Ruby is 87.
I know you're picturing a doddery old lady; grey hair (well, yes she does have grey hair), slightly hunched, looks down as she walks, partly because she needs to look where she is going but mostly because she is ignored anyway, so why look up at the rest of the world?
It's possible that I am describing an old lady you know, perhaps several.
But not Ruby.
Ruby has fantastic posture; she would put many technology addicted youths to shame (if she was about putting youths to shame, not really her thing though). Pilates has helped, but not quite as much as her confidence and deliberate choice to only acknowledge the nice things people have to say to her (whether spoken or inferred with a look). Speaking of technology, Ruby taught herself how to use computers; email and internet banking are particularly useful. She tried FaceBook but decided she didn't want to read a whole lot of stuff about nothing. If she wants to find out something, there is always google or a trip to the library, or a conversation with someone who knows something (anything really) about something that she wants to know something about.
As well as pilates, Ruby enjoys a bit of martial arts and self defense. She started karate almost 20 years ago after being mugged by some drug-riddled young woman. Ruby wasn't hurt, but she really liked that hand-bag, and hasn't seen one like it since. Two karate classes in and Ruby was hooked, so she has trained ever since. She encouraged her grand-children to try it; one still trains, the other lasted three weeks. She loves them both.
Ruby sees her family regularly. She can walk to her daughters and vice versa. She walks for at least an hour a day regardless of where she is going, so half an hour each-way to her daughters works well. Her daughter appreciates the visits from her mother, mostly because Ruby is fun and interesting to talk to, but she also makes a phenomenal cappuccino; the froth is always spot on. Ruby is well loved and respected by all her family (and many strangers), but then she offers the same to everyone else so why wouldn't she get some in return.
Ruby has a boyfriend. He is a bit younger, 79. They have sex maybe twice a month, give or take. He's not really her boyfriend, but her neighbour likes to call him that; he's more of a booty call really. Mrs Phelps at #9 (the neighbour) is still married to Mr Phelps, but he is in a nursing home and can't really use his hips, even if they could get some privacy. Mrs Phelps has grey hair, is slightly hunched, looks down as she walks, partly because she needs to look where she is going but mostly because she is ignored anyway, so why look up at the rest of the world?
Ruby and Mrs Phelps have a cuppa together every second day or so. Mrs Phelps doesn't know how Ruby does it. Ruby doesn't know why Mrs Phelps just doesn't do it. But neither of them say anything, because no-one wants to ruin a perfectly good cup of tea.