NYC Is My Spirit Animal, And How I Discovered I Am Elderly

We just got home from our NYC trip, our first stay in our tiny (realtors say “cozy”) studio in Greenwich Village. We’re happy and wrung out, and my fingers still have that bleach-y fragrance. We love it, it creates good vibes and energy, and good manners for sharing the mini-bathroom.

Right on our block! They’ll get to know me here.

Walk out the front door of our building, turn left and see this! Washington Square Park and the Arch, inspired by the beautiful Arc in Paris.

The only furniture in our studio is a bed and armoire, so there is plenty of home shopping still to do. I have to say, being back in our enormous (1500 square feet!) Florida condo feels relaxing. I don’t have share-able pics of the NYC place yet, although this is how it was “virtually staged” by the seller’s agent:

Lovely! But, um, where does the bed go? We do love the door and tiniest balcony.

Thrifting in NYC was mostly confined to picking up dishes, glasses and silverware. I did have time to squeeze in some me-thrifting at the Goodwill on W 14th Street, and found a dreamy pale blue Eileen Fisher sweater, looking never-worn, for $15. While in that shop, Mother Nature called on me in a most insistent way. After 60, when Mother N. calls, you obey. So I asked a salesperson if I might use the restroom.

This is where the magic happened. I’ll always remember you, “elderly” Goodwill.

“Sorry,” she said, “the restrooms are not for customers or walk-ins.” I gave her the best pained expression and said, “Please, it’s rather urgent, and I’m in my 60’s.” She instantly put her hands to her face and said “Oh so sorry, we have to let the elderly use the restroom!” She ran for the key as I contemplated whether this was good or bad news. I’ve gotten used to being called “ma’am” and being offered the Senior Discount, but hadn’t yet been referred to as “elderly.”

I decided to wear it as a badge of honor, and gratefully accepted the kindness. You gotta roll with it, baby.

Stay fabulous and spirited, xox,

Some pretty pieces to browse through, for any age:

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  2. Patti, sorry, but you’ve missed the point here – this young thing obviously had no idea that you might be over 60! Go you!

  3. I’m glad you could put your “elderliness” to work to get the young’un to listen. ???!!! I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry. At least you got the key.
    Your digs, right on! Yeah, Suzanne cracked me up, you should never be sleeping.

    • haha! you’re so right about the “young’un” – she was probably 24 years old and can hold her pee for 24 hours. xox

  4. How wonderful to have a cozy bolthole in NY! As for the restroom situation, I think it’s a human right to be able to use the bathroom in stores. Here in Belgium, there are hardly any public toilets, which is really annoying. Annoying too, to be considered “elderly”, even if in the end it was for a good cause … xxx

    • Agreed, “elderly” doesn’t have many positive connotations in Western society. xo

  5. This is my “no way” dream too, Patti!! Yet I couldn’t believe the restroom situation….this is the US…isn’t that expected when you are in a store or restaurant??
    Yet being elderly is totally different things to different people—and you may not look elderly, but if your driver’s license says to, then I’d go with fiercely elderly!!!

  6. Patti, your tiny cozy studio is in such a dream location – Greenwich Village has a special ring to me because my favorite poet Joseph Brodsky lived there! It thrills me that you are walking the same streets now. I love your idea to make “elderly” a cool word. I am a foreigner (as you know, hehe). American elders have always looked cool in my eyes – they have that wonderful vibe of knowing something that young people just haven’t gained yet. Now, they might not actually know much (that’s another story – “The wisdom that comes with age” – “Mine hasn’t arrived yet”, a quote from my fave comedy Times Goes By), of course, but you do! 🙂 Lots of love!

    • That is a wonderful quote! And a lovely comment, Natalia, thanks so much. xo

  7. Your little village studio sounds so cozy and cool!!! I actually love “yes ma’am”!!! It’s so respectful in the south lol means they’re treating you like a ‘lady’!

  8. Once a woman is over 40, she achieves the superpower of invisibility.
    It comes in handy for industrial espionage, among other activities.
    Once a woman is over 60, she achieves the superpower of being able to unlock any restroom. It comes in handy.

  9. Public washrooms can be an urgently needed requirement in your fifties as well. My hubby had prostrate issues when we were in Australia a few years ago, and we could NOT find a public washroom in one city. Not one, although there might well be some. Where were they? He resorted to dodging behind a big tractor on a construction site…taking a “nature break” as they say on the Tour de France. When we were in another city, I asked to use the washroom in a restaurant where we were eating, and the waitress directed me to the public bathroom down the block at a city operated facility which was CLOSED. I had to run all the way back to our hotel. And we’ve been wondering ever since how a restaurant gets away without having a bathroom. NO wonder we all seek out a nearby MacDonald’s wherever we are.

    • ack! that’s just terrible. A clean place to pee should be in the Bill of Rights! xo

  10. well, I agree with Suzanne, being allowed to use the bathroom is a priority, whatever the reason they do!. I think that being ‘elderly’ has not so many negative implications in spanish, even if it’s not politically correct at all.
    And so lovely to have a little place in NY!, so cool!

  11. Well I’ll bet you have lots of fun in that vintage shop – looks like a treasure trove!!! Funny story about the Goodwill employee, on the brighter side you had to tell her your age for her to consider you elderly! That’s a plus she didn’t just look at you and assume – that’s a win in my book, lol!!!

  12. Oh, Patti! I envy your new digs and location–envy in the best way possible. What a dream come true!

    As for the bathroom situation, when I read your story, my heart took a leap and I wondered how you felt being categorized as elderly. That term is so weighted and we have yet to “take it back” and make it mean something bigger than the narrow definition I equate it with. But if there is anyone I know who can redefine “elderly” and turn it into a word of power and wisdom, it is you.


    • aww, thanks, Sherry. And you gave me an idea for a movement – take back elderly! The “elders” of many society are the most respected. xox

  13. What a story! But if that is the only way to be allowed to use the bathroom sign me up.
    It is very hard to try to find a decent public washroom you can use for free in NYC.

    Also, didn’t they let you know before you got your place in NY? New Yorkers don’t sleep. That’s only for sissies from Florida! Ha!


    • You are so right about the sleeping! So over-rated. I know of a couple of good free restrooms in the city, but only a couple. xox

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