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Conversation with a 95-year old

Lillian Marion
Lillian Marion

This weekend, I met Lillian Marion, a lady who recently retired at age 95 from her business as an interior designer for very famous people. She would have continued working, but her son, who is a plastic surgeon, told her that she should retire because he was afraid that she could fall and break a hip.

So what does Lillian do now? She travels from New York to Las Vegas and to Atlantic City. She spends time at the casinos, stays up all night playing the slot machines and has a great time even though she has not won any big jackpots.

I told her that I belonged to the Calorie Restriction Society whose members starve themselves because research shows that eating less increases lifespan, and that the members are also interested in finding out about the lifestyle of older people to find out whether it takes more than genetics to live a long life.

When I asked to what she attributed her longevity, she said that every day she walked six or seven blocks and ate some ice cream. What else does she eat? "I don't eat anything that I don't like", she said. I observed what she took from the buffet. She selected pan-grilled scallops on a bed of rice, a small tuna salad sandwich, and some smoked lox that she left on the plate. She drank some tea with cream, and had a puff pastry topped with glazed fresh fruits on top, but she gave away the fruit because she does not like fruits.

Lillian walks with a cane, some of the joints in her hands have been slightly deformed by arthritis, but she is vivacious and her mind is clear. She takes pride in dressing very well, as you can tell from her designer glasses and exquisite brooch and rings. If you get her talking about politics, watch out! She has some strong opinions.

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