Butch’s Fashion And Lifestyle Rules For People Over 70

Well, we made it to 70. Now what? It’s not exactly party-time central, but we don’t want to sit back in the old recliner and collect mold now, do we? There’s no use trying to act like we’re teenagers, but we need to remain active, socialize, and set some new goals in our lives. However, there are a few rules to keep in mind to prevent embarrassing old-age fashion faux-pas and live a suave, debonair lifestyle…such as:

RULE # 1: Guys, get rid of the long hair. No ponytails or mullets. It wasn’t cool then, and it’s even worse now. And forget trying to imitate some of the teenage boys today who look like a cow took a dump on top of their heads. While I’m at it, guys, do NOT try to color your hair. I tried this one time. I looked like Howdy Doody. Right now silver is in style, but you ladies over 70 can color your hair. Just don’t color it blue, green, pink, chartreuse, or any other unnatural color. You are not a high school freshman, OK?

RULE # 2: Before you go anywhere in public, look in the mirror a second time. Yes, use your reading glasses. Fellows, make certain you don’t have a hair sticking two inches out from your nostril, a line of Welch’s grape jelly above your upper lip, lettuce stuck on your front teeth, or a spaghetti stain on shirt. And ladies, check your makeup. Don’t cake it on so thick that you appear to be mummified…and please don’t attach those fake eyelashes. It looks like two tarantulas are glued to your eyelids.

RULE # 3: Guys, get rid of the sandals and flip-flops. No one wants to see cracked, white heels and curled-up tootsies…or God forbid…fungus infected toenails. Now if you have aching feet, only wear Dr. Scholl’s footwear if it’s an absolute necessity, as they are a dead giveaway that you are on your last leg. NO “Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars” tennis shoes…It’s not 1965.

RULE # 4: Do not dine out at those “all-you-can-eat” restaurants. The last time my wife and I ate at Golden Corral…many years ago, I watched people pile food on their plates three, four, five times. A famous Lafayette auto dealer was at a nearby table, shoving it down faster than a coyote eating a rabbit. You know what happened to him, don’t you? He’s not a “good friend of mine and tradin’ my way” anymore. He’s a goner.

RULE # 5: When we were growing up, you achieved adulthood by becoming a smoker. Dad smoked. Mom smoked. The teachers smoked. The coach smoked. The doctor smoked. Remember?…roll those Lucky Strikes up in your T-shirt sleeve, light it up, inhale, blow it out your nose, and talk about car stuff. Or gals…light up an Ultra-thin lady-like cigarette, drink coffee with the girls, and discuss the irritating male specimen you married. Today we realize how stupid we were…so, don’t smoke. And forget vaping, too. It looks like you are sucking on a USB stick.

RULE # 6: Do not walk through stores or the mall while singing, or even humming, tunes from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. It’s OK to do that when no one is around, but no sane bystander wants to hear “At the Hop,” “Imagine,” or “Night Fever” at Macy’s.

RULE # 7: If you decide you want a tattoo, wait a few months before taking that step. And never get a tattoo if you have been drinking. You don’t want to wake up and see a tattoo of Elvis or a nude Marilyn Monroe…or the name of some guy or girl you met at the bar…on your forehead.

RULE # 8: No leather pants. No denim shorts. No 80s giant sunglasses. No gold chains. No earrings longer than one inch. And please do not use Ban Roll-on or drench yourself in cologne or aftershave. The smell of talcum powder is not cool either. Ladies, stash those crazy sweatshirts with beads and embroidery, along with bright-colored tapered pants, in the closet. Those are for Christmas Day only.

RULE # 9: This is the absolute FINAL RULE…Disregard all of the above. You made it this far. As the Smith-Barney commercial says, “You made 70 the old-fashioned way, you earrrnnned it!” You are a survivor. Color your hair green, slap some Ban-Roll-On under your armpits, grab that funky sweatshirt (roll up the sleeves so people can see your Ann-Margret tattoo), put on your denim shorts, flip-flops, and shark tooth gold necklace, light up a Marlboro, and head to the Golden Corral while singing “Tutti-Frutti” all the way….Feels great, doesn’t it? Oh, yeh…if some punk points out the chocolate icing on your chin, tell them to shove it.

John “Butch” Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 32 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.