Are you an ‘old bag?’ An open letter to a reader.

Posted by on Apr 30, 2010 in Uncategorized | 19 comments

Evidently if you are over 40, you are at risk of becoming one, especially if you are not ‘nice to men.’

I was struck and a bit stunned by a reader comment that I received this week. The comment was in response to a post about the Cougar Convention, and made a point to denigrate women as much as possible.

This is what Jimbo wrote:

Yes, most all women are desparate. Look how they dress. Look at the makeup. Look at what they show off. It is obvious. They are desparate for sexual attention. Yet, they want the attention as if they are in control and giving themselves as a gift. This is a none truth. Women need to get real and look at themselves and their own behavior. They are desparate for sex and men.

When women get to be 40+, they start to get honest. Heck, there is not much time left to pretend. They need to find a man and be real nice to him before they turn into old bags.

A number of readers have responded to Jimbo’s comment, obviously taking offense. I chose to leave Jimbo’s comment up up for the very reason that I don’t censor; afterall, Jimbo is entitled to his opinion. However, I would like to leave Jimbo with this:

Jimbo –

40 year-old+ women are sexy, beautiful and self-assured. They have lived long enough to have gained the wisdom to allow them to feel comfortable in their bodies. And have a tendency to embrace who they are, sometimes even more than their younger peers. Nevertheless, in all fairness, you responded to a post entitled “Pimp your hide,” in which I referred to certain women attending a convention that encourages them to use their sexuality to attract a younger man. This however, is the exception and not the rule; the majority of women I know do not have fake boobs or plumped lips and have not done liposuction. While many color their hair (present company included), don’t be surprised if you find them out and about without makeup or wearing jeans and a tee shirt. Or better yet, out with men their age or older. Yes, Jimbo, women don’t always ‘dress to kill.’

So, Jimbo, I’d like you to see what a soon-to-be 49 year-old looks like – at the gym and home, with or without make-up. I can assure you; I am not an old bag nor do I ever intend to be one.

What does your 40+ look like? Comment or send me a photo and I’ll post! Let’s make Jimbo eat his words.


  1. 4-30-2010

    Very well said, Liz. Seems Jimbo has not had the pleasure of getting to know a real woman who is comfortable in her own skin, whatever the age. Beauty truly comes from within.

    • 4-30-2010

      I couldn’t agree more Nancy. If you ain’t got it internally, it won’t shine through.

  2. 4-30-2010

    Dear Jimbo:

    At 57 I work at a job I love passionately, have a great relationship with my children, family and friends. I date interesting men, who are generally my age…give or take a few years. I run marathons, dance into the wee hours, and travel alone. I own my home, my ideas and my life.

    If that makes me an Old Bag, Jimbo, let me claim the title proudly. My bag carries a lifetime of experience, love, and joy and it gets fuller with each passing year.

    I’ve never had time to pretend, Jimbo. So why pretend that your opinion has merit, when it is so clearly misinformed and, well, just kind of sad.

    • 4-30-2010

      Candace – so far as I am concerned, you are a model for all that is aging. You look great and have a great attitude. Mama’s got a great bag! You go girl!

  3. 4-30-2010

    I’ll weigh-in with this:

    It’s never ceased to amaze me how women choose to dress. As someone who dresses a variety of ways and has changed her style significantly over the years (and not because I need to cover up a fat ass), I can say that people will treat you as you present yourself.

    Dress like a tramp, get treated like one, attract me who want that.

    Dress like a confident, self-assured woman who doesn’t need to ooze out of her clothes, attract men who want that.

    But I’ll tell Jimbo this: there’s no ticking clock or time bomb that dictates the “BY WHEN” a woman needs to find a man. It’s a myth and total fallacy. I could only be so lucky as to look like so many women over 40 and live a life that honors myself first so I can BE a good partner for someone. When you meet the right person, THAT’S the right time and no other.

    And WTF is a “none truth?”

    • 4-30-2010

      Truer words were never spoke Erika. It’s all in the attitude and self-belief of who you are and what or who you want to portray to the world. I personally don’t believe in that fine line in the sand when you become “old.” Which is why I don’t have a problem sharing the dreaded “number.” Thanks for chiming in.

  4. 4-30-2010

    Jimbo sounds a bit superficial to me; perhaps he needs to start seeing the people behind their clothing. I’m older than “40’s” and happy to say I run, bike, do yoga and wear very little makeup. But if I want to spruce up and go hang out with a group of my peers, call us what you want, we’re comfortable out there! Jimbo might need a little sensitivity training.

    • 4-30-2010

      Susan. I find Jimbo to be a sad, misinformed man with a closed mind. However, it’s all about being comfortable and you said it – we are!

  5. 4-30-2010

    I wear my ‘old bag’ status like a badge of honor. At 53, any pretense has been left at the curb replaced by a zest and a joy for life… There is little time in my day to be someone I’m not. With MidLife and menopause comes a lapse in memory so it’s easier to be who and what I am than to struggle to remember what the hell I said I was.

    • 4-30-2010

      Right on sister! Any pretense left at the curb! And I love your comment “so easier to be who and what I am than struggle to remember who the hell I was!” Thanks so much for sharing that!

  6. 4-30-2010

    I have a lovely wife of 47 we’ve been together for 12 years and she’s even more beautiful in and out. I think Jimbo has had several bad experiences. Maybe he’d better try a man next time, a “real man” wonder if he would like that more.

    • 4-30-2010

      Thanks for your comment Jan. Your wife is a lucky lady!

  7. 4-30-2010

    I like to live by the theory that you can never argue with a sick mind. Jimbo (and the name to start should tell us something) is no one whose opinion I would ever value. I would imagine that there has not been a whole lot of good experiences with woman of any age to drive that sad commentary

    So, my beautiful almost 49-year-old not a bag friend, I prefer to celebrate our good health instead of validate the ugliness.

    (wait, was I supposed to be funny here? Damn I choked)

    • 4-30-2010

      I agree Amy! Here’s to good health and then some!

  8. 4-30-2010

    I am surely not an old bag at 49. What a crock. I look at the next generation older than me and there are some mighty fine, vibrant women. I don’t even know what else to say. I thought that kind of thinking went out the window in the dark ages.

    • 4-30-2010

      Evidently “these ages” are dark for some like Jimbo. Clearly he is in the dark or he would know better than to even make such a comment.

  9. 5-1-2010

    What happens when a woman is 40+? She takes a life inventory, holds on to those things that make her happy and whole, and discards the items (people, things, etc) that bring her down. We take care of ourselves, make adjustments from being married to being single, and some from being single to being involved, and some who completely embrace being single or happily married. I see that my female peers who are finding love (me included) in the 40s are not desperate, but choose men with traits, personalities and ideals that may have once been less important. We look to them for companionship and yes, sex. We love our bodies and respect them, and as a 47 year old woman, I can dress and act how I like, when I like, and behave how I like, just like any man. When I act powerful and in control, don’t call me a bitch; when I dress to reflect the sexiness I feel inside, don’t call me a tramp, or a desperate old bag.

    Could Jimbo’s comments be made a little out of jealousy. I find that in my 40s, I have come into my sexuality(I guess I late peaker) and unfortunately, many men are finding they peaked a while back. Perhaps he is having a difficult time remembering those feelings. Too bad! I’m enjoying them quite a bit! Believe me, I am NOT an old bag!

    • 5-2-2010

      No Kim, you certainly are not. In fact, I don’t know any old bags. The women I know who are older than us continue to awe, inspire and defy. I love that we are able to embrace our sensuality and sexuality in ways that make us feel good. Right on sister!

  10. 5-29-2010

    Wow I am honestly the first reply to your amazing writing.

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