DEAR ABBY: In a recent letter, the writer complained that she was embarrassed because her 50-something mother looked like a "motorcycle mama."
I'm in my late 50s. My husband is in his mid-40s. For the first time in our hardworking lives we're enjoying ourselves going places! I wear my leathers wherever we go (Harley Davidson, of course!) for protection. Also, for my birthday this year I got a tattoo on my back. My kids (late 20s and 30s) say it's cool. They say if we're happy, they're happy.
I would like to tell "Embarrassed" that she and her siblings should be thankful they have parents, and that they are healthy, happy and enjoying themselves. That's what counts. -- ANOTHER MOTORCYCLE MAMA, COALINGA, CALIF.
DEAR MOTORCYCLE MAMA: I pointed that out in my answer. I also advised the "children" to address their concerns with their mother.
I find the differing philosophies between generations to be fascinating. A conservative generation gave birth to the flower children of the '60s -- which in turn has given birth to another conservative generation. However, most of the readers who commented on that letter agree with you. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: "Embarrassed" said that Harley Davidson shirts are designed for girls in their 20s, not women in their 50s. Well, I say, why should girls in their 20s have all the fun? -- CAROL IN TWIN FALLS, IDAHO
DEAR ABBY: Who among us hasn't heard the expression, "Don't judge a book by its cover"? It doesn't matter what her mother wears as long as it's legal.
When people reach 45-50, they start seeing classmates, friends, cousins, people their own age in the obituaries. And it makes them stop and remember just how short life can be. Who wants to live their whole life a certain way because "what would the neighbors think?"
There's a poem I once read about an old lady who dresses in a purple coat. It goes on and on about the "outrageous" things that she's going to do. The gist of the poem is that now she's old, she can get away with doing the things she really wanted to do her whole life because people will just think she's "a crazy old lady."
Please tell that daughter to stop being so concerned. Her mother is having the time of her life, and more power to her. -- PAULA IN DALTON, MASS.
DEAR ABBY: I'd like to ask that daughter and her siblings a question: Did THEY ever show up at a family function with a new hair color, new piercing, clothes too big or too small, a shocking boyfriend or girlfriend, or new opinion they knew would stir things up?
To the embarrassed children I say, "Take the advice your parents got when you acted out: 'It's a stage. They'll outgrow it.'" Your parents' antics are paybacks, dude! -- NO MOTORCYCLE YET IN ST. PAUL
DEAR ABBY: I am also a biker mom whose children are grown. While I do not buy the HD brand, I, too, dress differently than when my kids were small. What makes them think her attire is inappropriate? Jesus had long hair and wore a dress. Was that wrong? -- 45 AND GETTING YOUNGER IN WASHINGTON