Grammie had a distinctive way of clearing her throat.
As if she was trying to clear phlegm discreetly.
But there wasn’t really any way to be discreet about it.
That sound drove me nuts, and she did it a lot.
I was sure I would never, ever make that sound.
You know where this is going.
I caught myself doing it the other day, while looking in the mirror at my Mother’s face looking back at me.
I had been so determined not to turn into my Mother, or my Grammie.
And I have been unkind to them both in my writing and my mind, remembering only the annoying stuff (Grandma) and the painful stuff (Mom, a lot of it.)
Yeah, so, Karma’s a bitch, right?
Since Christmas, my daughter and I have been sitting together in the evening for our “music time,” listening to something soothing, and chatting, or just sitting together, until she decides she wants “quiet time,” and turns off the stereo, so we can just sit in companionable silence together.
That’s when I notice I have begun to resemble a slightly more colorful Whistler’s Mother – rocking in my 5-generation rocking chair, the one that started with Great-great Grandma, then Great Grandma, and then came to Grammie, then Mom, then me.
Wearing a flannel nightie, a shaker cardigan, (not getting paid for those links, just wanted to give you an image of what I’m talking about) a wide plaid shawl on top of the sweater, around my shoulders, and a hat.
God, help me – I don’t want to be a docile, rocking-chair, throat-clearing granny, or a crotchety Mom, fussing over my daughter’s hair or clothing choices. Not yet, anyway.
I have no intention of going gently into “seniorland.” (Oh, but I’ll take the discounts, thank you very much!) I will reveal my age only so others may marvel at it – “impossible! You don’t look a day over (insert highly unlikely much younger comparison here.)”
This year is a big one for me – when a certain date rolls around, my life as any kind of woman (as opposed to bent, chin-hairy crone) hits the “sell by” date. I am scheduled to dry up, turn grey, and stop expecting much, especially not love, from life. I am expected to fade uncomplainingly into invisibility, and generally get out of the way.
Hell with that.
You may find me improperly dressed for a woman of my age, singing too loudly at inopportune moments, using foul language when inspired to do so, and generally making a spectacle of myself.
Because if you ask me, as Margo was asked, “is it over, or is it just beginning?” I’d reply:
Enjoy the ride, bumps and all!
(Now if I can just clear my throat….)
Going shopping for a dress like that, I remain,
Your non-smoking, sans diamonds but rockin’ the Bette-Davis attitude,