Sometimes it takes the Old Lady some time to digest the really important, the really symbolic experiences.
So today, dear readers, she would like to revisit her recent trek to hear the Indigo Girls live.
Of course they were wonderful, the Jacksonville Symphony backing them was perfect, and the venue at the University of Florida was lovely… all of that has already been said.
And she has already mentioned that the song “Kid Fears” made her cry.
It was only this morning that the Old Lady finally understood why.
When the Old Lady first saw Amy & Emily live at the Van Wezel in Sarasota in the early ‘90s, she was accompanied by her first real partner. They’d been together for some years at that time. The Old Lady had advanced in her job to the point that she was getting comp tickets to primo performances at the finest performing venue in town. She was making enough money to take her girlfriend to dinner before the concert to one of the best restaurants in the culinary capitol of the Suncoast. And the Old Lady was in love.
She felt like a real grownup, for the first time in her life.
The self-titled album “Indigo Girls” became the soundtrack for that time in the Old Lady’s life. She listened to it a million times… especially the track “Kid Fears.”
Decades intervened. Reality raised its ugly head. Alcoholism, infidelity, and abuse eroded the Old Lady’s golden dream. Love died.
Finally, the Old Lady let go of everything she thought she had in those halcyon days, coming to the bitter knowledge that none of it was really hers anyway.
In the letting go came real freedom, and genuine happiness.
So when the Old Lady sat, alone, in the middle of the crowd at this 2014 concert and wept… she wept, not tears of sadness for all the losses, but tears of joy at all of the experiences: the good and the bad, the pleasure and the pain, the ups and downs and sideways of her life.
That’s why the Old Lady cried.
As a technological Neanderthal, the term “user friendly” is a major recommendation for The Old Lady.
So far, she has avoided smartphones; her stupidphone is complicated enough, thank you, but she has managed to master texting, setting alarms, and the all-important feature “making a phone call.”
The laptop sometimes stymies her, but she manages since she uses it mostly as a word processor and library (the word “google” has been in the dictionary for some years now).
So imagine her surprise and pride when she finally managed to set up her own website and start her own blog!
She uses iPages as the host and WordPress as the production tool. She chose both on the basis of their user friendly features and 24/7 Help desks. When The Old Lady got stuck on a simple procedure (simple, if you know how to do it!) her late-night phone appeal was handled by a young techie somewhere in California who walked her patiently through the matter without once making her feel old and stupid.
The technological Neanderthal EVOLVES!
Who are The Old Lady and the Purple Dragon?
Let’s start with the story of the Purple Dragon: the time came for me to flee my emotionally abusive partner, who in an attempt to limit my freedom had sold the car I had been allowed to drive. I needed wheels. The amount of money I had to spend was very small and I don’t know anything about vehicles, and I was concerned that I could be easily duped by a used car dealer. So I prayed a very specific prayer: “Please Lord, help me find a Ford Ranger pickup truck – purple! – that I can afford.” I figured that when I found the vehicle that fit those specifications right down to the color, I would know that it was the vehicle for me. I did find that truck and I named her the Purple Dragon, in symbolic gratitude.
And I am The Old Lady. After I got my wheels and fled my rural home to the nearby city of Valdosta, I started writing a column about live local music for the downtown street rag The Glass Onion. I went to a dive bar called Ashley Street Station that featured live local bands, where I soon realized that I was the oldest person in the room. So I claimed my status, took ownership of my age, and dubbed myself The Old Lady.
I may not be the stereotypical old lady… my hair is naturally graying, not blue rinsed; I still have a taste for Devo and Alice Cooper; and I am embroiled in a torrid new love affair… but I am The Old Lady, and I am learning more and more about how to be an old lady.
Here are some things you should be ready for as you grow older:
Whiskers. I don’t mind gray hair or wrinkles, but the whiskers drive me crazy. When I told that to my gay buddy Rex, he cackled “Yours? Or hers?” At any rate, my advice to women who plan to live past middle age is to invest in a good pair of tweezers.
Hot flashes. If you suddenly think “who turned up the heat in here?” then you are probably having one. Rethinking them as power surges is fine during the daytime, but at night these can really interfere with a good cuddle. I have found that Evening Primrose Oil is very efficacious in reducing hot flashes and night sweats.
Leg cramps. These tend to strike without warning at night, and can be so intensely painful that even though getting up and walking around can help sometimes it is simply impossible to stand let alone walk. Even more annoying, they tend to hit at crucial moments with your lover. The most effective preventative I have found is to drink tonic water at bedtime. I apologize for a shameless commercial plug, but Fever-Tree Tonic Water is the only tonic water I have found that does NOT contain high fructose corn syrup. Some Publix grocery stores carry it, or at least can special order it for you; you can also order it through Amazon.
Here’s the bottom line, ladies: don’t fight aging. Embrace your age! Claim your Old Ladyhood! Moving from Maiden to Crone is inevitable, but you don’t have to give up any of the fun of being a Maiden as you grow into the wisdom of being a Crone.
As the late great baseball player Satchel Paige said, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”