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Make It Up To Her Or Face Her Withering Stare

, , , , , | Healthy | May 17, 2021

My grandmother always liked to look nice; she liked to regularly get her hair and nails done and preferred to spend a little extra on stylish clothes. She also almost always wore makeup — just a little colour to liven up her face a bit. She still did this when she was past ninety and had to move to a nursing home.

The move was not caused by diminishing mental faculties — she remained sharp as a tack until the day she died — but she had become wheelchair-bound after a nasty fall and her physical health had already been deteriorating. The home she moved into was very nice, but apparently, some of the staff were not used to elderly ladies paying as much attention to their looks as my grandmother did.

I was visiting Grandma when a young nurse came in to help her with her eyedrops. Her face took on a look of pure astonishment.

Nurse: “Why, Mrs. [Grandma], are you really wearing lipstick?”

Grandma must have been rather irritated at the tone and the apparent implication that elderly women wearing lipstick is something to marvel at, because her reply was rather indignant.

Grandma: “Yes, I am. I might be old, but I’m not withered!”

After the flustered nurse left, I nearly rolled off the couch with laughter. “I might be old, but I’m not withered” has since become a family favourite; whenever an older relative gets a comment along the lines of “Looking good for your age,” they fire off Grandma’s response. Everyone in the know then immediately bursts into laughter and starts reminiscing about dear Grandma.

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