This a version of this article was first seen on Medium.

Yesterday I tried to buy a new bra. It was shocking, way worse than buying a bathing suit! I entered the dressing room with four of the “jiggle reducing” instruments of torture. With my back to the mirror, I reluctantly I took off my shirt and, with a sigh, the limp, shapeless older bra that was more or less comfortable and definitely due for replacement. Knowing what was coming, I slowly turned to the mirror and stood there dumbfounded. My breasts were reaching for my knees. Oh I knew this in a general way — but this was so in my face fooling myself went right out the dressing room door.

I recognized the image. Yes, it was me and it reminded me of something, someone else. It turns out that at the surprising age of 75 with yet another 30 ponds to lose, I have the body of a goddess!

We know her as the Venus of Willendorf. She’s much older than I am — somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000. I was flabbergasted!

You know her too most likely. Pendulous breasts rest on bulging belly and hips. Her genitals — vulva in view with maybe even a visible clit — proudly on displayed over thighs that could be called thunderous. Her head is covered in curls — similar to the heads of many Buddhist statues — her gaze cast down. Tiny feet support her mass and her arms are barely indicated. She can easily fit between your thumb and forefinger. She even has her own Wikipedia page!

Why today?

Why did I try to buy a new bra on that particular day? And how could it be worse than buying a bathing suit?

The bathing suit was for a swim party. I love swimming and was grateful for the excuse. In the dressing room with the suits it was fairly easy to mostly ignore the mirror until I’d crammed my way-too-big boobs into whatever passed for a ‘shelf bra’ in the various suits I tried. The shelf bra is supposed to be for lift, I gather. Mostly they conceal and assure no jiggle is possible. I picked the least onerous with ‘boy shorts’ and sturdy straps that would stay up in surf if I ever got back to the beach. When I put it on to swim, I just refuse to look — that’s easy.

You gotta get bare breasted

Buying a bra requires you approach the new garment with your top bare, giving you the opportunity to take a long, hard look at your breasts. If the new bra fits, the evidence (of what, decline?) is quickly covered. If it doesn’t fit, or worse, you can even get it on, well agony continues.

I think at least some of my extra angst exaggerated my reaction a bit because I’ve started online dating. It’s been fraught and fun and opened the possibilities of what I’ve always called a Big R Relationship which has, until recently, been another topic I’ve managed to stay in denial about. (I can hear this page clicking shut by many who can’t stand the image of a 75 year old woman being turned on — believe me, it happens — and yes, I’m bragging more than complaining.)

With new possibilities I didn’t want to be caught with my pants down, so to speak, in an ugly old bra. Well aware I might be dealing in projection and fantasy, I picked a nearby store, and with four bras in hand headed for the dressing room. Reality set in.

I returned home, without a new bra and in utter numbness. I began to google frantically for reassurance which, in my fevered state, seemed to bring up only pictures of slim, trim 55 year old women. They either had great bras, or were small enough for it not to matter much. I went to bed way early, wanting to only eat cookies.

This morning while fixing breakfast I had what might have been my first sane thought on this topic.

“Hmmm,” I thought, “it’s not like my clothes disguise my ‘lush’ body completely. Nor do my online pix lie, come to think about it. And it’s only on days when my confidence slips do I seem to see only men who insist women be at least 10 years younger than they are, and at least slim and trim — regardless of what their own photos reveal about them.

That lament, isn’t the whole story of course. Sprinkled throughout the listings there are some who aren’t knee jerking for a younger woman, and some who seem to be open to a range of body types. Occasionally both ‘wants’ appear in the same individual.

It slowly dawned on me that I was the one buying into the Standard American Visual Criteria for Older Women. (SAVCOW — truly I didn’t see that coming!) If its validity is anything like the validity or lack of it of the Standard American Diet (SAD), I merely have to get out of my own way. While there hasn’t been a stampede to my profile, I’ve not been ignored either. And I’m sure I haven’t been mistaken for half my age or a hard body either.

What I think is true is if I can let go of my self-centered fear, this whole dating thing will get really interesting, maybe even before after the lights go out.

Love, blessings and abundance,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

{ 0 comments }

Remorse? Apology?

For several years I’ve made a practice of listing 108 things I’m grateful for. This year (2017) I took a slightly different approach and wrote My White Privilege and an Apology for Thanksgiving.

It came out of something that had happened earlier in the week. Most Tuesdays members of the Sweetwater Zen Center practice something called “Council.” Since we were close to Thanksgiving the topic was gratitude.

Now part of Council is the idea that it’s more of a listening practice than anything else. We are urged to listen with our whole body and from the heart. When it’s our turn to talk it is suggested we also speak from the heart – in other words, say what is alive for us in the moment. For me this translates to not planning what I’m going to say while listening to you.

When it came to me I began with something pretty banal about gratitude, then heard myself begin to speak about my white privilege and how I wanted somehow to bring that knowledge into my annual list of 108 things I’m grateful for. I was rather stunned and as it turned out I was not alone.

When Thursday came, it took me a bit of dithering to really get started, and then it began to flow. And in fact the first six items were really an admission of gratitude for being white and learning about my white privileged. Then I went on with the usual.

It always feels risky

It always feels a bit risky to put something like that essay, and this one, out there in the world. Oh, my audience is small enough that I’m not likely to get in trouble, but you never know.

I did remove one link to a rather awful video that someone suggested was the real truth… not my real truth and it is my blog. Another emailed me privately and suggested I didn’t need to apologize and that might be talking down to others – I began a dialog. That comment also pointed out that I might need to clarify what I’m apologizing for or if apology is even the right word.

In fact, when I was talking about the post with my Master Mind group one woman asked if I meant apology or remorse.

Definitions

Dictionary.com defined apology as:

nounplural apologies.

1:  a written or spoken expression of one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged anotherHe demanded an apology from me for calling him a crook.

2. a defense, excuse, or justification in speech or writing, as for a cause or doctrine.
3. (initial capital letter, italicsa dialogue by Plato, centering on Socrates’ defense before the tribunal that condemned him to death.
 4. an inferior specimen or substitute; makeshift: The tramp wore a sad apology for a hat.

Remorse has fewer complications:

noun
1. deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction.
2. Obsolete. pity; compassion.
I think I was talking about a “deep and painful regret…” but remorse is included in the definition of apology. Maybe apology has taken on a bit of what, talking down to? While I’m pretty sure on what I meant, I’m now not at all sure I used the right word – today I’d choose remorse. Who knows, maybe I’ll remember that next year.
Tell us in comments what you think.
With love, blessings and abundance to all of us,
Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

{ 4 comments }

Guaranteeing a Living Wage – Is It Even Possible?

A living wage is defined “as a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.” I found that when I asked the google for a definition. When I asked about a guaranteed living wage I got: “…that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions.” […]

Read the full article →

I noticed the world didn’t end…

Like so many progressives, I’ve been horrified that we elected Donald Trump as President. Against my instincts I watched his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 and was aware of my emotions swinging from negative judgement to a desire to bring peace, kindness, and understanding. I realized I really do want to speak up and out in […]

Read the full article →

Speak Out – About What?

Over at AboutFreelanceWriting.com I challenged writers to speak out. That post came about because at least two of is in our forum have expressed a sense that we must speak up about what’s happening politically, racially and, maybe most importantly, climate change. Speaking out isn’t always easy I was brought up to be a nice girl. […]

Read the full article →

Voter Suppression is the Real Issue, Not Voter Fraud

I was hoping we were done with this election, but it’s not to be apparently. And maybe we should be grateful. After all Trump’s whining about voter fraud, and he’s still complaining even though he appears to have won the election. That’s because Jill Stein and the Green Party have raised enough money to require a […]

Read the full article →

Kill the Black Snake – The Dakota Access Pipeline

I watched Mni Wiconi’s short film,  The Stand at Standing Rock this morning and heard the Dakota Access Pipeline referred to as a “black snake.” If, as some report, a black snake means trouble, sadness and depression, the Dakota Access Pipeline would certainly seem to qualify. The movie, which is already slightly out of date, gives the […]

Read the full article →

How do we stop the hate?

If the news is to be believed hate crimes against Muslims and other minorities are significantly since the election of Donald Trump. Even though these numbers are squishy because, as a country, we don’t do a great job tracking hate crimes, a truth is hate or rather it’s expression does seem to be on the […]

Read the full article →

Stuff We Really Want vs. Stuff That’s Sold to Us

It was back when the SUV, that pseudo station wagon truck, became so popular that I began to realize just how much marketing has to do with selling us  stuff. Over and over again I heard and read that the reason d’etre for the unsafe, fuel hogging vehicle was because the “customer demands them.” I didn’t believe it […]

Read the full article →

How Much Stuff Is In Storage?

Not long ago I took the trolley from National City where I live to the train station in downtown San Diego to to Santa Ana where I was picked up by my youngest son and grandson for a day’s visit. It’s about a two-hour trip. The occasion was my youngest granddaughter’s season-end gymnastic competition – amazing […]

Read the full article →