Calling Invisible Women

leafy02June 13, 2012

I don't know if this has already been discussed here, but on the off chance it hasn't--I picked up a fun book at the library yesterday: Calling Invisible Women, by Jeanne Ray. If you're middle-aged and starting to feel invisible to people out in public or even to your loved ones, you might get a kick out of this book, too.

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mitchdesj

How timely, I'm off in a few minutes to buy a book for my plane ride tomorrow,
I'll look that one up. I do feel invisible sometimes but not always.

I feel that over 60 starts being a more invisible age; I introduced myself recently at a party at my son's and said: "Hello, I'M DGS's grandmother Mitchdesj" the thirty something guy said, " I kinda guessed that"�..

I felt like telling him, "you should be so lucky to look as good as I do when you're a grandfather" but I did not of course. Then later on I laughed it off, it's true actually, I can't deny I'm a grannie, and I don't even want to, lol...

It stands to reason when you are older , specially a woman, to feel invisible at times; I do see positive aspects to it though, I stroll downtown a lot and like the feeling of invisibility. I also like casting a glance in a store window, and like what I see; other times, I look in the same window and think: " yikes, kill that outfit Mitchdesj, really not flattering" You win some and you lose some.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Jamie

I joined a new gym this week, and I wish I could feel invisible! I stick out like an old thumb!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:34AM
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maddielee

Thanks. I'm always looking for good reads.

ML

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:27PM
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dedtired

Season of Second Chances was recommended by my librarian. It's a coming of age story about an older woman. It's also about renovating and decorating a house!

I do feel invisible at times but am old enough to not let that be a measure of myself. It's an old adage but true -- with age comes wisdom. Sometimes being invisible can be a good thing!

Here is a link that might be useful: season of second chances

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:33PM
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stinky-gardener

My library has the book on order. I'll look for it down the road. Thanks, Leafy!

Mitch, as always, you sum things up well! "You win some and you lose some." That's a healthy take on it.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:19PM
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mitchdesj

thanks Stinky ! I picked up the book, I have a 4.5 hours flight tomorrow , I'll let you all know what I think.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:48PM
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stinky-gardener

Dedtired I read your link to the reviews on Amazon. Sounds very good! I'll look for that one too! Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 2:26PM
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leafy02

It's not my 'usual' kind of book, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:04PM
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seagrass_gw

I just turned 60. I've spent the last 4 years battling breast cancer. After chemo, the drug I'm taking keeps what hair came back very thin. Yet I'm happy to be invisible. No more catering to what society says I have to be, and no more hound dogs to deal with. I feel lucky to be here. I chose not to have breast reconstruction after bilateral mastectomies. I dress in comfortable funky clothes, I wear handmade jewelry, I'm driving a 5 speed MINI Cooper and feel freer than I have in my entire lIfe.

As the song says "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

I'm celebrating life and living it my own way. Don't be afraid, ladies.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:54PM
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mitchdesj

WAY TO BE, Seagrass, you said it so well; you are a survivor, brave and strong.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:02PM
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stinky-gardener

Wow, what an inspiring message, Seagrass! Thanks for sharing some of your story with us.So glad to hear you are doing so well, and are enjoying life so immensely! Clearly, your illness has given you the gift of perspective (though you probably had that in large measure even before your diagnosis!)

My sister had 3 serious cancer diagnosis in the past five years, one of which was breast cancer. I sense that she too, savors the moment even more than she did before. She's gone through SO much, yet seems to love life more than ever now.

She also has no patience for wigs & such, & just goes about her business as skimpy strands re-emerge on her unadorned head. Less hair just calls more attention to the twinkle in her brilliant blue eyes, imo!

Keep up the good work Seagrass!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:18PM
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leafy02

Seagrass, yes, even without having to go through the tremendous challenges you've faced (mazel tov!) I feel invisibility has more perks than downsides for me.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:45PM
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lynninnewmexico

How timely this thread is! Just this afternoon my (stunningly gorgeous,tall, slender) 18 y/o DD and I were in town shopping for clothes for our upcoming summer vacation to a resort town and our family cottages on a Michigan lake. She wanted to check out the mall's big Victoria's Secret store for a new bathing suit and some new undies. As I walked through it, looking at all the sexy thongs, push-up bras and semi-see-thru tops,etc., I got this huge wave of sadness at the realization that I was NEVER, EVER going to feel comfortable in stores like this again. There she was, wandering through VS, along with dozens of other young women, and I didn't fit in that kind of place anymore. Instead, I felt old, frumpy, invisible and no longer the beautiful woman I used to be. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not boasting as to what I once was at all. Just mentioning the realization of what I am now. I shop at the malls maybe once or twice a year,max, so I don't regularly wander through stores like Victoria's Secret. It was a very sad, kind of depressing realization that I'm now old enough to be a grandmother and I really don't feel that I will ever look sexy to anyone again. What a reality check :~(

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Jamie

Oh LynninNM I beg to differ. Sexiness and desireability and beauty are timeless. VS, on the other hand, has been around a couple of scores of years . VS is a fashion, a fad, a brand -- sexuality is an aspect of human nature. I don't believe we'd get all of the men of the world to say that only girls under 25 who are dressed in skimpy nylon lace and wire are sexy. I'd go so far as to wager that not even all the men in North America would agree.

Not that a little nostalgia is wrong. A little longing for the past can shed an interesting light on the present.

Never having been a VS type, I can understand the slight sense of out-of-it-ness you might be feeling. But what you've lost is the sense of feeling appropriate in certain skivvies -- not your sexiness.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:52AM
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gracie01

Oh gosh, Lynninnewmexico, I've already been thru what you're going thru. I'll be 59 in 2 weeks. When I saw all the pretty skinny young things standing outside the clubs in Vegas a few months ago, looking very uncomfortable in their short, tight, dresses and 6" heels, I had to chuckle to myself. I was walking in comfortable sandals with the love of my life (DH) and thought "I'm glad I don't have to wear those kinds of clothes". You will accept it one day and be comfortable with yourself. And guess what, I was smiling and none of them were.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 4:35PM
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stinky-gardener

Very well-said, Jamies. I got a lot out of your post. Thank you.

Gracie, great story.

I do think there are men, even in their 50's & beyond, who are only drawn to that canned sort of "hot." (Canned heat? Wasn't that a rock band?) You know what I mean though...very young, over the top sexy, cookie cutter cute, is the only sort of female beauty many men seem to understand anymore.

I don't care what the opposite sex thinks! I am liking getting older, even my older "look," but realize fully that in the last few years I've lost my "babe" appeal & have drifted into "attractive middle-aged woman" territory. I'll be 50 in October.

I think a lot of men are missing out on seeing the beauty of older women. What's important I guess, is that we can see it, and appreciate it!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Several years ago a friend gave me a card for a free pair of undies from VS. I'm not much of VS girl and never have been although I do like some of their robes and such, but the "underwear bar" made me laugh! That's what they called it and I picked out the absolutely biggest pair I could find, and I'm not huge, a size 10, 5'11" and they were so small I never wore them.

I ended up asking a really good friend if she wanted them and she took them and one day while wearing them while out and about, went into a restroom and threw them in the trash. Went commando until she got home. They were that uncomfortable.

We have laughed about that so much and that sums up my VS experience although they do have some bras that I LOVE.
I am not invisible to old men, I still get the head turns, but they are all 15 years older than me....lol.
It doesn't really matter but I do feel it sometimes.
I was never young and beautiful, it took me twenty years to find a flattering hairstyle, learn how to dress, etc.
the proverbial ugly duckling, I feel better about myself as I age but oh, how I feel for women going through cancer. My heart breaks for them.
What a good attitude, seagrass.

I have an acquaintance who just had a tummy flap, lipo, breast augmentation. It made me a little sad, as she has a great life (everything I don't have, for that matter) yet feels so insecure about her body. Her husband adores her and could care less, but she felt she had to do it to feel good about her self.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 6:32PM
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lynninnewmexico

You're right, all of you, and thanks for the reality checks and the very good advice. I have a great husband of going on 30 years who loves me and treats me wonderfully . . . and whom I adore. I'm healthy and that's what really counts. I think it was just the VS store that got to me yesterday. They're having their BIG semi-annual sale this week and the place was filled with young women in their late teens, twenties and thirties. And I was invisible to them . . . or they looked at me and knew I had to be there with my daughter and not for myself. I actually felt self-conscious holding items for her while she searched for her Size 3 things.(Sigh) Even half of me is no longer a size 3 (LOL)!
Lynn

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 8:33PM
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leafy02

Lynn, I've had the same experience at VS with my DD earlier this year. She has the measurements of a pinup girl and takes it completely for granted that she should be able to find adorable undergarments that fit perfectly wherever she goes.

On that day, I distinctly remembered the day ten years ago that I weaned my youngest child; she was sobbing as DH carried her away to join the older kids for stories at bedtime instead of nursing, and I thought to myself "There goes the very last person on earth who will cry because they can't have my boobs!"

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:39PM
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terriks

About 10 years ago I was shopping in Mervyn's department store. I was browsing in the Junior dept. and a sales lady (about my age - mid 40's at the time) told me that "ths is junior's, the misses department is over there". I thought she had a lot of nerve!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

That is nervy! It would make me jump! I shop in the junior dept. often for some things but I always feel a little nervous; after all, I'm shopping for me, and I have read a thousand times that at my age I should be not be buying those cheap, junky clothes, lol!
I should buy missus clothing, made to last (right) and pay more for them as I have now reached the age where I have lots of money.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:00PM
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stinky-gardener

Nervy, nasty & none of her business! If she had been earning a commision she'd have been helping you scoop up halter tops, shrunken sweaters and strapless dresses before you could blink and eye. She was probably bored, and jealous that you could wear Junior fashions & get away with it in your 40's.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:16PM
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stinky-gardener

Blink an eye, that is...good grief!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:18PM
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deedee99

When I meet a young woman who doesn't understand the the power and majesty of being an older woman, I just think of Kathy Bates.

:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Don't mess with maturity

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:44PM
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leafy02

Good one!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:25PM
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patty_cakes

now, now now Lynn, sexiness is a "state of mind", not a fact of life as most young people seem to think! How do *I* know this? Have you ever watchen a very over-weight young woman look at herelf in a mirror and almost drool at her vision? I have, and almost felt what she was feeling! She sees her sexiness within, in her bright smiling blue eyes, long shiny hair, little turned up nose, and make-up executed with a fine hand. Never mind the 'muffin-top', she doesn't see her imperfections because beauty AND sexiness are in the eye of the beholder.

The young woman is my best friends' grandaughter who is 22, and is everything *she* sees in her mirror. ;o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:33PM
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patty_cakes

...and on the flip side, that same best friend won't leave the house w/o a 'full face' of make up....'someone might see me.' The woman is almost 70 for God's sake, who cares! Her insecurities are endless.

Someone once told me, 'it's not whacha got, it's how you use it.' ;o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 9:24PM
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