Old Friends

January 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm (By Amba) (, , )

We’ve reached the age when that’s something to brag about.

With Margaret Harris, whom I have loved and admired from day 1—freshman year in high school, 60 years ago. Photo by Phil Straus, her husband and fellow photographer, activist, world traveler, grandparent.

With Miriam Gerber Kaplan, my college roomie, former attorney, current grandparent, art collector, world traveler, mindful mensch in Memphis. We clock 56 years.

The Simon and Garfunkel song is poignant, but it’s also, comically, a very young person’s dire view of older age. “How terribly strange to be 70”? Actually, no. “Preserve your memories, that’s all that’s left you”? 😂 🤣

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Sometimes Nothing Says It Like 140 Characters.

February 8, 2010 at 8:12 am (By Amba) (, , , )


Nobody knows anymore what an unimproved 60+-year-old looks like. “Everybody” dyes their hair, does a little Botox, a snip–and no wonder!

Given a choice, who w/a smidgen of vanity would stay the course? Last week I got mistaken for my 86-yr-old mom’s sister & 53-yr-old bro’s ma

You can look salt&pepa distinguished in 50s, in 60s you just look old–if yr Caucasian & fried the bejesus out of yrself in the sun as a kid

It could be worse–it’s only genetic luck that nobody in my family’s dead of melanoma. In the 1950s & ’60s we fried ourselves yearly in FL

Remember Sea&Ski? Little coconut-oil droplets acted as lenses actually magnifying UV rays. My nose peeled so much I shouldn’t have a nose.

We were such savages–we fried ourselves ritually in the sun. & we killed anything that moved. Buckets of live shells, fat stringers of fish

There were like 1/3 as many people in the world. Nature still had the upper hand & nature seemed inexhaustible. If you shelled & fished (c)

(c) like that today, you’d be in jail. *sigh* It’s worth being old to have memories of those days.

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Facelifts Are for White People.

April 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm (By Amba) (, , )

Really, do people of any other skin tone and ethnicity ever even get them?  Remodeling of facial features — plumper or thinner lips, rounder Asian eyes, deboned Jewish noses, less flared African American noses, like Denzel Washington’s — is another story.  But facelifts?  All white people.  Is it an accurate observation that a lot of Caucasians, particularly the fairest, have fragile skin that dries, wrinkles, and sags easily, and that therefore we age much more noticeably and unattractively than other ethnic groups?  If so, then the thorough mixing of races that some fear and loathe about the future will be a net aesthetic gain (and monetary saving) for the entire species.

That’s one thing that gets my attention about the cosmetic-surgery craze.  The other thing is that it is a trade-off between youthfulness and individuality.  You can continue to look youngish indefinitely provided you’re willing to give up looking like you.  Among the movie and commercial stars who no longer look like themselves, or like anyone in particular, for that matter:  Sally Field (in Boniva commercials), Lindsay Wagner (in Sleep Number bed commercials), Sharon Stone, and to an extreme, Faye Dunaway (all white people!).  Can you think of some more?  Even someone as relatively young as Nicole Kidman has begun to make the tradeoff.

Just idle thoughts.

~ amba

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