By Debra Olivier
How very unfortunate, on the other hand, that this freedom comes so late in life. Every time I speak with women my age about this, I can't help but wonder what life would be like if we grew up from the get-go not giving a damn about being all things to all people, or if we didn't wait half a century to question things that ultimately conspired against a sense of self or personal freedom.
I got agitated by this notion years ago when I lived in France, an older culture where grown-ups seem to have all the fun. Myths and misconceptions about the French abound, but the "sexy older French woman" endures partly because she's real. Even with the inevitable vagaries and tribulations of age, older French women are often unapologetically self-possessed and enjoy life with less guilt bogging them down (guilt: the American woman's evil step-sister). They also don't fret about so many things that tie us Anglo-Saxons in knots, sex being high on that list because, lucky them, they do grow up not giving a damn.