A little story about growing old…
(Warning: This is no fairytale!)
Today I drove an hour to the Girl Scout Sailing Camp so that my daughter could complete her sailing instruction and earn her Mariner’s status. She only had a few items to complete, and did so as resident campers went about their activities. Annie finished early, and as I was walking to the office to pick her up, I passed a group of 10 or so campers who were about nine years old. As I approached the back of the “line,” I heard the following conversation:
CLUELESS GIRL: Hey, that’s the second old lady I’ve seen today.
THOUGHTFUL GIRL: Shush! You don’t say that, especially when she’s right there.
CLUELESS GIRL: What? What did I say?”
THOUGHTFUL GIRL: You called that lady old and she could hear you. You don’t call ladies old, especially to their face.
CLUELESS GIRL: I didn’t say it to her face. I would never do that, but she is old.
As this banter continued, I did not react at all. I simply walked past these young girls as if I were in my own world, pretending that I did not hear this dialogue that will be forever seared in my mind. Unbeknownst to these charming little divas, this old lady heard the entire conversation and was pretty darn surprised. What ran through my mind was this: “Did that girl just call me an old lady? An old lady? Really? Do I look like an old lady? I don’t feel like an old lady, but maybe I am. Did I cross some old lady line that I didn’t see and now cannot go back to being a young lady or heck just a plain lady? What do you think she meant by old? Maybe this darling wanted to say sophisticated but didn’t have the vocabulary for that.”
Move over President Bush! If you want some SHOCK and AWE, you just needed to look at my face. I don’t know why I was so shocked. After all, this happened one other time when I was even younger than I am today.
Two days before Christmas, my mother-in-law decided my girls NEEDED American Girl dolls under the tree. So, I braved the Houston traffic and schlepped up to the American Girl Doll Store, which is about 25 miles away from my house. But, it was okay because I was in good company. It seemed everyone who owned a car in Houston and the surrounding suburbs was also out seeking the perfect last minute gift. So, I felt as if I were in good, albeit angry and aggressive, company.