Anti Aging Advice From a 96-Year-Old Hottie

By Francesca Biller-Safran / Source: Huffington Post

“Don’t spend a lot of time with old people, they just make you feel older,” my 96-year old grandmother told me at our latest luncheon.

After finishing off a large Caesar Salad and her second glass of Ice Tea, she stood and pointed to her new three inch caramel-colored Ferragamo heels she bought on sale. “Aren’t they just darling?” she asked.

“They match my sweater set just perfectly,” she said as she skimmed her body like a Miss USA contestant.

This continual zest for life and fun is just one trait that makes my paternal grandma the most youthful and hip person that I know.

Still driving around town in her shiny red Lexus, she continues to maintain her sassy, coiffed hairdo once a month, along with a manicure and occasional shopping trips to keep up with the latest fashions, hip-grandma, fashionista style.

And don’t forget about the parties and joy-filled evenings. She host gatherings in her own home that she decorates, tends to her cabbage roses of every size and hue, and takes the non-trouble, she says, to make dinner for herself most nights; homemade brisket with baked potatoes anyone?

And don’t forget about the Root Beer Floats. She still makes them for me at her cool bar stool area off the kitchen. I have been enjoying those since I was two, as do now my three girls. No low-fat ice cream or diet root beer involved.

This near centenarian manages as well to travel solo across the country as a history buff and reminds me that she the most popular gal at the Senior Center.

She often laments that the few men who are still alive at her age, and even those 20 years younger, the age of her own son, my own dad, are entirely boring because they have given up on life.

“All they do is complain about all of their aches and pains,” she said. “Why don’t they just get up and do something for a change? That’s what is making them so old and no fun at all to be around.”

Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Along with a museum attached to her home where she shows her award-winning antique dolls and that she replicates original clothing by hand, she also restores historical women’s clothing dating back to the days of the Civil War that are one of a kind and priceless.

Our family calls her Blonde Grandma, because she was the only one when I was little who was blonde, thanks to her secret hair color she will never reveal, along with a daily splash of Chanel No. 5. She reminds me that this was Marilyn Monroe’s perfume.

“A pretty girl always has to keep some of her beauty secrets to herself,” she says.

One of her prescriptions for youth includes a busy entertaining schedule, with a variety and list of excursions that makes my own dance card look pretty unfilled. Her social calendar looks like mine I was about sixteen, but with actual sense and real plans.

She told me that one way to feel younger is to never feel sorry for yourself; and that it is up to each person to create their own happiness.

Say goodbye now to every self help book you have ever bought to feel or do better. There’s no magic or pill, just simple hard-earned wisdom and a larger than life, ageless and positive attitude.

Besides her antique collection, she plays golf, does swimming exercises at the pool every day, and sees at least one movie and dines out for a fine dinner with friends once a week.

She recently informed my mother that this year she is going to start cooking the entire Thanksgiving Feast again at her house for about 20 people. Until about five years ago, she had traditionally cooked the holiday meal and hosted the festivities ever since I can remember.

She reminded my mother that she has been cooking turkeys for about 70 years now, and that the Honey Baked ham store is only a mile from her house. And you don’t argue with Blonde Grandma once she has made up her mind.

Speaking of spunk and being ageless, I can remember this past spring when we shared a shopping trip together because she “needed” a new bathing suit.

After finding just the right one with bright flowers and a black border for her still-cute round body that is very much in shape, she said to me, “Wait till the gals and guys at the Senior Center have a look at this!”

Before the presidential election last year, she broke up with a boyfriend a few years younger than her because he said he couldn’t bother voting in the presidential election.

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”

“Besides that,” she said, “He was not a very good dancer and a boring conversationalist.”

“I don’t blame you grandma,” I said, as if I were a teenager talking to another teenager. “I would have dropped him too, who needs an apathetic boyfriend?”

For some reason, I had always assumed that my grandmother was a Republican. Perhaps it was because she dressed aristocratically in Nancy Regan-ish style, traveled the world, married a wealthy second husband, had the highest taste in clothing and cars, and told us about the history of the Kings and Queens of Europe, which she relentlessly reads about.

But during the elections, not only did she drop her boyfriend for not voting; she told me that Obama was the first presidential candidate who she felt truly excited about voting for in a very, very long time.

She was also quick to add that she wouldn’t kick Vice President Joe Biden out of her bed for eating crackers, if she had the chance.

10 more highlights from Blonde Grandma about how to stay eternally young:

  1. Eat what you want, drink what you want and say what you want, all in “slight” moderation.
  2. Don’t ever feel sorry yourself; it is waste of time and a waste of life. And it also bores other people tremendously.
  3. Always take care of your outside appearance as well as your inside. You can’t possibly feel too bad if you look good enough to flirt.
  4. Read a lot about history, it will teach you about much worse things that other people have been through, will also inspire you, and remind you that you are not the only person in the world who has gone through struggles.
  5. Exercise every day, no matter how tired you are, it will make you stop complaining about how tired that you are, because you won’t be tired anymore.
  6. Treat yourself to wonderful unnecessary little treats things and outings once in a while. It is the smallest of things that make a whole life truly happy. They will make you remember you are worthy.
  7. Only keep the company of people who make you laugh, make you more intelligent, wise and know how to have a good time, even during conversation or just simply sitting quietly with them.
  8. Don’t ever keep the company of the depressed, needy, complaining or rude. They can affect you like a virus and before you know it, you will become more like them.
  9. Never complain about anything. Instead, immediately do something fun, help someone in need, and absorb yourself in something silly to distract you.
  10. Never ever say to yourself that you are too old to do anything. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are only as old as you think.

And lastly, my grandmother’s regular diet for more than 90 years: Dark chocolate, red meat, homemade apple pie with pippin apples, potatoes, V8 juice, eggs, tuna sandwiches, all kinds of soups, tea, coffee, walnuts, and a stiff martini once in awhile made my father.

So there, you have it.

And if you saw a picture of her, you would think she was in her late sixties.

Her plans involve visiting my cousin a few states away for her baby shower.

“I just love to travel,” said Blonde Grandma. “Besides, how can I miss a shower for my sixth great grandchild?”

“You want to go shopping with me for a new outfit for the occasion?” she asked.

“Sure grandma, your car or mine?”

“Mine, of course, “she said. “My car is the prettier and faster one.

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