Saturday, August 3, 2013


(Published in Gazette Newspapers, on occasion of her 73rd birthday)
GAZETTE NEWSPAPERS EDITOR'S NOTE: Our columnist Rose Moore has taken this, her 73rd birthday week, off to celebrate "stayin' alive." In place of her usual column, she allows us to run her own parody of the famous Jenny Joseph poem, "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple." (Our apologies to Ms. Joseph)
WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN, I will turn purple at my birthday party, and revive myself when people dial 9-1-1.
I'll dine on jelly beans and ginger snaps and coffee, and circulate hot rumors all around the town about myself.
I'll be haughty with the sales clerks who carry only tiny sizes, and I'll skip obituary pages in the morning paper, just in case my name is there.
For my health, I'll wear a copper bracelet and rub my skin with mink oil and start my day with fiber laced with M&Ms.
I'll paste a smile on my face for make-up; and I'll refuse to tan and soak for hours at the spa, where I might wrinkle into nothing and be mistaken for a raisin.
I'll ignore the TV ads for PolyGrip and grown-up diapers and those ugly chairs that stand you up, and I won't let Ed McMahon seduce me into pre-paid funerals, or elder magazines or cheap insurance.
I'll cultivate a mellow air of wisdom, and when the young folks seek advice, I'll tell heroic tales about the past and lie to them about the future.
I'll let my dwindling eyesight go, for that will let my mirror lie to me, and it will also help to camouflage the cobwebs, dust and dirt.
I will not dance the hokey-pokey at your wedding or spend my days at Big Lots trying to save a dime.
I won't hang out at craft fairs or in bingo halls; I will not go to quiet towns in Florida for shuffleboard and golf; and most of all I won't go into places where the young are not allowed to go.
I won't bend over in my garden in a flowered muumuu; and I won't let the Beauty Ladies tint my hair in any shade of blue or cut and kink it into scouring pad or Orphan Annie hairdo.
I'll wear strong necklaces in case I ever want to hang myself, and of course my friends and loved ones know that isn't likely.
If I'm forced to trade down to a dinky little car, I'll let the neighbor kids paint flowers on it and glue a wind-up key upon the roof, and they can ride around with me and make a lot of noise.
If you ask how old I am, I will not hear you; and I will not criticize the young except to God, who has been around awhile and sympathizes.
I may someday build a pedestal and designate myself an icon, but I will not speak of growing old until I'm well into my 90s, if I live that long...
And then I'll hold that very private conversation only with myself.
(You can email Olde Rose at, because someone young has finally helped her figure out computers.) 
(ATTACHED PHOTOS OF Olde Rose missing a few teeth at age 7; and old Rose now, at age 73, with a special K9 friend).