Disguised: A True Story
Disguised: A True Story
What is it really like to be "old"?
DISGUISED is the compelling personal story of a young woman who decided to find out.
At age Twenty-six, with the help of a professional makeup artist, Pat Moore put on a gray wig and latex wrinkles. She applied baby oil to her eyes to blur her vision, wore splints and bandages under her clothes to stiffen her joints, put plugs in her ears to dull her hearing.
Then---looking for all the world like a woman of eighty---Pat Moore ventured out onto the sidewalks and park benches of North America.<> Her initial purpose was research---to supplement her studies in gerontology and industrial design with first-hand knowledge of what it is like to cope with the physical limitations of advanced age and the attitudes and reactions of other people in our society.
But before it was over, Pat Moore's journey into her future became a life -changing experience---an adventure in empathy and understanding that forever changed the way she looks at herself and the people around her.
Being "old" was sometimes a lonely and terrifying experience for Pat Moore. As a woman on a fixed income, she was repeatedly shortchanged, shoved, ignored. Once she was brutally mugged. As an indigent bag lady she discovered a world of isolation and fear that kept even her fellow bag ladies from talking to her. As a wealthy matron she faced the realization that how senior citizens are treated in our culture usually depends on how much money they have or don't have.
But there were positive experiences too---gentle help from considerate young men and women, love from children given in the spirit of camaraderie that often exists between the very young and those of advanced years, acceptance and fellowship in the company of the senior citizens who shared her park benches.
It is almost three years now since Pat Moore's last excursion into the senior world. But her experience as an "old" woman continues to shape the direction of her life today.
In this book, she shares some of the things she learned about aging and the way older citizens are treated---how life can be made easier for those who look "different" and struggle with physical limitations...and especially the importance of love and concern for one another, of cherishing every moment and savoring every experience, of treating every individual as a person of value.
DISGUISED is a fascinating story---fast paced, inspiring, shocking in a few places and heart-warming in many others. It is also a moving appear for action in behalf of those too often shoved aside despite the contributions they have made, and could still make. After reading it, you may find yourself looking at everyone around you---young and old alike---through different eyes.