Old age in the big city: the right to Life

Good leather shoes, three-piece suits, stylish eyeglass frames, all shades of red lipstick, stockings with an arrow back along the legs, cashmere pullovers and coats, colorful ties, colorful dresses, Trilby, luxury silk scarves, massive decorations, solid wooden pipes and cigarette pinched between two elegant fingers with nail Polish... No, it's not brief description of the crowd of guests before the Dior show during fashion week in Paris. This is a brief summary of how to look Parisian pensioners.

I already really want to write this text. Aging without aging. On the right to old age, which equals the right to a full life. About old age without the patina of old age. On age without age restrictions. That the ability to age beautifully – it's not about the art to conceal fine lines and to paint the gray hair and aging with dignity – it's not always about the size of pensions.

The traditional petanque in the garden Luxembourgstock

Immediately say, that the photos in this publication could be much more. The fact that racy Parisian pensioners don't need to look out for, wait for and hunt after them with the camera from the corner. They find themselves on the streets and shopping, to the movies, in restaurants, in museums, in public transport and in line for ice cream. And I am already simply tired to photograph them, trying desperately to focus on the phone display, as if casually gripped in one hand at eye level.

For example, in my collection were not included a picture I could make in September at the morning rue Commerce: at the exit of the GAP store I was faced with a wizened grandmother in a... short skirt. I have long stared after her, standing in the doorway, stunned and frightened by sudden beauty of the unknown woman, who was younger than all the young. Yes, perhaps, no grandparents hereinafter will not. Stop for men and women who are over 60. As I already once said in his blog post "Why French women don't get fat" - what the hell grandma? And what, by God, grandpa?..

These two just parked my Peugeot and go to the market

There is also no photos are absolutely gray-haired French women with short hair caret in a long brown coat, lights up a thin cigarette on rue Saint-Sulpice last Saturday, when it began to rain. I just stood on the opposite side of the street and watched as she slowly puts the lighter back in the bag as pulls out a compact black umbrella, opens it, raises his coat collar slowly tightened and slowly removed.

Also, for example, I never managed to photograph heavy, very middle-aged man in a brown suit in orange square, which framed the face of the autumn sun, sitting on a chair in the garden of the Palais Royal. He took off his hat and placed it on his knee, and the back of the chair snagged a massive cane with a bamboo handle.

In addition (and here I'm biting elbows), I never overcame my shyness and not captured poorly but very neatly dressed man in a gray turtleneck and perfectly ironed trousers marsh, who was sitting two meters away from me on the waterfront opposite the Notre Dame and quietly played the song Elvis Presley "Are you lonesome tonight" on the guitar. Next to him stood his old braided sandals and a barely started bottle of white wine.

This also does not include a photograph of a woman, hardly moving feet, I saw on the street yesterday: black leggings, short puffer jacket, fitted cut, shoulder-length hair gathered black velvet band in a neat tail at the nape, black patent leather shoes shod on milk nylon socks. Little black Swan with skin, creased like a sheet of parchment...

And, unfortunately, there are no photos of older women in black flared pants and red leather jacket-the jackets with oversized shoulders that struck me almost four years ago. This was my first visit to Paris and one of the first trips on the local subway, when I saw Her. She was sitting on a folding chair at the door, loudly rustling Newspapers. Out of her purse was sticking out a partially eaten baguette, and in her hands was the entire world – the latest issue of Le Monde.

Left — the woman I wrote on Facebook the sketch, "Real Parisienne". To the right is a Flirty bag Wolford on someone's delicate knees, and "the whole world" in his hands...)

With this episode, I started my warm love for the French pensioners, veiled with sadness that in Ukraine it is not so. But it is not only pensions, as mentioned above. And I would very much like to see to the final publication, all is reduced to banal money, because, alas, it's not just them.

The average pension in France – 1032 euros. Hand her Ukrainian grandparents – what will they do with her? Go to travel? Will update if closet? Begin to buy better and more expensive products? Will pamper themselves by going to a movie on Saturday and a Cup of coffee with milk a couple times a week in the morning? Unlikely. Most likely will put money in the Bank or try to foist their children. But a classic of the genre is a "rainy day". Can you blame them for it? Not on your Nelly. Is it possible something to do with it? Except that if you go back a few decades in history and try to prevent war, hunger... to Deliver them from all that tightly preserved in them the habit of waiting for that black day.

Remember that looking at pensioners, it's like living in another dimension, I experienced the most culture shock during my first trip abroad. The world was divided into two halves: on one side – gray French living a full life with all its small and big joys, pleasures and the right to them; on the other – Ukrainian elderly people surviving in the society is not ready to accept them as full members once crossed a certain age limit. Our grandparents expected to lead a more passive lifestyle. And to dress up, have fun, make relationships and behave the same as thirty years – not by age, indecent, inappropriate. What will people say? Their inferiority complex, fear of someone else's evaluation and the inability to live for themselves due to hard life. The winners in war and losers in the struggle for the right to enjoy the world.

In France not in the habit of masking the gray hair to hide middle-aged body from chin to toe, to stop wearing makeup or wearing bright shades. The French never grow old dusty plaque, muted paint, indicating low mobility, frozen in time. There are no taboo on the fitted styles, loud laughter, active way of life and bad habits, and most importantly – there are no taboos to choose from. What is so desperately missing for Ukrainian pensioners, is the ability to choose. Not only because of small pensions, but also because of the little opportunities in society, and extremely low expectations that society imposes on them. Well take from the elderly? – we used to argue. Inexperienced electorate, the forgotten generation, ossified brains...

Shapeless clothing.
Formless life.

My favorite picture — at the store Forever 21 :) Who said it was a youth brand? Pfft))

Paris seniors opposite – high expectations, high standards and his head held high. And sometimes high heels. The most vivid indicators of well – being- their daily lives. Routine, for absolutely everything that young people are doing. At first it was difficult for me to get used to the fact that in the cosmetics Department next to me chooses the powder or ink 75-year-old Madame, and it is possible that in a clothing store a sweater of the right size from under my nose not gone girl, which is already well over 60. No one is ashamed of his wrinkles, no one apologizes for his age. Yes, the best years, perhaps, already passed, but that is no reason to live the rest of my days, constantly fearing that some occupations and activities you may have not to face "at your age" .

If our grandparents not be allowed to convince yourself of that on their own, it is the task of the younger generation to drive them with you for Breakfast, take them to all the endless (and wonderful) street food festivals, flea markets, theatrical premieres, master classes and workshops. To carry grandparents on vacation and shopping. Take them for a walk and a glass of aperol, at the end of it all. As you call a boat so it will float – if we had less condescension towards the elderly, perhaps they would be much freer behaved and felt. We do the same and cut them from the life they still have.

French pensioners holding hands, hugging, kissing, delicious to eat and asking for another decanter of wine with lunch. Not only because they have money, but because they were confident, happy, joyful and beautiful they deserve. And they fit her as well as their children and grandchildren.

Three winters ago)

Our parents and we ourselves will be totally different to age. But it's not too late – call your grandmother, look for a visit to your grandfather. Yes – bring them the delicious. Just do not sit with them in the kitchen, as always, as though they to the floor nailed down – take them for a walk, roll on the carousel or on a river boat, take with them a table in a cafe near a window or on a brand new terrace of another new institution, order two new-fangled coffee and dessert. Show them that they are not superfluous in this "today". And take a selfie, for God's sake. Not for instagram. And just for memory. How long have you hugged and took pictures with their grandparents? How long ago touched her cheek to cheek gentle and creased like a sheet of parchment paper?.. published

Author: Olga Kotrus


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

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Source: paris.zagranitsa.com/blog/2050/starost-v-bolshom-gorode-pravo-na-zhizn


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