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Wearing Purple

January 7, 2009

So.. for those of you who are new to my blog (all 1.5 of you) you may not know that my very first blog post ever was about the wearing of the red hats and my resolve not to do that. Go back to the first blog entry on this site to see what I had to say about that. So… I have been saving the purple rant and here it is. There is this thing, I don’t know the genesis of it, that you see in catalogs; a book, a plaque, etc. and it says “when I am old I will wear purple”. I take it that this is intended as a declaration of independence; that perhaps you would not wear purple before because you cared what others thought and they would have negative thoughts if you wore purple. First, this seems specious as a basic assumption. Wearing purple, which I have always done, isn’t a bad thing in social perception terms unless it is the color of Barney. Second, whether I care what other people think about my clothing or my appearance isn’t all that likely change from age 40 to age 80; I could be wrong, or different about this but that’s me. What I am sure of is that I will not ever wish to wear a banner that says “look at me I’m old”. We do treat the elderly in this country as fairly well invisible and I may find many ways to shout, or demand, “look at me” because I exist, I have important or interesting ideas, I’m funny (to some) or just am; but not because I am old. That’s a crappy reason for people to look at you. So we are back to the red hat thing. Do something to identify yourself as part of a group, in this case the elderly, rather than doing something to identify yourself as you. Does this mean that as I get older I have to stop wearing purple? I think not. I’ll just wear purple when I feel like it and when I am old I will will wear whatever the hell I want.

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