Being 50 plus with shades of gray doesn’t mean you’re too old to live life to the max, says Age Scotland volunteer Pat Craig.
Unless you’ve been on another planet, you won’t have missed the furore over ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ It’s everywhere from Radio 4 critics to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the newsagent section of several supermarkets.
To the uninitiated, no it’s not about hair dye or sunglasses for the elderly. It’s a (in my view!) badly written, supposedly erotic, totally unbelievable love story, which has been dubbed Mummy Porn but has somehow made it into the mainstream and made its author very rich indeed. Forget its merits or otherwise. What has surprised me more about this phenomenon has been the reactions of younger people.
Recently at a family gathering, there was a sudden lull in the conversation when I entered the room. Yes, you’ve guessed it – they were discussing ‘Fifty Shades’ and clearly felt that this was not appropriate conversation for a mid sixties auntie.
Well, Excuse me! I am not too old!
I’m a survivor of the free love 60s who longed to be a flower child in San Francisco but only got as far as wearing flowers in my hair and miniskirts so short that I blush remembering them. I’m also of the generation who embraced the Pill and by doing so changed sexual mores forever. I and many others fought for gender equality and the employment rights we have today, some of which it seems are often taken for granted by the younger generation.
Whether you consider that good or bad depends on your personal circumstances, history and experiences but take a look at the past 50 years and you can’t deny that the ‘Oldies’ have made enormous differences to lives and lived through an era during which the pace of change was faster than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I love younger people, especially their energy and enthusiasm but I like my own generation too, not least, because of what many of them have triumphed over.
When you look at me, ignore the dodgy knees, the lines and grey hair and remember that I’m younger than The Stones, Paul McCartney and Leonard Cohen who can still hold an audience and who have the same attraction as they had at 25. Lots of us are still 25 inside, so please do not call us old. Try experienced or mature instead!