Saturday, June 23, 2012

The “M” Word.....

No word causes a chill down the spine of a woman of a certain age and an eruption of fire and smoke coursing back up through the ears (and in my case, the mouth) more speedily than the word “matronly”. I call it “the M word”. The term matronly calls to mind by-gone era TV characters such as Aunt Bea from “The Andy Griffith Show”, Edith Bunker from “All in the Family”, Jessica Fletcher of “Murder She Wrote”, and Marion Cunningham on “Happy Days”. Jean Stapleton was only 48 when “All in the Family” debuted. Marion Ross was a mere 46 when “Happy Days” first aired. Yikes!

Matronly women wear their long gray hair in a bun or short blue rinsed hair in tightly permed poodle curls that are “blown out and set” once a week at the beauty shop. They wear house dresses or pant suits that have elastic waist pants and a matching top or mom jeans and sweatshirts with whimsical appliques. To me synonyms include the motherly, stately, mature, middle-aged, sedate, matriarchal, sexless, and boring. No woman I know yearns to be matronly – with the exception of my younger sister who thinks she has to dress “like a mom”. No animal print underwear in that lingerie drawer!

Both of my grandmothers were matronly, as were all of my great aunts. They were products of their generation. They wore house dresses and sensible shoes. Neither my mother or my mother-in-law or my husband's 100 year old grandmother are matronly. In fact, according to my mother-in-law, neither she nor Granda shop at a chain of stores that markets to women over 35 because they don't think the clothes are youthful enough! I am right with them on this one!

We Baby Boomers don't want to become matronly. We want to think of ourselves as fashionable, healthy, physically fit, relevant and forever young. That is why we practice yoga, train for marathons, join health clubs, and participate in life affirming activities. We want to be the best we can be at every age. We do not give in to the old expectations.

So, I refuse to become the “M Word”. hair is vibrantly red. I regularly try new makeup brands and formulas & wear colorful chunky jewelry. I wear animal print bras and thong panties. {I always wear my “fierce underwear” when I am attending a mediation}, pencil skirts, tank tops, shoes with 3 1/2 inch heels (the stilettos were retired after my 8th sprained ankle), empire waist dresses, and jeans that hug my curves. There are no mom jeans in my closet. I watch “What Not To Wear” religiously. My toes are always polished and I do not own the dreaded A-line mid calf length heavy denim skirt that says “I haven't had sex since 1992”. There is no M Word in my vocabulary.

Expunge it from usage! Instead....I opt to use the “V Word” to described myself. Vibrant!
So, let's all substitute the V Word for the M Word and celebrate being Vibrant!!!

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