Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Reticence of the aged

Michele Hanson is a blogger who has just announced "I can sew, make stews, do apostrophes and recite poems, but I can't name certain body parts out loud. Something is going frightfully wrong with a bit of Rosemary's body that she is loath to talk about. "Upper body," she shouts, "and not my heart." That's as far as she is prepared to go. "I don't want to talk about it, frankly," she adds, "and neither do you."

No, I don't. Perhaps it's a generational thing. We older persons have our merits. Attitudes towards us are changing now that times are hard, even if we can't be newsreaders. We're no longer just a bank or a burden, but a treasured resource with ancient skills. "Darling Granny, will you please darn my woolly? Mummy doesn't know how and she can't afford to buy me a new one." We can sew, mend, make stews, do apostrophes, know poems by heart, and can easily adapt to blackouts, but there's still one thing many of us could never, and still cannot, do - name certain body parts out loud.

I, for one, cannot say the V, P, N, G or B words in public or private. I'm still stuck on "chest" or "front bottom" and the like. Which is perhaps why some of us don't go to the doctors as soon as we should and so drop off our perches too early.

Younger women do not have a problem with discussing their 'bits'. I am not sure where my preference lies.

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