Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 16, 2004
Little Old Ladies
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 16, 2004 – There was a time, not so long ago, when I felt very removed from the concept of “Little Old Ladydom” – however as my fifties reach their mid-point, I realize it’s closer than I think. I’ve lived more years than I have left. That in itself is a sobering thought.
However, there are certain things about being a little old lady that I fine very appealing. Feisty L.O.L.’s don’t care what anybody thinks about them. They do and say what they want. Most of the inhibitions of the middle years are gone (too bad that doesn’t happen sooner in life). Grumpiness has a certain appeal in old age. L.O.L.’s have earned the right to be exactly who they are – the social masks are no longer essential.
I have two favourite L.O.L. stories. I was a participant in the first one, merely an amused observer of the second. About twenty years ago I was walking north on Victoria Street, approaching Adelaide. It’s a very busy intersection at anytime of day, but this was rush hour. A L.O.L. was standing on the corner. She had a fabric shopping bag filled with fruit and vegetables in one hand and a cane in the other. She was standing on the sidewalk, a little hunched over, busily tapping the road below with her cane.
It wasn’t a white cane so I knew she wasn’t blind, but I had visions of her toppling over into traffic or stepping out into the intersection before the light turned green. I surmised that neither probability would have a happy outcome. So I approached her from the side and gently took hold of her elbow, hoping to prevent, a head long plunge into the path of an approaching Jeep. Big mistake.
She whirled around with her cane at the ready, and at the top of her lungs, she yelled, “Get your hands off me you lunatic, are you trying to push me into traffic”? I assured her, that quite to the contrary, I had been concerned that she was too close to the curb. The light turned green, she marched out into the intersection, then turned back, shook her cane at me and said, “I’m old – I’m not stupid”. Then she resumed her walk, mumbling to herself. It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t hear what she was saying.
A couple of years later I was driving south on Yonge Street. Mine was the first car at the red light at College Street. The curb lane was empty, but as I glanced in the rear view mirror I saw a car approaching and I could tell he was driving a little too fast. He hit the intersection just as a L.O.L. who had passed in front of my car was stepping into the path of his car. The driver was a dapper looking man, probably mid-forties. He stopped his shiny, green Jag about a centimetre away from her knee. He looked at her and sort of shrugged his shoulders in apology.
That would have been frightening for anyone, but quite possibly heart attack material for an elderly person. Not so for this feisty lady. She twirled her cane around and grabbed it by the rubber cap on the bottom. She then raised it over head and slammed the handle end down on the hood of Mr. Dapper’s Jag, not once but three times, leaving a trio of serious dents on his car. She then smiled and shrugged her shoulders before continuing on her way. Mr. Dapper didn’t even get out of his car – I’m sure he knew better. Who knows what she might have had in her pocket.
So you can see the appeal of L.O.L. status. Not that all elderly females have as much gusto as these two gals, but they remain my role models for my elder years. I haven’t bought a cane or a fabric shopping bag yet, but it’s really just a matter of time!