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Advice & More August 2016

Ask Miss Nora

A Free Spirited Change of Fortune

However, as I get older (and now, old) I'm constantly told that I should “act my age,” dress more conservatively and be more unobtrusive when in public. Last week, my granddaughter actually told me to stop singing so loudly while we were in a shop at a shopping mall and the music in the store was considerably louder than I was!

Dear Miss Nora: I've always been a bit of a free spirit. I dislike conventions and traditions and always carved out my own path – successfully or not. I went to Woodstock and chose the profession of bus driver when there were fewer female bus drivers than hen’s teeth. I've been married twice and raised children that I'm deeply proud of. And I've enjoyed every single second of my life.

However, as I get older (and now, old) I'm constantly told that I should “act my age,” dress more conservatively and be more unobtrusive when in public. Last week, my granddaughter actually told me to stop singing so loudly while we were in a shop at a shopping mall and the music in the store was considerably louder than I was!

How can I get my family (and a few friends) to let me be me? I'm 76 next birthday and life is fun. I just want to enjoy it while I still can!  — Happy old broad in Houston

Dear Old Broad: I don’t believe for a second that you’ve lived through wars, civil and political unrest, presidential assassinations, the moon landing and the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and you don’t know how to handle a few killjoys who don’t appreciate your fabulousness. Something tells me that you have encountered clashes before.

However, next time anyone tells you to calm down or quietly slip off into the night so as not to embarrass them with your flamboyance, remind them that you were alive and kicking when great inventors and inspirational leaders roamed the earth. Tell the sourpusses that you grew up at a time when incredible poets, writers and artists shaped modern and subsequent cultures. Tell them how political races used to be run and describe for them what true integrity used to look like!

The next time you’re asked to be quiet, get louder. When asked to tone it down, dress even more ostentatiously. Continue to be happy when all about you are giving in to faux rage and fake ideology.

But you don’t need mine or anyone else’s advice …

You go girl!

 

Dear Miss Nora: My daughter is always chastising me for the amount of money I spend. I'm comfortably off, in my own home and a widow. She’s married with her own family to look after and despite her protests, I live within a budget and don’t rely on her for anything. However, every time I go on vacation, buy something new for my house or wear a new outfit, my daughter scolds me for wasting my money. How can I explain to her that I am still very capable of managing my own financial affairs since I've been doing it for nearly 50 years?  — Bothered in Illinois

Dear Bothered: I fear this has more to do with your legacy than your welfare. It sounds as though your daughter is worried that you will fritter away her inheritance – not that you won’t have enough money to live out your life on. Although you are under no obligation whatsoever, if you have made financial provisions for your daughter for after you’ve gone, perhaps you could tell her this and put an end to her concerns (and the reprimands).

Then again, it’s an all too common misconception that parents are obliged to bequeath all unspent monies and worldly goods to their offspring. – when, in fact, they are entitled to die penniless and overdrawn if they so choose.

Either way, whichever option you’ve decided on, there is one matter that needs addressing regardless of your daughter’s impending windfall or penury: Inform her that your spending habits are as private and intimate a topic as hers. If she’s determined to meddle in your financial affairs, you feel entitled to do the same to her!

 

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