Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Memories

Excerpt from MommyBest: 13 Inspirational LessonsLesson + Memoir + Reader Reflection = Ways to be your MommyBest!

Holiday Memories—
“Kitty” and Grandmothers.
Very rapidly, mothers ripen into glorious grandmothers
who leave indelible imprints on both their children’s and
their grandchildren’s lives.
I gleefully watch from the sidelines, letting “Granny
Lynn” become mere putty in my children’s tiny,
adoring hands. As she spoils my sons. I often tease
and question why I didn’t get this “VIP treatment”
while I was growing-up?
I believe one of Life’s great blessings is:
A grandma who always has an extra stash of
cookies she dotingly saves, eagerly awaiting her
grandchildren’s visits. Be prepared to see your own
mother transform into a grandmother and journey
with your children in wondrous ways!

Holiday Memories:
“Kitty” and Grandmothers
     My mother, now in her sixties, loves being a grandma. After
hundreds of requests from my children, she recently
agreed to stay overnight. My toddler sons were so excited
to have their “Grandma Lynn” to themselves so she could
play with them, and especially, read a bedtime story. They
heartily laughed when my mother was unable to decipher
some of the words without her reading glasses on. Both boys
eagerly found her spectacles after digging like dogs through
her immense and cluttered purse.
     But, the biggest hysteria came when they saw their
grandma clad in her brightly colored, ruffled pajamas—accented
by my father’s black socks. After lots more giggling
and snuggling, Grandma tucked them in with a promise of
“more fun tomorrow.”
     I was awakened very early the next morning by the
sounds of scurrying footsteps and loud whispers—which
are my spirited children’s attempts to be “quiet.” I went to
see what all the commotion was and found my two sons
hanging over our guest bed, their heads downward, pressed
very close to my mother’s face. Their hands were covering
their mouths, in an attempt to contain their laughter.
Grandma Lynn was making a good amount of noise snoring,
although she calls it “heavy breathing.” Her eyes were
half-open—until she jolted up when I joined my sons in
their amusement.
     “The kids were in here earlier this morning. I must have
dozed off again,” my mom groggily shared. It was 6:30 am
by the time I arrived, so I reprimanded my sons for going
into what had now be called, “grandma’s room.” Both boys explained they
had come back for a second visit because they were very
interested in seeing “Grandma’s teeth again.”
     My mother was mortified when she learned my two
son’s return to her guest room was in response to their discovery
of her false teeth, sitting in a glass of water beside the
bed. My mother is old-fashioned and very private about
what she considers “personal,” and her teeth or lack thereof
falls into this category. Thankfully, after seeing and hearing
our laughter, Grandma joined in, now jokingly sliding her
teeth in and out of her mouth in a rhythmic pace.
The jesting continued as my sons observed and dissected
the contents in the glass as if they were investigating a science
experiment. The direct and innocent questions about
“where did her real teeth go,” “how did she get her teeth
out of her mouth if they were glued inside?” were wondrous.
My younger, mathematically-inclined son wanted
to know if the entire set of teeth cost “more than $100”
or did Grandma have to “buy one at a time.” The scenario
ended with my mother joyfully smiling while hugging my
sons—sporting a full set of gums.
I’m often able to use Grandma’s teeth to further instruct
my children on the importance of taking care of their pearly
whites when they complain, as they sometimes do, I make
them brush their teeth too much.
     As I watched from the “sidelines,” I saw my two boys
wondrously playing games starting with “Go Fish” before
dragging Grandma outside, tossing a moving basketball
to her before returning for a snack inside. Each boy vied
for her attention and she didn’t disappoint them, bouncing
from one activity to the next…until I reminded them
Grandma Lynn needed a rest. I could tell my mom was exhausted,
yet enamored by all the attention my sons showered
her with.
     While I continued to watch my boys snuggle with my
mom, I knew “Grandma Lynn” would be one of the most
important people in their lives; I began to reminisce about
my own grandma’s visits as a child and how special those
moments were, and continue to be, for me.
     “Kitty” was a nickname we teasingly called my grandmother
as a shortened version of her name: Catherine. The
nickname was very fitting because she was playful and
youthful like a kitten. She and my grandfather, a New York
City Police Officer, had six children. My grandfather died
early, at the age of fifty, leaving my grandmother with some
very challenging times ahead of her. One of her first challenges,
which she enlisted the help of my father, was learning
to drive.
     It wasn’t long before she was on the road, now able to
commute to her new job as a secretary in a religious high
school, as well as visit her family scattered throughout the
Northeast. Sometimes when Grandma came, we’d be playing out
side with friends as her car passed by. All of us raced home
to greet her and taste one of the many delectable cakes and
cookies she always brought fresh from, as my mother would
say, “the best bakeries in the Bronx.”
     My friends, upon meeting her, often thought she was an
aunt because she didn’t look old enough to be a grandma. She
probably would attribute her youthful glow to her meticulous
hygiene rituals. Whenever Grandma slept over, she would
systematically wake early by 5:30a.m., dutifully cleanse her
face with a handful of cold cream and rinse it off .
Next, she would turn her head downside and frantically
tease her jet-black hair, before swooping and pinning it
into a high and tight twist.
     Once her grooming was complete we would find her,
usually with eyes half-closed, sitting on the living room
couch waiting for everyone else to wake-up. She’d often
stay a few days doing our favorite things—shopping, talking
and eating—before she returned to her own home.
     After years of living in the four-bedroom Colonial in
Mount Vernon, Westchester, with her youngest daughter
(my aunt), they were confronted by robbers one evening
after returning home from work. Boldly and brazenly,
Grandma ran after them as they took fleet!
     Worried about Grandma’s safety, my mother had invited
her to live with us, as did some of her other children.
But, she confided in me she wanted to be independent and
not become a burden to her children. Instead, Grandma
decided to sell her house and downsize to an apartment.
I was sad when the house that represented some of my
earliest Christmas memories was sold. Grandma’s house
sat high above an incline with an entourage of trees;
ironically, most were Christmas evergreen. I vaguely recall
an enclosed porch with tiny glass windows. It was on this
porch I sat in front of an organ, slamming its keyboard,
pretending to be on-stage.
     I can still sense the aroma of home cooking from visits I
had, and I especially remember eating the best homemade
macaroni and cheese I have ever tasted. As a child, I was scared
 of the cellar that housed the infamous
“cat of nine tails” my grandmother teasingly threatened
she would have to take out if we didn’t behave well.
Also scary to me as a youngster was a recurring dream
I had about roller skating at an uncontrollably fast pace down
the house’s precipitous driveway, into oncoming
traffic and ultimately down under into a sewer drain gate.
On my way down, deeper into darkness, I would abruptly
wake-up with heart-racing palpitations.
     But the most lasting impressions that still remain with
me are those from one Christmas gathering I recall: All Grandma’s
children and grandchildren were scattered throughout
the living room laughing, munching and eagerly awaiting
Grandma’s cue to sit down for present opening. Grandma
enthusiastically put her glasses on before selecting one from
many piles of gifts. Once each name on the gift tag was
read, the recipient raced to the front of the room and back
to his/her place before tearing open their prize.
Every gift I received from my grandmother was wonderful
because I felt—even as young as I was—she had spent
much time and consideration in her selection, personalizing
each present. Her gifts became even more meaningful
as I grew older and appreciated their sentimental value.
It was during this one Christmas celebration when Grandma
 gave me a ceramic figurine of “Snow White” with a
matching watch clasped at the bottom of its dress; I was
enthralled! I wore the watch around my wrist and carefully
took it off when I showered and slept. I put the “Snow
White” statuette atop a shelf across from my bed so I could
see her before I went to sleep each night.
     Following Christmas that year, Grandma moved to a
quaint, one-bedroom apartment in Park Chester, NY. It
was then when different Christmas traditions started and
my grandmother earned a new nickname: “Rudolph.”
Each Christmas season, she traveled to her six children’s
homes. Her car was the sleigh she maneuvered across the
     Like the Christmases we celebrated at her home, we
continued to eat lots of food and desserts; we started our
own tradition: each child in our family took a turn sitting
in a designated chair to open presents while we all watched
in anticipation. It was as much fun to give as it was to receive.
Like a little kid, Grandma’s eyes widened as each gift
was opened.
     During one visit, there was an “Elvis Presley” marathon
of movies on television. My grandmother and I, both adoring
fans, watched in delight. As the evening progressed, I
noticed my grandmother sitting on the couch, eyes closed
with head slightly tilted. I could hear her breathing heavily
(as my mother does when she sleeps).
     “Go to bed, Grandma,” I called across the room. When
she didn’t answer, I giggled and repeated, “Go to bed, Grandma,
you’ve been up since 5:30 this morning.
     “NOOOoo,”Grandma wailed, as she flung her head upright and lifted
her feet from the floor, vertically moving her legs in a scissor-like motion:
“I want to watch Elvis,” she demanded!
I could not argue with—nor could I ever forget—the
endearing and child-like protests she made!
     My grandmother died the following year, on December 7, 1980, two and a
half weeks before Christmas. My family was deeply saddened by her sudden death.
We longed for a holiday visit from her.
     To our surprise, my aunt delivered presents Grandma had
purchased before her death. I felt as if Grandma was watching
me as I opened them. Her spirit was with us that year
and remains with us—especially during the holiday season.
     I often feel as if she is bestowing gifts upon us and guiding
our way with her light. Sometimes, when I wake-up in
the early morning—when it’s still dark out—I feel as if she
is sitting on my sofa, waiting for my family to wake-up.
     “Snow White” continues to sit high, atop a shelf overlooking
my bedroom. The figurine, with its jet-black hair
(the color of my grandmas’) has aged: some of its smoother
surfaces scratched; some of its vibrant color faded.
     Yet, like my grandmother, she has matured with dignity
and grace, while possessing a beauty that transcends time.
     Both Grandma and Snow White represent magical
figures in my life and cherished moments from my childhood—
moments that become dearer with each visit and
every holiday my children share with their “Grandma

Reader Reflection
What’s your most powerful memory of your grandmother?
How has your relationship with your own mother changed
   now that she’s a grandmother?
What’s her relationship with your children like, and what do
   you cherish about it?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Important Health information for Women as a Gift to taking care of themselves.

     This year as I've done for the past 11 years, I scheduled my mammogram, except with one distinction. Since I've been getting my testing performed at the same facility, I thought it would be a good idea to get a second opinion and try a new testing site where I recently had a wonderful experience getting an MRI on my knee. Before going to the new site, I picked-up my records, films and all from my previous breast exams so the new doctors and radiologists would have a good comparative baseline to use. 
     Unfortunately, this time, the waiting room was jammed at the new site. After about an hour of sitting, a harried technician came to rush me in to get a sonogram of my breasts, which is what my doctor ordered, in addition to the mammogram, because I have many cysts.
     To succinctly sum up my experience, I can simply share that it was awful: I was rushed to change into the smock, while the "Tech" was still in the room ( I've always been given the privacy of changing solo, with the tech returning once I'm done). "Excuse ME," I said, which prompted her to at least turn her head while I changed, "rapido". I felt unimportant and unwelcome as she complained during much of the testing about how she didn't get a break and how the company doesn't care about her. The entire time, I was  thinking, "I should have stayed with the much more professional staff where I had been getting my radiology work done prior."
     Even worse than the sonogram was the mammogram, which hurt more than it ever had before; my new technician, who shared my name, "Donna," was not only stressed and rushed, but she was also NASTY: "Could you put your left breast on the table and turn this way, not that way?" I can't repeat what I was thinking because this blog is rated  "G"...okay, sometimes, "PG" lol.
     When the mammogram was complete, I was instructed to wait while nasty "Donna" went to chat with the doctor who reads the tests. Well, wouldn't you know something "didn't look right" and I had to get another couple of squeezes, if you know what I mean. Of course, when I nervously inquired as to what "didn't look right, " I was told, "I have no idea."
     After the second set of films were taken, I waited and was told I should call my doctor the next day as all my information would be sent to her. "Are you kidding? I'd like to talk to the doctor here who just read my test, " I inquired. But, the office staff responded, "the doctors don't talk to the patients." I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep that night if I didn't find something out. So they assured me they would send it to my doctor later that day. I felt sick to my stomach that something could be wrong, but my gut instinct felt that I was "okay" medically despite the scare I felt.
     I was confused as to why I wasn't allowed to talk to the doctor when at my previous testing site, the doctor personally consulted with me a few minutes after each visit. I later found out, and am sharing this with all women, that it is  proper "medical protocol"  now to get an explanation of your test results BEFORE you leave the facility and by law the patient is supposed to have something in writing sent to her doctor or patient within 24 hours of having these tests. I learned of this after I called the facility and left a message for the "Director" about how unpleasant my experience at his place of business was for me. He returned my call and couldn't have apologized more, adding he could understand exactly how I felt. "Really," I thought. There's no way having a prostate exam --with a few squeezes--could match getting my body parts crushed down to a fraction of their size, between two plates--and being treated like a cockroach the entire time, pestering them to do their job.
     He told me he didn't understand their doctor's notes either, so I should see my own physician for clarification. He ended saying he wished I had the opportunity to wear one of his new, plush robes during my visit, and that he was going to "fire" the women I dealt with because he's had "a few" other complaints from patients. All the while I was on the phone with him, I had a sense that he was part of the problem, along with his staff. Sorry, buddy, but the buck stops with you and overseeing your staff and all that is going on.
     I called my gynecologist, whom I treasure dearly and knew she would call me back. She did call that evening advising she couldn't interpret the test results because that's what the radiologist is supposed to do. My doctor shared the findings of " a more dense area of breast tissue" and some other information with me and advised she wasn't "concerned" but recommended I see a "breast specialist" just to confirm. I did see a breast specialist and she determined that (she believes) the changes are within normal range but we will check in six months.
     So here's why I'm sharing this experience with women and those who love them:
1. Verify when you schedule your mammogram if you can get the test results before you leave.
2. Ask for your privacy when changing into any smocks or medical garments. I won't allow what happened to me to ever occur again.
3. Follow-up on any vague medical explanation with the few doctors you trust.

I always pray for good doctors for myself and my family. And that goes for dentists as well. Have a healthy holiday!

And, Merry Christmas!!!.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A few of My Favorite Products/Gifts

BEST Self-Care, affordable PRODUCTS/GIFTS for US GIRLS!

Recently some moms and girlfriends have asked me to share some of my favorite girly stuff. These items make great gifts and some you should simply treat yourself to. Guys, we love these very affordable items too--especially if yo buy them for us "just because." I will share these with you, and I AM NOT being paid by any of these manufacturers. You have my MommyBest word on it! : )

~ I love Bare Minerals which I purchase at the Sephora Store or at their on-line website. I use their 3-part process of: Foundation (which you choose the color based on your skin type) Warmth (a bronzer I love) and Mineral Veil (which sets the first two products).
What I also love about Sephora is that they provide a ton of promotions including free product samples when you go into the store and on-line. I sometimes am hesitant when I go to the cosmetic counter and see a group of teenage girls because I wonder how knowledgeable they are regarding my skin care--and because they don't have a wrinkle on their face: )During college, I worked at the Clinique counter, where many women shared their uneasiness with me when they visited. I truly tried to ease their concerns by helping them using a minimalist approach. To that end I have experienced the same approach from Sephora, with their very helpful and complimentary staff--for the most part.The main problem I have when I visit Sephora is that I want to buy everything.

~My favorite shampoo now is Avenno Active Naturals, I get the Color Preserving type, but you may choose whatever suits your hair. It's very gentle, smells great and is very soothing. You may purchase it at CVS or any pharmacy or food store.
On a side note, I also love Aveeno's gentle oatmeal bath and face soap, which has been around for quite a long time!

~Cetaphil Cleanser & Moisturizer are the most gentle of all creams. Both are non-comedogenic which means they won't clog any pores, which can cause blemishes. Also purchased at food stores; BJ's Warehouse, Walmart, drugsstores, Target etc.
These products have also been recommended to me by my dermatologist to rival much more expensive brands.

~Wen Sweet Almond Mint Texture Balm has the most amazing calming effect on unruly hair. I've never found a product like this. You simply rub a little into your hands and then run your hands through dry hair.
I have to confess that I don't like Wen shampoo or conditioner--and I get upset when companies make us sign-up for continuous future shipments of an entire product line, which is very costly. I cancelled my auto ship on this kit, but I purchased this texture balm separately from them--which is hard to do because the customer service reps are persistent. But you can hold your ground and even try the shampoo to see if you like it because everyone's hair is different.

~Aromatic Elixir perfume spray by Clinique. There's no scent like this and everyone always asks me what fragrance I'm wearing. It's fruity and sensual. And yes, I once worked at Clinique during college, but I have no allegiance to them as I don't wear any of their make-up products.
Most of the people I've met share that this perfume either smells heavenly on some women or it doesn't. My husband still loves this fragrance and did when we started dating. Once, I gave him a stuffed animal and sprayed it with this scent so he could bring it when he had to go away on business--Awww, I'm such a romantic, right?

Next blog, I'm going to share a few favorite recipes. Please let me know what you think if you try these products and feel welcome in sharing a few of your favorites here as well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blessing Pets

Blessing our Dog at Church...

Soon after we got her for Christmas. Several "know it all" told us Natalia wouldn't keep her red hair as most of it would turn to black...Well, see below.

Resting she still keeps a watchful eye-as I do given my Bronx roots.

Playing outside : )

     I attended Mass yesterday seeking some guidance from God and Mary. In addition to my Heavenly Father, I have looked to the Blessed Mother as another Mom from the time I was a child. I always feel better about life after I attend a Mass and connect with their message.
     This week it was a surprise when the Monsignor announced he would be "blessing" all pets during an outdoor ceremony later in the day; I knew I had to change my schedule to attend. I later read the weekly church bulletin and thought it was a great idea to also include stuffed animals in the blessing. I took a few from our stash and put them in my purse to attend the ceremony too.
     Everyone else in my home was busy, so I took Natalia myself to the church parking lot, filled with at least 100 dogs, all shapes and sizes-- barking, going potty and even howling. My dog is certainly not used to this type of surrounding and looked quite frightened. But I continued to pet her and stay close, so she felt more comfortable. I wanted to especially bring her to this ceremony so she could socialize with more dogs, something we haven't been able to do.When our family went away this past summer on vacation, prior to our trip, at the suggestion of several of my neighbors whose dogs attend, we took Natalia to a kindergarten for dogs to help her get acclimated and become more socialized. This way we'd have a place to leave her and  feel she was in good hands (or paws--lol) while we were away. 
     I was so excited for Natalia to have some dogie pals. She absolutely LOVES people but is only fond of a few dogs in the neighborhood. The others who she barks at are bigger so I think she's scared and pretends to be tough. Anyway, after an in-depth interview with the director at the kindergarten, my younger son and I watched Natalia, from a camera in the main lobby, as she was brought into the room with a few dogs and then soon transferred into the larger group. We did this for several days, and contrary to a few of my neighbor's experiences, our dog was miserable. She even cried the third day when we arrived at the kindergarten. She hid in the corner while all the other, mostly larger, dogs played. I could tell she was overwhelmed and frightened. I truly felt as I did when I was leaving my boys at nursery school, and I started to tear-up. I went to one of the workers and asked if my dog could be acclimated for a few hours with only a few dogs, which I thought would ease the transition. The worker told me that wasn't the policy, and if they did this, it would make the other dogs jealous. I should mention this kindergarten is very expensive as well.
     Hence, I did what I did in looking for the "appropriate" nursery school. I took Natalia out of this environment and have discovered from many pet owners that there are pet schools which will work with our dog and with us to make a much more pleasant experience.We don't want her to be away from us a lot, just in case we have an emergency or a summer vacation.
     Interestingly, the owner of the school never contacted me after I left with tears in my eyes : ( However, when I wrote a negative review on their facebook page, she called me many times, even leaving her cell phone number. I finally called her back and she advised that our dog is "shy" and may only be a "people dog." Well, maybe that's true. Time will tell...
     But when I took Natalia to the church parking lot and she started barking and seemed scared, I held her leash tight and calmly told her I was with her. God was with her. Soon, she was relaxed and was happily walking with the other dogs. Yes, there were a few little mishaps. Still, I felt the same inner calm I did when I followed my instincts with my kids, regardless of what the so called "experts" told me. My dog Natalia and I have a mother daughter bond, and I will follow that like she follows the scent of beef-flavored raw hide--in making life decisions for our newest family member!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Men and Cheating. I waited to write this post and had more to say than I thought...

September 2011
What did Arnold say to the fine Senator from N.Y.?
Answer: I want my “Weiner” “back.” (Get-it? from “I’ll be back)—I always over-explain lol)
     Finally, these tabloid stories have lost some of their luster, which is why I wanted to write about them now, on a more serious note—although, as you can see from my intro, I too couldn’t resist “poking” (my favorite facebook word which I recently tried to use in a family Scrabble game). I, like so many of you, feel compelled by the number of smart, seemingly happy and fulfilled committed men who are secretly leading a double life. I’m sure the actual number of these successful, educated and publicly pious married men, most of whom, we’d-- “never in a million years”--guess would partake in these sexually deviant behaviors, is actually in the millions.
     And, I believe, most often these men are the most unlikely candidates for this Hall of Shame because they so coyly know how to mask their "dirty laundry." Most notably in my mind is the ever so prudent, anti-prostitution superhero, our former 54th Governor of New York and New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer. Here is an egotistical, self-righteous and staunch crime opponent, especially focusing on humiliating anyone involved in or with prostitution rings. In fact, his successful conviction rate was so high, it played a major role in acquiring his gubernatorial seat.
     Years later, when he was caught with his pants down, after snubbing his nose at those convicted on the same crime, he smirked at the podium when he resigned—his wife’s tormented eyes gazed away as she stood beside him. And Spitzer didn’t just partake in the typical prostitution pool; he went first class into the elite, prime pickings, engaging with someone about his daughter’s age, using traceable, state funds to pay for his extracurricular activities.
     The irony of the entire incident is how adamantly he opposed this behavior and how fervently he took down others for the partaking in it. Did he think he was too powerful to get caught? Was it the old adage, “Me thinks you protest too much.” I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know his wife was visibly in pain and will probably question the integrity of their marriage forever, and his daughters will never see their father in the same light.
     Like Hillary and Chelsea, they carry the residual effects. How can they ever trust a man who can lie so well and live such a hidden life, denying his deeds until forced by the evidence? The State had all the evidence on Spitzer; the media also shared all the evidence on Weiner so that he could no longer deny any accusations, but he continued to linger in his position, like rotten Chinese food in the fridge for too long. When his own party turned against him, he had nowhere to go, except to leave. What about his poor pregnant, wife who is standing beside another scorn woman, Hillary Clinton, in a foreign country, when she first learns of her husband’s sexting and who knows, what else. Hillary knows too well what lengths a man, even the President of the United States, will go to hide his stain. And even worse, Arnold Schwartzenegger had the audacity to have an affair with the maid who worked in their home, using his bedroom as their sanctuary. He even had a baby with her and no one even questioned the obvious resemblance to Arnold.
     The reason, according to many, that Anthony Weiner was massacred by the media, while Arnold was handled with kid gloves, is because Weiner adamantly attacked the media for spreading libelous stories. Arnold, in contrast, had always put Maria up on a public pedestal, often sharing that he was the “luckiest” man in the world, coming to America with little possession, reaching box-office fame, marrying into our American aristocracy
     Arnold, in contrast to the other cheaters I’ve mentioned, didn’t deceive his wife and family with a younger, more attractive woman—although I’m sure he has in some of his other transgressions. But, in this case, I think it was his power in the home. I also need to note here that the Kennedy men are no strangers to infidelity and scandal—and, in my humble opinion, some way or another our sins can boomerang back to hurt us or those we love.
     During the last six months, I have encountered (given the sensitive nature, I will not mention any names to protect the children) many middle-aged women who were deceived by their husbands using technology with its ease in access and lure of anonymity to betray women their children call “Mom.” What all these women have in common is that they feel a betrayal so deep that they are having trouble moving forward in their lives: One woman shared she was divorcing her husband after she discovered  phone numbers programmed into her spouses cell phone; from there, she learned and her husband confirmed he was having several affairs. Other moms I know have found on-line chat room conversations, pornographic web sites in the browser history and even e-mails from past girlfriends. One wife even shared her son found some “inappropriate” messages his dad (her husband) was sending on a dating site he joined pretending to be single. For months, he had conversations with women sharing fact and fiction. Interestingly, he felt he didn’t “cheat” because there was no “physical relationship.”
     One good friend in particular said she doesn’t see herself in her husband’s eyes anymore and that he’s changed in his forties. Is this part of the male middle age crisis? And women feel less than because they can’t compete with 20 or even 30 something’s. My girlfriend’s fiance always tells her how amazing the Victoria Secret’s models are, and I tell her, “There’s no way you can compete with them—and you shouldn’t have to.” That’s it! But society doesn’t promote aging women—just look at any advertising. Even the wrinkle cream ads feature young women pretending to be older.
     I recall older, often married, men hitting on me in my teens—and then at college and the office. I was disgusted by this and often hid my goods—and still do. I was raised in a very conservative household and dressed accordingly. I think I was too proper so I am glad to see the generations now are more comfortable showing a little cleavage; But, I still don’t approve of letting it all hang-out as many young girls do today—as they encourage men to look at them as they flaunt their stuff.  I want us parents to teach our girls to value themselves and their brains, in particular. And society should have some respect for all women, recognizing that we should stick together—instead of feuding over men.
     Why is it that, very often, as a man ages, he becomes more desirable if he has a lot of money, power or connections. The Donald is a prime example of this, and if anyone cares to refute that his wife or Marla Mason would still have married him if he was a pauper, bring it on. Larry King and his suspenders offer another example of women hovering over someone-- not because he looks good-- but his bank account does.
     Yet, do women become less desirable because they age? Well, let’s take a look at Hollywood, and I think I can safely say that our society mimics the big screen in many ways. As women, we can only be the best we can for whatever age we are. We must nurture our insides along with our outsides.
     From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to independently make my own money; I didn’t want to be with someone for the “wrong” reasons. And, I would never give the satisfaction to a married guy who “hit on me” or even flirted because, to me, he was low-class for disrespecting his woman. I think most of us girls are all too familiar with the guys at the office making inappropriate gestures and comments—and often minimizing our work by saying we were able to accomplish certain feats because of our looks or other related gender issues.  
     I know some men who will read this post and say that women do the same. Yes, some women are “cougars,” but the overall perspective of our society is such that you also KNOW women are judged much more harshly for how they look that men are. But, I believe, there are great men out there with integrity who have committed relationships with women/wives they adore.
     I think a good rule to follow is one I always tell my kids, “Try to have the same honor you show at school to your teachers---when no one is looking.”