Change is brutal … for everyone. And it’s happening at jet speed. COVID pushed many under a faster moving bus. Especially if you are 65 and older. I am there.
We are now called the Jurassic Generation. I can hardly keep up, which causes me to give up. I don’t have a Facebook, TikTok, or an Insta account to check on hourly. I don’t know who the celebrity ambassador influencers are in any of the ads selling watches and champagne. I barely know how to swipe, slap, or insert my credit card. I am “aging out” and unlike Biden, I don’t have staff to cover me so I can go onto another presidency.
Clearly aging is rough, as I watch my friends get bone joints replaced and gleaming dental implants the size of outdoor tiles. All to hold on to a visual we once had. Although maybe we can now pull back and down on the “duck lip” injections and pointy chin enhancements?
There is now a trend for “less is more” in the facelift department. It’s called “normalization” treatments (are you listening Madonna?). Injections are the treatment of the moment. Whether Ozempic (is that why Oprah and Gayle are so fit and not from workouts at their million-dollar jaunts to Italian spas?) or collagen or Botox. Personally, I will surrender to my crepe sag or go for a Hyaluronic Gel needle in my knee joints over surgery. I am accepting my decrepitude — lines, droop, muffin bulge and all.
And speaking of change and aging out, I was caught up in all the British coronation and rumors of the end of the monarchy. I don’t know about the demise of the Kings or Queens, but I did see a picture of Madame Tussauds’ Queen Consort rendition.
It is a celebration of a mature face and body. There is Camilla with all her real facial lines and aging hands looking stunning. Reportedly they have been working on it for a year in time for the coronation. They nail Camilla and no tuck-ups or iron-outs present. Wax rules.
Interesting that supporting players are very much in the spotlight. It was reported that Camilla only has 35% British support for becoming Queen Consort (they want no title), while our own Kamala Harris has only 38% likability. Kamala hasn’t gone wax yet, but we all know what holding office does to a face.
I’m learning that aging is the ultimate change and all about loss — of time, friends, family, patience, hair, hydration, hearing, and money. No matter how much filler you’re shoving in your body. Everyone is complaining about loss of memory and my doctor warned me to stay off devices.
People are drowning in TMI. My doctor said, “you are allowed to forget words and names but once you start using your TV remote to start your car — you better call me.” If I can remember to do that.
Aging is the ultimate, but so are the financials. In fact, a financial expert said financial stress is the new COVID — 70% of Americans feel the money belt tightening. And it may take us three to five years to get out of this. There is no vaccine for this ka-ching roller coaster.
Emergency funds are draining, banks are wonky, people are spending all their time getting their hands around their money — where is a better yield? Do I hide my cash in my mattress? Can I survive retirement? Will my credit cards vanish? We all feel vulnerable with the higher cost of living, including the rich. Young and old. Paycheck to paycheck is the beat. Money managers are being traded in for “financial therapists” — what are they exactly?!
Apparently, women are feeling it the most with commitments to children and aging long term care parents. Now everyone is bargain hunting or just plain saving everything they have. Travel will drop to one or maybe two domestic vacations a year from four to six international.
We’ve never been in this landscape before. We are past the old mantra of “show me the money.” As I said, change is a bitch. Although my rabbi suggests I use “pivot” in place of “change.” But pivot to what and how? By the way, boob and butt lifts just went up from $12,000 to $15,000. Tight squeezes are everywhere.
In the middle of all this money mania comes last week’s news which was the ultimate media flip with the firing of Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon, and the death of Jerry Springer. What a God-given arc. It was the end of cable TV news with the demise of the “godfather of trash talk.”
After Springer, news became loaded with hate speech and bipartisan hard sell. Suddenly we were given a barrage of partisan screaming “breaking news” and “live updates.” And this even went over to my text account with urgent messages from politicians, my plumber, and retailers I don’t even know. I decided to press “stop” and “opt out”… of life in general. Most of my friends have stopped watching news altogether.
As a dinosaur, I remember dear Walter Cronkite and even Tim Russert who presented “just the facts, ma’am.” They shut it all down in a 30-minute presentation. We now have 24/7 “platforms” dispersing porn reality and kids are getting depressed and suicidal from it all. There is no “rational discourse” (as brilliant serious “moderate” newscaster Michael Smerconish believes). The cultural change to “clicks” and ears and eyeballs has destroyed us. It’s all about the brash getting all the attention from loud to loudest.
And speaking of loud to loudest and in the midst of the beloved Bed Bath & Beyond going bankrupt — we have the reopening of a new and improved Tiffany & Co. at 57th and Fifth. It seems making a bigger and better flagship store into a much-publicized “Landmark” is the way to bigger sales. It’s called “cultural clout.”
I was never a real Tiffany fan. It was great for Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ opening scene, but face it … Tiffany was for tourists. The little blue boxes were THE jewels. The original storage vault-like exterior and window designer Gene Moore gave it the class.
Now the renovated Tiffany resembles another airport ambassador lounge — but full of glass, staircases, atriums, and Julian Schnabel art. There are “galleries” (the Audrey Room) and of course a cafe (it serves breakfast). Tiffany ambassadors are Beyoncé and Jay-Z. At least I know who they are. Apparently, it isn’t “a store” — it is an “experience.” What isn’t!
The real Tiffany message is how the wealthiest guy in the world, Bernard Arnault, bought the store pre-pandemic and even struggled to renovate it back then. So, it is all about a financial transaction (again … what isn’t?).
It will get a ton of traffic along with Trump Tower; that corner always does. But don’t expect “Moon River.” Ironically, the day it officially reopened, the Wall Street Journal announced that no one was buying real diamonds anymore. Cheaper lab grown simulations look just as great and sales are high. Think fake fur.
But Tiffany doesn’t have to care. They will become a Disney-esque attraction. People will come and browse and maybe not buy anything for the box. They should just sell the “Tiffany blue” nail polish instead. A friend of mine checked out the new store and her statement was “I smell China.” After all, the Chinese market is the savior for all luxe shops — landmark or not.
I recently read how popular New York designer Christian Cowan sees Las Vegas as a destination shopping capital; “everyone is drinking, people have money, and they can shop all night. The whole thing is about frivolity and fabulousness.”
I want the drug he’s on. I did hear that gambling casinos may be coming to NYC ‘s 42nd Street. Could that be true? Imagine Street went from tawdry (my favorite area of strip clubs, peep shows, and hardworking street hookers) to the all-American Disney and now to Vegas glitz?
I say bring back the simplicity of the ‘60s sleaze. But what would I know… I’m just a T. Rex!