Several times today the words, “When I’m 80…” came out of my mouth. Now granted, I may not see 80, I could be struck down by some disaster or disease, the world could end, a NYC cab could plow over me as I’m walking across the street on a green light that gives me the right of way, the possibilities are endless. And, who knows, I might make it through the next 50 years to live out the words I spoke today.
When I am 80 I will give up caring what other people think, for real. I will say what I mean and mean what I say all the time, even if it means stepping on someone’s toes. I will also wear purple muumuus, which leads me to think of the poem below.
by Jenny Joseph
WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.