villainy” (Jessie) but just plain annoying when stupid people shout “conspiracy” and cite neither provable nor unprovable emotional reasons that haven’t been reasoned at all. To wit: hospitals are actually empty, only one person with Covid-19 at the such-and-such hospital, all deaths are being counted as virus caused, masks cause people to have breathing problems, and on and on.
  • I have reached the age wherein changing a heel-height for a day can and will cause serious leg cramps during the night.
  • Changing a hair-do can cause me to adopt a different walk. So can heel heights.
  • There are certain expectations that are dropped in blog writing. Allowances are made, though not for misuses such as “their” for “they’re,” apostrophes when it’s a plural word or instead of “its” as a possessive. I notice this because I’ve been reading an old Jenny Diski blog. (Speaking about her content, not grammar usage.) She’s better there than in her book In Gratitude, where she tumbles into sophomoric or self-pitying. I know, I know, she did have cancer. That doesn’t explain the attacks on Doris Lessing where Doris may well have been in the right, depending on the slant of words.
  • Blogs also fall into different categories: the totally insipid, the average but ho-hum (this can also be the young self-centered darlings that all the other young darlings love) and the worthwhile. (Those on the borderline go into the lower category.)
  • Excel spreadsheets are for those of us who get tired of figuring out the same old dates we’ve figured out a hundred times before.
  • Hyperbole is the gift given—to those of us who write—as a legitimate poetic device.
  • So is sarcasm, as verbal irony.
  • Blogs may be like playing chess—you want to look at those that are better than yours so that you can improve. It’s no credit to beat an opponent who is not as good as you.
  • We all need to have those conversations with our parents or children that answer the questions we or they want to know. Now. Before they’re gone. We have to pretend we’re writing a family history or start one now. Ask.
  • Masks are now mandatory in Ohio starting tomorrow night. I wonder how long before we get to watch crazies who don’t know about the 10th amendment shout about their rights being infringed upon. OK, not funny just tragic with collateral damage.
  • Another thing about blogs—no serious editing required as when practicing your craft for publication. Some though, some. All blog writers must remember they have a certain obligation to the reader. Some standards.
  • There are grammar and spelling apps., some built-in. I know this as I’m a terrible speller.
  • An Excel spreadsheet is not going to get you all the answers to questions you wish you’d asked when people were alive. Yes, ask.

And so, for today, that’s the waaayyyy things are.


The Double Standard

Ravenous Butterflies
“Women have another option. They can aspire to be wise, not merely nice; to be competent, not merely helpful; to be strong, not merely graceful; to be ambitious for themselves, not merely for themselves in relation to men and children. They can let themselves age naturally and without embarrassment, actively protesting and disobeying the conventions that stem from this society’s double standard about aging. Instead of being girls, girls as long as possible, who then age humiliatingly into middle-aged women, they can become women much earlier – and remain active adults, enjoying the long, erotic career of which women are capable, far longer. Women should allow their faces to show the lives they have lived. Women should tell the truth.” Susan Sontag – The Double Standard of Aging (1972)
Annie Leibovitz – portrait of Susan Sontag.

It seems to me that the double standard of aging is yet worse today than days gone by, with women being the biggest perpetrators of deception themselves. Well, women and marketing. Marketing and products. It’s not easy to find original and simple of anything anymore, much less “beauty” products. Buying face lotion is a lesson in patience getting past the rejuvenating and replenishing and restoring with vitamins and retinol A thru z. Removing wrinkles and spots and age itself is easily bought over the counter—surgery in a bottle. And then the surgery itself—beyond Botox in a needle—is available to everyone, not just models and movie stars. Oi! So it appears as if women have to have the courage to just be themselves, not as a member of a group. The group itself (of aging women) is splintered the same as so much in our world today. Put this in the corner of “Self Matters.”