7/08/2008

When I Am an Old Woman

I Shall Wear Purple 
 
This yellowing, tattered book sat in a small second-hand bookshop in Bohol as though whispering in my ear, “Buy me, I am yours.”

Ok, it’s mine now.

It reminds me of my mother. In my eyes as a child, she was always old; and she often wore purple. When she passed on, we knew what she’d have wanted to wear for the last time—a purple chiffon dress with a matching scarf to cover the goiter that came with her twilight years.

But reading the poem, which is the title of this book by Jenny Joseph, I now know it also speaks of me:

When I Am an Old Woman

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple,
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me . . .

Happy colors I’ve always loved on today’s clothes and accessories. Unlike some people who choose an era and stay there, I like being in the current era. That’s why when friends see clothes, bags, shoes, and blings in malls, they say, “That’s very Grace.”

When I was younger, nobody really cared about how I dressed. But as I age, I hear words like “Bizarre” “Flamboyant” “Loud” and “Ano ba yaaaan!” (Translation: What on earth are you wearing? Are you mad? Act your age!) They exaggerate.

I guess people have boxes in their minds about clothes: people of different ages should dress differently. And purple is not for aging women.

Well, it is for Jenny Joseph. And it is for me. I shall wear purple and all the colors of the rainbow (plus gold and silver) here, there, and everywhere. (Now you know why this site has such audacious colors.)

Call it defiance, as what this book seems all about, but I call it . . . the way I am (?) or maybe, aging with grace.

Any problem with that?

2 comments:

Mississippi Songbird said...

That's beautiful.. My Mother loved colors so much.. She would always dress up when she went anywhere.. I miss her so..
Thanks for the post. I enjoyed your blog..

Grace D. Chong said...

Don't we all wish mothers should live forever? Big thanks for the visit!