Little Old Ladies

I hate old people. I do. They’re slow and ornery and, well, old. I realize there’s some self-loathing going on here. I’ve never much noticed old people til recently. Of course, I’m talking about aged strangers. I love my parents, their friends, my relatives who are in the vague range of ancient.

I find little old ladies particularly irritating. “Little old lady.” It’s such a quaint term. There are variations: Crone. Hump-backed dowager. Granny. Lavender-haired old ladies. But they all conjure up the same vision: womanhood in its final stage. Bent over and shuffling. Orthopedic shoes and pilled sweaters. Saggy jogging suits or support hose. Smelling of pee and moth balls, cabbage and Dent-u-Cream.

Perhaps I’ve always had an aversion to old ladies. When I was little, playing “Old Maid,” if I got that card, I would hide it under the couch! Grandma made me ham sandwiches with butter and mayonnaise and the crusts cut off. She wasn’t an old lady. She was my Grandma!

Today I saw some little old ladies on Governors Island, hard at work on their watercolor paintings. They both wore big floppy hats, even though they were in the shade, and billowy garments. Old lady clothes. I overheard them talking about their classes. Perhaps they’re watercolor students. Old people have nothing but time, so they take up hobbies. Hobbies! They’re for old people!

My saving grace is that no one will ever call me “little.” It’s not a word usually associated with me. And I’ve never been much of a lady. More than likely I’ll wind up a cranky old cunt. Wait! I already am!

I’m gonna burn in hell.

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2 responses to “Little Old Ladies

  1. I like little ladies. I like old ladies. I like little old ladies. But I also like the idea that they were once young and raising as much hell, for their eras, as we have. Nah, behind every little old lady’s dowdy visage is a heaping pile of wonderfully horrible secrets, and you gotta respect how much real shit they’ve seen.

    Yet, I totally get your perspective. I worked for a summer in a retirement home and it was a terrible and depressing place to be, the stink of their mortal coil’s end surrounding permeating everywhere. That was in 1989. Everyone I took care of there is now long dead. Weird.

  2. and yes, you’re totally going to burn in hell. Next to a sea of little old ladies with more stains on their souls than you and I have combined.

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