by Sheila White
(Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)


If you’ve ever worn a uniform, proud as you were at first, you were always happy to get home, take it off and climb into your worn and comfy pyjamas.

I’ve worn uniform during two stages of my life and remember that well. Yet now, in my late 80’s, living in a seniors’ complex, I find myself longing to wear uniform again.

The following seemingly doesn’t apply to single senior males. They continue with their usual dress routines, not caring who they please or displease, but I’ve come to realize that what we ladies wear is all-important. Before leaving our apartments we must choose an outfit that is stylish, fairly new, and carefully coordinated. If not, we hear about it from our ‘friends’.

Approaching a female neighbour in the corridor, the first thing we notice about her is her hair, then the colour of her outfit. Then the pairing of tops with bottoms, and lastly shoes. Next we offer some words of appreciation, which, if not given, leaves the examined one with a sense of something missing. What have I done wrong? Should I go back and change?

Beware the mistake of wearing the same outfit worn yesterday. Suddenly we become senile in the eyes of our friends, who start looking for other signs of decay. Didn’t she forget my name just now? Oh, yes, she is slipping, I can tell. And the examiner congratulates herself that she doesn’t make that mistake.

Or does she? We don’t always catch our own signs of deterioration. We remember a name, but it really belongs to someone else. We start the day with a top we wore yesterday, telling ourselves that we will change before appearing in public – then forget. And woe betide if we go out in slippers! Someone is sure to notice.

A friend told me yesterday that she is losing weight and some of her clothes are getting too big. She wears them anyway. But a certain person is sure to point this out before the day is finished. Another, having had fruit at lunch, allows a spot of juice to mar her blouse and doesn’t notice. But others do and remark on it with a certain amount of satisfaction.

If this annoys you as much as it does me, what to do? My solution is to suggest a Seniors’ uniform. It should be simple, comfortable and washable. One colour only. No embellishments that might bring forth remarks. Others may wear what they wish, but those in uniform don’t have to worry about criticism…

…unless the uniform gets too big, too small or become marred in some way. We will all be sure to notice and be kind enough to let you know.

Wendy: Oh No! That's my mom you are talking about... always turning a critical eye on me daily! "Didn't do much with your hair today?" Grin! Oh well, its just her conversation... but I do know the women you speak of.

Kinda sad, shallow gals, nothing more to chat about....

Funny and oddly true story... love it!


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Benefits of a uniform
by: brenda

This sounds exactly like junior high and high school. There will always be people who are judgmental, critical and eager to put other people down.

I have decided that if all they have to do is judge my wardrobe, hair, make-up, etc., I am will be glad to bring a little entertainment to their dull, boring lives. I on the other hand am too busy and active to worry about what they say about me. I just look them as my fan club.

Remember what people say about you does not define you, but it does define them.

by: Anonymous

Love your story. Some things never change! Always easier to look at the next person vs ourselves. Laughter can help.
When in florida this winter, out and about on our way to dinner,, my friend informed me To look at my feet. I did and saw two different shoes - one a sandal and the other a closed toed maryann shoe. We laughed so hard the whole day, tears and all.
You sound like someone who would is full of life. Thx for sharing.

Female Scrutiny ....
by: Retd. Prof. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava, New Delhi India

My late father-in-law was a smart dresser and was particular of his dressing even when h was past 80. When he was about 75, he bought an elegant, high priced gown. He was very fond of me and loved going for a walk with me.

As we got ready to set out on a winter afternoon walk, I asked him why he was not wearing his favorite gown that day. He said that he had packed it away and decided never to wear it again. "Why?" I asked him. He said that he had gone to the park wearing that particular gown when a woman looked at him with sort of scorn. He interpreted that look as criticism of the gown and decided to never go out wearing that particular gown.

I made no comment, as per my usual habit of silence. But I was surprised by his decision.

New Delhi, 30 April, 2013

And Alzheimer's Makes it worse.
by: Tom


I understand your story completely. I am run ragged in an attempt to keep Jan from wearing the same outfit three or four days in a row. Even when I hand new clothing out and take the yesterday outfit, she rummages the closet until she finds yesterdays and puts it on, discarding the newer outfit. If we aren't planning a trip out, I give up and let her wear what makes her happy and the doctors approve.

by: Sharyn~~~Waterloo

Hello Sheila*
You r lucky to see OTHER people in your complex! l come & go & very rarely see other tenants in the hallway! If l did see someone, l would be looking for a friendly face, a smile, a hi or how u doin! Not wondering how l could spoil their day by mentioning the same attire or a spill on ones' blouse. What small minds those people have.

Those people need to get a life, or a hobby or take a walk & be glad they r still with us & enjoy their neighbors~~~~

U have a good day~~

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