Respect and the Elderly II

Now that I’ve dedicated a blog post to two types of negative stereotypes of senior citizens, I felt like I needed to somewhat balance that with singing the praises of a positive one.witch-151269_640

Namely, the Purple-Hatted Lady.

She’s a gem. A real one. I’ve taken to calling this particular specimen Purple-Hatted Lady because of a list I found on the Internet years ago, of  the various stages a woman goes through in her life, of how whenever she intends to go out, she looks into the mirror and, depending on her age, sees something different there and reacts accordingly. Here it is (and here‘s where I copied it from):

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mom, I can’t go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly”- but decides she’s going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly”- but decides she doesn’t have time to fix it so she’s going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly”- but says, “At least, I am ‘clean” and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees “I am” and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can’t even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn’t bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier …

I’ve probably never been much of a feminist, but even I have noticed that society puts much pressure on women about their looks, much more than on men. Thus, when I first read this list, the last sentence struck a chord. Because we should. I don’t own a hat, but I happen to own an orange skirt which goes absolutely fabs with purple tights and a purple shirt. Just sayin’.

However, what I was aiming at…years ago, a friend told me a story. I don’t know if it’s true, or urban legend, either way it’s the perfect example of the Purple-Hatted Lady. Said friend, let’s call her Mary, reportedly was riding on the bus, when a much-dreaded voice yelled, “Show your tickets, please!” Mary – quite unusual for her – had a ticket. The little old lady next to her merely started rummaging through her bag, a huge, bottomless, old lady’s bag, looking desperate, fumbling, fidgeting, croaking “I had it, a moment ago, it must be in here somewhere…” until the inspector lost his patience and let her be. He got off at the next stop. The instant the doors had closed behind him, the little old lady turned to Mary. Her hands weren’t shaking anymore and her voice was perfectly clear as she announced, proudly, “I’ve been passionately dodging the fare for 50 years now.”

(Purple) hats off to that amount of cheek.



About angelikarust

My name is Angelika Rust. I was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, I live in Germany, with my husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, I now make a living knowing English. No, I haven’t yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I write the occasional book.
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