The Island of Broken Rules


Earlier this month I shared a story about my quest for the perfect Valentine’s Day dress to wear to dinner. I talked about the “new rules” I felt I had to follow because I am now in my fifties…You know, watch the hem line, watch the neck line, just watch out in general so you don’t run afoul of certain guidelines and accidentally dress “too young.” If you remember, I did find a nice dress that I felt covered all the bases and I was pretty proud of the effort I put into the whole thing.  And then, as if to provide some cosmic counterbalance to that whole experience, I went to Key West- clearly the Island of Broken Rules.

My good friend and I spent two days walking, boating, touring and swimming with people, many of them older, who CLEARLY were not constrained by ANY age related rules or guidelines…and guess what, it was pretty awesome!

Now you could make the argument that walking down Duval Street window shopping and bar hopping is not comparable to going to work or the grocery store back home and of course, that’s true. Mickey mouse ears look totally normal on your head at Disney World…not so much back home….I get that.

But I think there is a way to incorporate a little “rule busting” into our every day look without upsetting the natural tootsiesorder of things, and while we were on a boat ride, I ran into an older lady pulling that off with ease. She was a lovely woman from Connecticut, probably in her late 60s, nice conservative hair cut, wearing a plain cute top and white Bermuda shorts. But check out the picture I took of this woman’s tootsies!  (yes, I got her permission first-haha) We got to talking, and I asked her if she was from the hippie generation.  She and her husband laughed and said they were. This was definitely an active couple with a whole new take on the golden years! I just love that this lady was able to express her inner youthfulness while still adhering to “the rule book” in every other was adorable, balanced, fun…and totally appropriate!

So yeah, for sure you can see it all in the Keys. And while I don’t ever want to mimic the folks who look like they just rolled  off the VW bus from Woodstock, it was great to see this “golden girl” who is still completely comfortable staying connected to her youth.

One of the many Hemingway cats

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