Monday, October 14, 2013

Gravity Gets Us All ... in the End

You remember Sir Isaac Newton, right? We may not have much of a chance in teaching Elder Law to talk about him, but I have figured out a way to work it in...maybe. So bear with's a little far afield (and that is not a pun).

Sir Newton developed his theories on motion and gravity (we all have heard the story about the apple) and we all know that gravity is important (just look what happens when you don't have it--see, e.g.,  Gravity (the movie). I have it on good authority from a colleague that I'm thinking of Newton's second law of motion  (my colleague, who also holds an engineering degree, told me if I included the mathematical formula from the second law, it would make this post even F=ma. He then told me I should add something about how the size of the object (he used the word mass instead of size) will affect the amount of gravitational pull, but then he suggested that may be too "science-y" (yes he used that word). He also suggested I include a picture of Sir Newton's memorial at Westminster Abbey.).

Well as we age, it seems that we become a walking example of gravity at work (that is a pun)--in that things that were farther away from the ground when we were younger are closer to the ground now that we are older.   In my LL.M. class we discuss the physiology of aging and we all know that our J.D. students have a visual picture of what they consider to be a stereotypical "old person".  It seems things sag as they get older--pants sag at the knee and the seat, socks sag to your ankles as they lose their elastic, and  it seems, so do parts of our bodies (maybe not to our ankles, though). 

I love Joyce Wadler's Blog, I Was Misinformed, which appears in the New York Times  Booming.  Her October 2, 2013 post got me thinking of Sir Isaac Newton and his laws of gravity.  This post, Do These Pants Make My Rear End Look Flat takes a humorous look at a frequent problem for some people as they  age.  The column details her search for some padding for a certButtain part of her anatomy, to give her a "better" shape for a fancy event.  She actually tells her date about her quest to purchase this, to which she quotes him as saying  “'[s]o are you wearing them now?'” She details her internal struggle with this in an existential way...

"Which raised a serious question... Isn’t it better to love your aging body as is and go out into the world as your true self? I believe Kant asked this same question.       

It was a question easy to ask since I didn’t have time before the opening to get a fake. Maybe I could have had it overnight expressed, but it would have been humiliating, standing there in a drooping dress like a flag on a windless day, waiting for the U.P.S. guy. "

I don't really think that I can use her column in my classes without being called into the Dean's office (just kidding), but the column made me smile, and I think that is something we can all use more of every day. So read her column and hopefully it will make you smile. 

Professor Dayton has provided the art work for this post--I had to ask her what this represented--since she plays hockey--- the pants that you wear when you play hockey, and yes, they do make you look more "intimidating" from behind (pun definitely intended).

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