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Thank you! And yes our hair thins. Our bones thin. Everything thins, except perhaps our stomachs and hips which tend to go in another direction.

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Oct 16, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

Oh, Sandy, what a wonderful piece to come across! The bra story is one that made me laugh! As soon as I got in the car after work, the first thing I did was unhook it! And still some days after all the running around, it’s such a joy to feel that release. Love you! Paula Shara Freedman

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Oct 16, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

Love this and thank you!!

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You're most welcome!!!

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Oct 16, 2022Liked by Sari Botton, Sandra Butler

You're beautiful, truly .. I mean, look at that smile!!! Blessings at 83 and onward ... From a curly headed (less maybe 2/3rds of what once was) 77 year old 😊👵

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Oct 16, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

If it makes anyone who wore pointy-toe heels and has bunions now, my podiatrists have all assured me it’s hereditary and impossible to avoid even with lifelong wearing of Birkenstocks. My brother has bunions, too, and never wore pointy heels, just dude shoes.

The comfort we sacrificed to wear the pointy toe shoes, however, is another story! :)

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Ah, that's another part of the scan I appear to have left out. Old feet. All the cuteness leeched out of them. We try, at least some of us do, to cover them up with pedicures and dramatic colors, but the bunions and the fallen arches and the hammer toes and whatever and the puffy ankles ( me) and the corns.. well you get the idea. Not cute at all.

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Oct 17, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

The feet are our workhorses! They don’t need to be cute. I’d give anything for feet that didn’t hurt most of the time!

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Humor! Thankfully. I know all about taking the bra off at day's end. And the search for support and comfort. Otherwise, you're radiant.

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Thank you Nancy. And then there is the sound we make as the bra comes off. Right?

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There's the sigh and the plop! LOL

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Exactly.

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Oct 16, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

The bras! They are an archive, that drawer of bras. (My drawer of bras is an archive, certainly.) Loved this.

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That's it's own piece, isn't it. the bra drawer. I used to have lacy ones, but they overstayed their expiration date, so I switched to plain ones that didn't show under sweaters. But trying to give up underwires has proven more difficult. For a heavy breasted woman, it's like not wearing much of anything, which might lead to tunics, I suppose. I do have one friend who has been braless and heavy breasted for decades now and has back problems. I don't say anything.

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Oct 16, 2022Liked by Sari Botton

"H" cup here, & 63 years old. This is definitely its own piece, our bras with and without, and the archives... I feel an essay collection coming on ...

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That was my hope for The Kitchen is Closed: And Other Benefits of Being Old---that women would begin to write and tell their own stories-- of their body, of their choices-- of everything! Onward!!

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It IS it's own piece and I would love for you to write it. It was eye-opening to realize you have a bra for many different occasions and all of them live in their own drawer. I have the opposite problem - very small breasts combined with a large rib cage and broad shoulders. I have spent years in bras that either cut off my breath or fit around my ribs but caved in around my breasts. After years of fruitless searching, I have found the answer (Pepper) and now have exactly three bras that fit and let me breathe. There are times when I think it can't possibly matter anymore but, somehow, it does.

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Ah Elizabeth, the important words are embedded in the last sentence. Somehow, it does. Unpacking the somehow is one of the tasks of releasing our old selves from lifetimes of acquiescence. IT's where the old should and oughts still live.

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I think both your piece and you are lovely but then I do also have a front tooth that seems to need to be corralled and cataract surgery is long overdue. Be well.

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Thank you. One tooth and cataract surgery are entirely uncomplicated. I had the latter ( easy as pie) but have decided not to invest in my mouth at this very late date. But if that's all that came up in your scan, then brava!

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Thank you, Sandra! You hit the nail on the head. Soon to be 65, I'm right behind you and watching what gravity and oxygen do to my body every day. My Birthday wish is to learn to see the beauty in every wrinkle, chubby ankle, bruise, hair loss and all the rest! I recently went to a talk by Tracey Gendron, author of Ageism Unmasked: Exploring Age Bias and How to End it. Excellent, by the way...

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That's a splendid birthday wish. May you find beauty all over yourself!! And yes, Tracey Gendron is terrific, has wonderful politics but isn't even 55 yet! And living while old is not the same thing as having a terrific feminist analysis of agism in our culture. But she is one of the women who is opening a long overdue conversation, raising awareness and I"m grateful for her presence.

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So glad to hear you say this! Tracey's talk was fantastic, and I am diving into her book next! :) In the mean time, I am working hard to live into my aging full on! I had a heart attack out of the blue last December (4 days before my 64th Bday) -- a shock to my entire family and my doctors! It's an existential experience I have learned so much from. And while my heart muscle has fully recovered, I guess I am now a "cardiac patient" for ever forward. So the flabby arms, waving like seaweed, and all the rest mean even more AND nothing at all! I am LIVING! :) So glad to have "big sisters" like you in my life, both those I only read about in essays and those I hold dear in my day-to-day life. Look forward to reading more of your work.

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Oh Hope, that abrupt redinifition, for you as a cardiac patient, for me as a cancer one... does requires us to shift so much around. So much baggage gets jettisoned and priories shift all over the place. May we both be well.

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Fantastic read. Funny, poignant, and oh so true. The body thing, the wrapping of our vessel, our vessel that was only half educated...

of course to attract a mate in oder to preserve the species, looking our best is naturally a good thing, but what of the inner vessel? do we not care for the car's engine as well as its shiny exterior?

Is this crazy human experience meant to play out this way? Well, I'm a mere 73, and finally feeling great about myself. My insides hold the wealth of my experiences, while the outside keeps them guessing

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oh that's wonderful that you got all the way there at "merely" 73. Thank you for that last sentence. I love it!

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I love these kinds of life-giving posts. At 47, I am having to learn to love this body as it is. I can handle the wrinkles on my face and the sagging kangaroo pooch, but I pray with everything in my being that I do not get crepe paper neck. You must certainly have a very fine neck, which gives me hope. Anyway--you are beautiful and witty. I’m reading this having just got home, removed the bra (can never find one even remotely comfortable), put on my favorite pair of jeans and tee, and gone outside to enjoy the trees shedding their leaves. Seasons. All are beautiful, and you have reminded me of that.

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Thank you Holly. And as for crepe paper neck, there are lovely chiffon scarves for that. Turtleneck sweaters. My neck is ok but some of my friends who have terrible necks have no lines. My face is overwhelmed with lines. So the truth here is that something is inevitably going to soften, sag and droop and learning to love our bodies as they are becomes increasingly demanding. One could even call it a practice!!! An ongoing one.

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There's beauty in aging. It may take a sense of humor to find it, and you certainly did.

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Thank you Harvey. The humor may be rueful, but it does open possibilities of seeing more clearly.

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beautiful. all of this.

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Thank you Gillian.

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This is lovely, touching, and funny. I turned 60 this year, also a landmark. If only we could have deeply loved and appreciated our female bodies when we were younger and truly youthful/beautiful (as we all were). I often think of all the dislike and hate in my teens, 20s, and 30s aimed at my too-big stomach, too-muscular legs, broad shoulders, whatever....and wonder what I could have fueled had that directed energy been positive instead of negative. I'm determined to change that in this decade.

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That's a splendid intention for your next decade. As our bodies soften, weaken and create ungainly folds here and there, they're also sweet. And ours.

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Yes. I remember the unkindnesses I have aimed at my body over the years. There is always something that is "too" something or "not enough" of something else. Like you, I've asked myself whether that energy could have been used so much more productively.

I applaud your determination to shift that energy as you head into your next decade. I am a bit more than half-way through my 60s now and I am finding it easier and easier to accept my body as it is and I'm realizing how much it still offers me. On good days, it frees me up to focus on things I really care about - my writing, my loved ones, just about everything else.

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you are incredible

THANK YOU

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Thank you for this wonderfully descriptive tour!

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You're very welcome Lynn. I suspect tonight were I to do the "tour" a year and a half after writing this, there wold be some changes. Everything is moving closer to the floor!

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