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May 05

Is this “Aging with Grace” or looking like a fool?

My normal response to any Facebook posting that reads “you have to see this” is to delete it without looking at it.  I do the same when I get an envelope marked “open, urgent.” It goes in the trash instantly!paddy-jones_2014

But something told me to open this email. It came from someone I trusted, so I clicked on the link.  It was a segment of the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent”.  79-year-old, great-grandmother, Paddy Jones and her 40 years younger Spanish dance partner came on stage. They started off slow and gentle moves and one of the judges hit the buzzer to “can” the act. But then something quite unexpected happened.  Paddy started dancing like a twenty-something. ­Her sequined dress shimmered with Tango-like moves. She was transformed from a 79-year-old into a ­nimble young woman she once was. It was almost too good to be true. My wife and I had tears in our eyes while we cheered her on. She never missed a step. She got thunderous applause afterwards.

 

 
Hours later, I asked myself if I would put myself on live TV and risk making a fool of myself.  Once I was at a wedding and a man in his 70’s started break-dancing. I thought he made a fool of himself.  Years ago, I saw Rod Steiger on the Jack Parr Show.  He was wearing a black turtle neck sweater with a big gaudy chain necklace and a very large peace sign medallion. Jack asked why he was dressed that way.  Rod’s comment was “a desperate attempt at maintaining my youth.”
 
At 73, I still like clothes and trying to look nice.  I danced for much of my youth and can still do some of my old moves.  But I don’t want to look like a fool or someone who is working at trying to deny his age. I don’t know what Paddy’s motivation was or fears were but I tip my hat to her for risking it – I bet it felt great afterwards!

Now I’ll ask you what you think about Paddy’s performance.  Do you worry about looking like a fool or do you dance like no one is watching?

2 comments

  1. Jane Gassner (@Jane_Gassner)

    I’m coming to believe that looking foolish, like looking beautiful, is in the eyes of the beholder.

    1. marlainmagnolia

      Agreed. I wish that realization had come much earlier in my life.

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