Last week someone asked how a mutual friend was doing. The friend had been felled by a two-week long cold, the coughing exacerbated a preexisting back problem. She was in pain but gamely trying to get around. "She's walking around like a little old lady," I answered. "Guess what?" said the friend. "She is." "So are we," I responded. My friend concurred.
But we weren't in pain, didn't need a cane and weren't as grumpy as this cartoon picture. In fact, we didn't feel like "little old gray haired ladies" at all. However there are times when I "play the little old lady card," as I did yesterday when I was mightily frustrated by the modern engineering of my car. I've been trying to set the car clock ahead an hour. I managed to make a general mess of the dashboard info. Instead of changing the time, I changed it to a 24-hour read out -- I don't want to have to subtract 12 from anything from 13 onward. I had somehow changed the speedometer from MPH to KPH which totally threw me when I saw I was going 55 in a 35 mile zone. And I'd added some fuel consumption rate data I was entirely uninterested in having there. I needed help because I had no idea what the manual was trying to tell me.
So I stopped in the dealership which is about half a mile away (part of the reason I wanted a Honda) and went to the speedy service desk, said I was embarrassed at my ignorance but could someone help me set the clock. A man gallantly, and immediately, went out to my car, told me what to do (as if I'll remember next time?) and within two minutes my dashboard was restored to usability. To tell the truth, I was not embarrassed at all. I've learned that people are nice to helpless white haired ladies, at least where I live. I never put on the grumpy face and am always very grateful. I'm grateful, too, when people of all ages and genders open doors for me or are otherwise thoughtful and kind as they might not be to someone they consider an contemporary. I've tried to be nice and polite to people all my life and it's very nice to have earned this payback. A smile help.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!