Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aging Successfully

When 99 is the new 79!

Did you ever notice how some people just have "it"?  They are smart, interesting and have a great sense of humor.  They're the ones who are attractive, accomplished AND humble.  I have a friend like that and he just celebrated his 99th birthday.  Yep, NINETY-NINE big ones!  But, if you didn't know better, you'd swear he was only 79.

We're great friends and have been for years.  We talk at least once a week and have lunch every other week.  It's hard to get on his busy schedule so I plan ahead and always make a date, on our date, for our next date.  

When we're together, I secretly study him to try and figure out what his secret to "it" is and in doing so, wonder how the heck I can get "it" too.

His memory is better then mine ever was.  He swims every day and travels extensively.  And yes, he dates, a lot-- some pretty hot ladies who fall into the "80 is the new 70" category I might add.

I think his secret to aging is to always keep his mind busy.  We've all heard that before.  But how many of you know a 99 year old who's a whiz on the computer, attends 4-5 evening music concerts a week, sits on the Board of Directors to multiple major organizations, attends a variety of lectures each month AND has a great family life?  I'm telling you, this guy is way beyond Suduko!  He is serious about staying active, alert and loving life.

Today I discovered a new wrinkle and started to feel sorry for myself.  But I thought of my cool, older gentleman friend and turned off the magnifying mirror, turned on some classical music (his fave) and danced around the room.  Then, I attempted the New York Times Crossword Puzzle-- in ink!

What's your secret to staying young?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Think About It Thursday: Quotes #2

Quotes from women worth thinking about...

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)

Do not insult the mother alligator until after you have crossed the river.
Haitian proverb

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
Helen Hayes at age 83

What are your words to live by?
Welcome to  -  Joanna  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Star Sighting: Eat Your Hearts Out!

A few  days ago I included a photo of a shirtless Daniel Craig aka James Bond in one of my columns.  OMG- That is one fine looking M A N ! ! ! Judging from the number of emails I received, many of you think the same thing too.  

Well ladies, eat your hearts out. Saturday night I was three feet away from the man himself!

I actually heard his sultry voice before I saw him.  Instantly I knew it was Bond-- James Bond.  I froze, my heart racing uncontrollably, my hair suddenly blowing softly in the breeze. Closing my eyes for a moment, I drank in the sweet sound of his voice and tried to inhale his exquisite cologne.  Slowly I turned to face him and there-- right there-- was Daniel Craig-- his piercing blue eyes shinning in the moonlight.  Our eyes met for what seemed like an eternity, then he graciously gestured me ahead of him as we entered the hotel together.  Later, in the Polo Lounge "our song" played on the piano as we sipped martinis-- shaken, not stirred.....

Insert:  Needle scratching across a record album!

Okay, okay.  It didn't happen exactly like that.  But we were both at the Beverly Hills Hotel in line to check in for an Oscar party. And we were just three feet apart-- Swear to god!  And yes, I could heart his voice-- English accent and all.  It made me weak in the knees.

If only I knew how to take pictures with my cell phone.

Who makes you weak in the knees???
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Botox Nation

I was born with crows feet-- Those nasty, deep, sunburst wrinkles engraving the corners of my eyes.  You can actually see them in my baby pictures, as well as my high school senior class photo, my various head shots for business, my wedding pics and even my reflection in shop windows on the street.  Seriously!  Thanks to high cheek bones these babies are "crater crows" stretching all the way to my jaw line.  Despite dunking my face nightly in wrinkle creams and anti-aging lotions, they still continue to spread-- like wild fire.  And, they've always really bugged me.

I met my Botox doc a few years ago when I decided it was time for a little nip tuck to surgically erase all age lines from my face. Leave it to me to find the only Beverly Hills plastic surgeon NOT to recommend surgery! Instead, he turned me onto Botox with the promise that he'd tell me when it was time to go under the knife.  Now, I'm a card carrying member of the Botox Nation and proud of it!

Please spare me the lecture about what I'm injecting into my face.  I've already heard it a million times.  Botox is my drug of choice and I'd rather live in my car then part with it.

In the interest of full disclosure, injections also include my brow lines but-- No, my face is NOT frozen and expressionless. My crows feet and brow lines are so frigging deep there's not enough Botox on the planet to completely erase these lines.  But they are "softened" and not nearly as scary.  When I hear snide remarks about "frozen Botox faces" you can easily tell by my furrowed brow and crinkled eyes that mine are not included in the analysis.  It's an injection, not plaster!

In my quest to be a "new 40-something", Botox is part of my bag of tricks along with massive quantities of skin care products. Maybe it's not for everyone but I look more rested and feel less self-conscious than without it. So no wise cracks please-- No pun intended!

What's in your bag of beauty tricks?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Monday, February 23, 2009


If men went through menopause would it be a pretty picture?  Consider some of our most well-known hunks doing the MEN-o-pause thing...
  • Daniel Craig:  Imagine junk in his trunk!
  • Simon Cowell:  Sobbing uncontrollably over a mushy love song.
  • George W. Bush:  "Wanted Dead or Alive" would have a whole new meaning.
  • George Clooney:  Sexy and sweaty.
  • Spiderman:  I'll never wear spandex again!
  • Gordon Ramsey:  In prison for torching the kitchen.
  • David Beckham:  Where's my soccer ball?  I had it just a minute ago.
  • Patrick Dempsey:  Please god, do not touch the hair!
  • John McCain:  Had a menopause moment when he picked Sarah Palin.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio:  King of the Insomniacs.
  • Robert Downey Jr. aka Ironman:  I'm too bloated to wear that-- and fly!
  • Pierce Brosnon:  Lifestyles of the rich and sleep deprived.
  • Tiger Woods:  No golf today, I have a headache.
  • Bill Clinton:  What happened to my sex drive?
  • Brad Pitt:  Does this stroller make my butt look fat?
  • James Gandolfini aka Tony Soprano:  Now he's really !@#$%^& psycho!
  • Tom Cruise:  Last seen roaming the vitamin aisles mumbling to himself.
Do you have any male menopause suggestions?
Welcome to  - Joanna

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Barbie and the Academy Awards

So our doll Barbie is turning 50 years old in March!  Can you believe it?  She's 50 and her breasts are still high, her mascara still thick and her legs are still long and lean.  I wonder if she's having hot flashes yet?

I wish I still had my Mattel Barbie Dolls from the 1960s. I'd sell them on eBay and put the loot towards the full body lift I've been dreaming about.  After all, I grew up thinking Barbie had the perfect body and longed to look like her.

When I was a girl, I loved the evening gowns Barbie wore.  I'd change her outfits all day long and never get tired.  The "mermaid" or "fishtail" gowns we my favorites.  So were the great big, fluffy, layered gowns.

I saw several Barbie gown knock-offs at the Academy Awards tonight.  Did you?  With all due respect to the designers, Sarah Jessica Parker wore a stunning Barbie gown.  It was so big and full.  She looked like Princess Barbie only with better hair.  And Miley Cyrus was Sweet Sixteen Barbie in her ball gown.  I wonder if she ever played with Barbies?

Teen sensation, Vanessa Hudgens, was wearing a black Barbie mermaid dress, or rather the dress was wearing her.  It was a very big and very mature dress for such a little girl.  Maybe she wants to grow up to be Barbie? And, Beyonce rocked the Kodak Theater Red Carpet in her black and gold Barbie mermaid gown. What a body on that girl!

But it was the lovely Penelope Cruz that took my prize for "Best Barbie Dress" of the night, although her dress is actually 10 years older than Barbie!  Yep, Miss Penelope wore a 60 year old vintage Balmain ball gown when she nabbed the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Vicky Christina Barcelona".  I just love that she recycles.

Hats off to all the ladies tonight.  Dressing for the Oscars is a seriously big job-- Even for Barbie.

Who wore your favorite dress at the Oscars?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Think About It Thursday: Quote #1

Quotes from women worth thinking about.

"Keep breathing"
Sophie Tucker (1884-ish - 1966)

"When I go to the beauty parlor, I always use the emergency entrance.  Sometimes I just go for an estimate."
  Phyllis Diller

"I'll try anything once."
Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884 - 1980)
On giving birth at age 41

What are your words to live by???
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hot Flash: Step Away From Your Wife

Fifty many be the new forty but some things  are simply unavoidable.

Advice for men with menopausal women....

1)  Ripping her cloths off in the middle of the night is not an invitation for wild sex.  She's hot-- boiling, sweating, stark-raving HOT!  If you want to live; step away from your wife.

2)  No comments about her sweat mustache.  It could cost you a limb.

3) Wise cracks, rude remarks, smirks and snickering about her memory loss are an absolute no-no.  The only thing your wife will remember is what a complete boob you are.  If you simply must laugh, do so on another planet.

4)  Your wife is making a grilled peanut butter and chocolate sandwich.  All bets are off if you so much as whisper a fat joke. Remember, women have been found not guilty by reason of menopause.

5)  Her sex drive drove away about the same time she woke up 15 pounds heavier.  Deal with it.

6)  All that sweating is not burning calories so get the fork lift and help her off the sofa.... And stop with the "hunk of burning love" crap.

7)  Heart palpitations have absolutely nothing to do with you sitting in your boxers, drinking a beer and watching football. You are not the reason for her elevated heart-rate.  Sorry Romeo.

8)  Your wife can no longer sleep through the night.  Stop asking for a glass of water and leave her to wander the halls in peace.

9)  Agree with everything she says.  If you have a problem with that, feel free to move the the basement.  It's safer down there.

10)  A bare naked menopausal woman in the front yard making snow angels or a high powered air-conditioner?  Your choice.

Welcome to  -  Joanna
Copyright 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Employment Reinvention

My 50 and 60-something friends are hitting the books again. Yep, it's back to school for many as a way of reinventing their careers and in the process, their bank accounts too.  Times are that tough!  Many fear they will lose their jobs soon or aren't feeling the love from their much younger bosses. Others, sadly, are a paycheck or two away from -- gawd forbid--moving in with their kids.  In short, they each need a new gig!

I am impressed, dazzled actually, at the way in which so many of my gal pals are tackling their employment reinvention.  They're not freaking out or feeling sorry for themselves.  These ladies are too young for social security and too old to be comfortable with no job security so they are taking the bull by the horns in search of their next paycheck.

Gina (62) is training to be a traffic school instructor.  Karla (51) is promoting her services via Craig's List as a personal assistant. Shelly (56) is offering her parenting experience two nights a week as a baby sitter at a swank Beverly Hills hotel.  And Kathy (53) is getting her MBA with an eye on a management job in Europe with the perks of travel.

Each woman is completely out of her comfort zone but love the experience.  Well. "love" might be a strong word but they are energized by the process.  Their stock portfolios may be down but these ladies are not out!  They all say they are "buying time" for the economic stimulus to bounce back and the benefits of Medicare to kick in.  But along the way, they are learning new tricks and feeling confident about their future job prospects. They say that "getting out there again" even makes them feel younger!

Are you reinventing your career?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day is Canceled

Do you hear that loud sucking noise?  It's Valentine's Day and the legions of singles and unhappy couples getting sucked into this dreaded "Hallmark Holiday".  Damn the pressures of true love.  Damn those obnoxious lovers cooing at one another. Damn the long stem rose deliverers of the world.  Who created this frigging holiday anyway?  A masochist?  Singles don't need a "special" day to remind them how "alone" they are in this big, cruel world.  Most singles just want to get the stinking day over with and move on before they go running and screaming down the street like a raving lunatic!

Then there's me.  Afterall, I'm "50 going on 40" and madly in love with my hubby.  But like singles, there's pressure for us married ones too.  It's the day to pull out all under-things red. No granny panties on V-Day.  And the chocolates!  You know-- the ones you've been avoiding since you promised yourself you'd stick to your diet?  Chocolates will be coming through the door at 7pm.  I guarantee it.  And the hunt for the perfect card that expresses your undying love?  Crap.  You forgot to pick it up yesterday at the supermarket.  It's true--  Even us married folks need Valentine's Day like we need a whole in our heads.

I proclaim Valentine's Day as the new "Get a Good Night's Sleep Day".  Doesn't that sound better?  Who couldn't use a little more sleep-- in your granny panties-- minus the migraine from too much chocolate and the guilt trip of being "alone"?  One less day to feel bad about yourself should be a sure thing.  Alert the Media!

Don't get me wrong.  I can be a hopeless romantic like the next girl.  I just don't like to "schedule" romance every year on February 14th.

Welcome to  -  Joanna 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Doctor Dude and the Paper Gown

After months of nagging back pain I found myself in a paper hospital gown seated on a very cold exam table waiting for my new spine specialist to walk through the door.  As I waited and watched the clock, I mentally calculated how much I used to charge my clients per hour and estimated Dr. Spine owed me about $450.

Finally the door swung open with a swoosh that sent my paper garment flying higher than Marilyn Monroe's dress over a street grate.  Dr. Spine took one look at me and immediately registered disappointment on his face.  You know how on "Grey's Anatomy" the interns are always fighting for a "good case?  Well, my case wasn't and apparently neither was I as I tried to cover myself.

My reason for sharing this moment of humiliation is simple. Women of a "certain age" should carefully pick their physicians. Dr. Spine is  NOT the kind of doc you want.  Trust me on this. Although he looked like he'd just walked of the set of "Beverly Hills 90210" and was dressed from head to toe in Armani, he was only 35 years old.  THIRTY-FIVE!  So unless you are some hot "cougar" who has the secret recipe for shaving 10 years off your 50 year old sagging, and might I add in this case, braless boobs, a 35 year old doc is not the doc for you. (Remember the paper gown ladies!)

To add insult to injury, this very fine looking man of medicine had clearly missed the college course on how to talk to middle aged women.  He totally dismissed the tears running down my face when I tried to bend and touch my toes.  When our eyes finally met, he radically proclaimed "Dude!  You're great!".  

Yes, my doctor called me "Dude".  Of course it was the last time I ever saw him again and for good reason.  How can I have confidence in a medical professional who not only looks like a kid but also talks like a kid.  Sure he has all the beautifully framed medical school diplomas hanging on the exam room walls.  And, clearly he is capable and qualified to be a doctor.  But, I just can't wrap my head around a doctor that is younger than some of my socks. 

How old are your doctors? 
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Retirement Schmirement!

Life after 50 was, and continues to be, extremely hard for me to adjust to.  Who knew life after a 60+ hour per week job/career would be even harder? 

Here's how I see it post-retirement.  Regardless if you loath your job, it gives you an identity that you and others can relate to.  At very least, you have a place to hang your hat during the better part of the day and people to complain with over lunch.  With a job usually comes a sense of community even if they are a group of people you normally won't spit on if they were on fire.  In short, from 8am to 6pm you "belong" somewhere and are considered "contributing" to society.  
When I retired, I could actually hear tires squealing to get away from me.  One man seated next to me at a very expensive charity dinner introduced himself (George the Chairman of Very Big Shopping Centers) then asked "what I do" for a living.  Note:  He did not ask my name. When I introduced myself and proudly explained that I was recently retired, I could literally see his eyes roll to the back of his head as he scanned the table for a different seat-- Next to a more interesting table mate! Huh?  Did I have spinach in my teeth or was my lack of employment really a total conversation stopper?  It was as if I was suddenly invisible and irrelevant!  And that's not the only time it's happened.  

It's usually business men I'm meeting for the first time in social environments-- charity, my husband's business or other such banquet type settings-- that seem to have the hardest problem finding something to talk about with the recently retired me.  It's okay if we're talking about themselves, but if they (finally) ask me a question, the question is usually always about my employment status. I'm not sure if they really care or if they are just trying to figure out if I can help them, their career, or their kid's careers in any way, but they seem interested in knowing what I bring to the party.   The moment "retirement" passes my lips-- eyes immediately glaze over and they turn to the person on the other side of them, even if I'm in mid sentence.  Or worse, they ask who my husband is and decided I'm an over-the-hill trophy wife and/or completely empty headed.  For the record I am neither a trophy wife nor empty headed.  All I am at that moment is really angry.

I fully admit, I have a chip on my shoulder about my age and I am sensitive to the implications of retirement. Society seems to point to both as "old", over the hill, or some how less than I was the day before my 50th birthday or retirement announcement.  Yes, I'm fortunate to be retired and in decent health so I can enjoy myself and really have nothing to complain about.  But come on!  What's with the dismissal for accomplishing the ability TO retire?  What's with the "over the age 50 hill".  I didn't suddenly become stupid, less interesting or empty-headed.

Maybe I should start saying I'm a Blogger.  Half the men who ask me the "what do you do?" question are significantly older than I am.  I guarantee you the majority don't have a clue what a blogger is!  Maybe I can beat them at their own game.

Do you get asked the "what do you do?" question?
Welcome to -  Joanna

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fifty Is The New Forty?

What exactly does "50 is the new 40" mean?  Am I supposed to "feel" forty?  Am I supposed to "look" forty, be more "viable", more "interesting", more "fabulous"?  Because frankly, I don't.  I'm still fifty and I'm not liking it!

As the big 5-0 approached, I felt myself falling into a sort of no woman's land without a parachute.  My clients, all senior level ad execs, were getting younger by the minute. My designer jeans and Manolo Blahniks were generating less and less interest from the opposite sex. My doctor asked if I'd started experiencing hot flashes yet.  And my hair stylist repeatedly mentioned shorter, more "age-appropriate" haircuts with  me.  Funny thing though, no one was mentioning my much anticipated clock rewind back to 40!  I dreaded turning 50 with every inch of my being.

My 50th birthday came and went faster than the pint of ice cream I consumed standing in front of the frig the morning of my "big day".  I did not hear a single angel rejoicing "Happy 40th!".  Not one peep.

Since the day my meter clicked over to 50, all I've heard about are 50 and 60-something women trying to "reinvent" themselves so they can survive in our youth obsessed society.  If fifty is the new forty and sixty is the new fifty, what the hell does that mean to me and how do I get on the bus?

Stay tuned, we'll find out together.
Welcome to  -  Joanna