January 29, 2023


Posted on 17. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Social/Cultural

I noticed that I’m spilling more lately. Small morsels of various types of food have been jumping from my fork directly to my shirt to create an unintended kaleidoscope of colors, resembling a Vincent van Gogh canvas. Like a surrealistic map of the world where all the countries have been rearranged by a committee, my shirt contains greens from my salad, yellow from my butter, and the ever present red from my spaghetti sauce.

I suppose this is all part of God’s great plan for us as we grow older, but I am a bit concerned that I will soon run out of clothing to soil! That’s why I’ve decided to create a new line of senior clothing called, “Seniorflage” – a combination of senior styles (big buttons and Velcro) and camouflage in the form of pre-stained patterns from all four food groups.

This should have a universal appeal to all of us who know that we are inevitably going to soil our clothing but still want the upper hand. We decide the stains, not the stains themselves – total senior empowerment!  This is not to say that Seniorflage will not attract a following among young people. But before we go the Gap route with the kids, I think I’ll pursue those approaching seniordom, like the 50-60 year old crowd.  These folks know it will soon be their turn and may want to stock up while the introductory prices are low.  I’m not going to stop with clothing either. I think the world is ready for a whole new concept of senior products that both glorify age and demystify it.

Long ago at the dawn of time when man first crawled out of his cave we were taught that aging is something to be avoided at all costs. You’ve all heard that 60 is the new 50, that 40 is the new 30, etc. Plastic surgeons offices are now like the tire shop at Costco. Choose from our popular all-weather face lifts, Botox, nip and tuck features from our master book of the “New Improved You.” We’re getting hip replacements, knee replacements, organ transplants, hair plugs, uplifts and God knows what else in record numbers. Men’s cosmetics are experiencing a breakthrough of sorts, and we are all trying to be good friends with our children instead of good parents.

I don’t know what this says about our culture, but I suspect it simply reflects that we are being swept away by our own marketing and deposited in the new land called, Immortality ‘R Us. I don’t know when this change occurred either. It seemed to me that it was just yesterday when Charlie Ruggles, Cliff Arquette and Bob Keeshan, all resplendent with their white hair, held sway on TV, showing us an image of graceful aging. Today, Betty White has been ‘re-discovered’ and is the darling of  You-Tubers. I still remember her doing refrigerator commercials back in the early 50s when she was probably in her early 30s. Now there’s a woman to emulate.

For many of us, aging is not romantic. Most days are filled with some minor or even major pain. We’ve lost something that we just had. We can’t remember why we went to the kitchen, and most of all, we feel a bit cut off from the younger generation who are certain we are living relics from the Smithsonian and by some miracle of genetic manipulation have managed to survive beyond the insurance company actuarial tables. Seniorflage clothing is a reminder that matter never disappears, it just changes form… or location. Thank you Albert Einstein and Maytag. One of you is indispensable. Time will tell which is which, but my money is on Maytag.

- Editor


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