As I get older, I realize that my mother was an old lady well before her body had caught up. I don’t know if it’s my medication or a strict code of courtesy that my mother had passed to me when she died, but I have begun to collect my Old Lady Badges.
What are Old Lady Badges? They are scenarios in which you no longer give a fuck and speak your mind. The Old Lady Badges I have collected so far are as follows:
- Chastising a young person in a public forum, a child who is not my own, for taking something for granted.
- Calling the manager to discuss the behavior of an employee while my head bobbles with fury.
- Sending back a dish of food, dammit, because I’m paying for a pleasant experience, not the chef’s incompetence.
- Spoiling a little dog to death.
I haven’t done number 3 or 4 yet, but I’m sure 3 will happen. Not so sure about 4 but if I could have a pit bull-corgi mix, that would send me over the moon. We’ll see.
I’m sure there are other badges that will surprise the hell out of me and might depress me:
- Talking to strangers because I’m lonely.
- Crying in the middle of the aisle in a store because I can’t remember what I want.
- Eating cat food because I have 17 of the furry bastards and can’t afford groceries.
- Going to a local soup-kitchen because cat food isn’t cutting it.
- Feeding pigeons in a park.
- Wearing clashing shades of purple and orthopedic Doc Martins.
- Saying out loud what everyone is thinking but won’t out of courtesy.
- Losing my mind—completely.
- Muttering about how kids these days don’t know the meaning of customer service.
- Taking public transportation because I forget my destination, or where I am, and panic.
- Talking about days gone by to my grandchildren.
- Reading the obituaries to see which of my high school and college acquaintances I’ve outlived.
- Buy a house that has everything I need on one floor. Everything.
- Having a doctor for each part of my body.
- Planning my life around doctor appointments.
- Playing pinochle at the senior center.
I’m also sure there are badges I don’t know about. I hope I don’t have to experience most of these. I may have earned number 6 already. I’m not known for discretion among my friends and family, but I think they love me for that quality.
Number 7 is a frightening badge to earn. For number 8, I don’t mutter. I speak very clearly and succinctly about that topic. Number 11 looks very interesting and I may do it just to earn the badge.
Though I write this with a dash of humor, it’s truly a morbid sense of what’s to come. I’ve learned about a few of these from my mother and father. I already need bifocals so that will be number 17.
These are very real scenarios that senior citizens experience. Overlook these inconveniences. The “elderly” are full of knowledge and experience. They also have wicked senses of humor. Listen to them. They are not invisible.
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