Mean old women: Clean up your act


My friend Ginger and I were just talking about how women can sometimes get “testy” when they get older.  I was once told that there’s no one meaner than an old white woman.

I’m not sure what “white” has to do with it, but Ginger observed that she had never known a mean old black woman. I guess they’re just trying to keep the peace in an unpeaceful world.

Ginger looked at me with alarm and asked, “ Have we become that?”  Took me back a moment.  Had to think really hard. I think I have become more assertive and less willing to accept the unacceptable.

But does “mean” have to accompany those qualities? It can, and if I’m honest I think I may have a mean streak that I’d like to extricate.

Maybe it’s caused by growing older and seeing my  fleeting youth in the rear view mirror while the current youth is in my  face. More likely its because I haven’t yet achieved the dreams I had 40 years ago and I’m just frustrated.

Ginger and I agreed that as daughters of the 50s, we never learned how to be assertive. We were raised in an era when women just smiled and went with the flow.  Maybe we’re making up for lost time, but I really want to take a detour and become more assertive without being a mean old white woman.

2 thoughts on “Mean old women: Clean up your act

  1. “I think I have become more assertive and less willing to accept the unacceptable.” It is an awareness of the unacceptable. Not sure but men may just move through this moment in life faster than women. The survival notion, more women than men. Some memories just have an awareness spike of unacceptable that becomes chronic. This may lead to the testy stereo types.
    Ever notice how the folks in the Emergency Room speak during an unscheduled visit to older patients? Loud! My mother snapped once in the ER letting the Doctor know she was sick not deaf. I felt robbed of a moment as I fought the urge to laugh fearing her retaliation.

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