sob sisters
Geriatrics

SOB SISTERS

Thanks to my friend Lois Roelofs and her post “Growing Older In “Style,” I found Ari Seth Cohen, a twenty-eight-year-old who is spotlighting “stylish senior citizens.” Love it. Older women—and men—who ignore the old adage: “dress your age.”

looking good

How come a twenty-eight-year-old man finds older people so fascinating? Well, I was sure there had to be an older role model in his life. And indeed there was—a grandmother. Aha!

Back in the 80s at my first job as a gernotological nurse practitioner, Betty, a social worker, and I conducted monthly orientation sessions about geriatrics for new nursing staff. Geriatrics was a new medical specialty at the time and Betty and I wanted to sensitize the group to aging issues.

Betty had the nurses imagine themselves at different stages of life. Invariably, someone would object to the exercise, not surprisingly, when Betty had them imagine looking at themselves in a mirror at different ages. “Now you’re 80 years old. What do you see? How do you feel? How are you dressed?”  (We would, as a matter of course, excuse anyone who didn’t want to participate.)

There were incidents of tears. On one occasion a woman picked up her purse, notebook and coat and stormed out of the room shouting her disapproval of our experiential process. From that day on, our boss dubbed us the Sob Sisters.

However, most of our class enjoyed the exercise. The most enthusiastic usually mentioned an older person in their life that they respected and cared about. This anecdotal experience of mine carries over to the assessment of Ari Seth Cohen. He sees older folks in a positive light to be celebrated and acknowledged. Thanks to his grandmother.

4 thoughts on “SOB SISTERS”

  1. Yes, a big thanks to Cohen for letting us grandmas be who we want to be at our advancing age and wear what we want to wear and do what we want to do and more! And, I’ll bet you never gave it a thought in the 80s that you were role modeling (y)our future. Where did the time go?

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  2. Love this concept, Marianna, of imagining oneself at different ages–of looking in a mirror and seeing the changed face. What an excellent prompt idea. I have people write about what they see now in the mirror but thinking ahead . . . hmmm. Will try it.

    So keep up your styling and your cool hair and great clothes. You are a grandmother and you’re giving me ideas in case I’m privileged enough to become one.

    Thanks.

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