On Being an Old Lady

Birthday chocolates

Photo by Monique Carrati on Unsplash

I try hard not to be an old lady!

By which I mean, I work at staying open to the changing world around me, making it a point to view the world with interest even in the midst of amazement.  I take care to refrain from criticizing change just because it is . . . well, change.  Just because the world has come to be so different from the one I grew up in.

My daughter, my daughter-in-law, my grandchildren, younger friends, all keep guiding me gently through multiple bewilderments.  Especially my daughter.  Especially the bewilderments that come with social media.

I am on social media primarily because my presence there reminds my readers that I’m not dead, that I’m still producing those rather old-fashioned things call books.  Truth be told, though, one of the marks of my old-ladyness is that other people do my posting for me, a service I am grateful for.

But occasionally I do post something myself, especially birthday greetings.  It’s one of the pleasures of social media to be reminded of birthdays and to be able to send my greetings so simply.  I’ve even learned how to pull up a pretty background to accompany my Happy Birthdays.  And the first time I managed to do that, I can tell you I was proud!

Standing so far outside today’s popular culture has its hazards, though, and every now and then those hazards catch up with me.  Recently, when I sat down at my computer, Facebook reminded me that it was my son-in-law’s birthday.  Of course!  I thought.  And I fired off a Happy Birthday.  Then I went looking for a background to highlight my message to someone I care about.

I found one.  The world in which the images float is brown, but not an unattractive brown.  And perhaps, I noted, brown is more fitting for a man—in a very traditional way—than the usual pastels.  The floating images against this backdrop are brown, too.  They look like a cross between Hershey’s kisses and the curly top of a soft-serve ice cream cone.

Perfect! I said to myself.  Everybody loves chocolate!

And I clicked my greeting into life and went on about my morning.

Until my daughter called.  “Did you know,” she said, “that you sent poop emojis to Terry for his birthday?”

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

No.  Of course, I didn’t know.

And then, to add insult to injury, I had to ask her to take time out of her busy morning to walk me through the process of deleting my well-intended message!

Sometimes old-ladyness is just what it is, no matter how hard I try.

And how grateful I am to have a daughter to watch over and rescue me!

22 thoughts on “On Being an Old Lady

  1. Joy Throm

    Like the others, I got a great laugh out of this. I was surprised when I first saw a poop emoji and questioned was it really that? I could have so easily made the same mistake.

  2. Mary Goulet

    Like you, I, too, am grateful for the younger generation. What would I do without my tech savvy helpers?

  3. Joanne Toft

    Oh perfect! I am so glad there is a daughter to help you along the way. I also have a daughter who catches my goofs when it come to social media! Bless you and thanks for keeping the humor in this aging process!

  4. Patricia Kester

    You’re a trail blazer of the best kind, Marion. I can happily follow and know I’m in good company. Ha!

  5. juliewilliamsauthor

    Once again you did it! I was writing this morning about being old. And I can’t say I was retaining my sense of humor about it. And then I read your post and now I am laughing the best kind of laughter already mentioned — crying, laughing, snorting coffee — laughing with not at, and not alone. Thank you (again)!

  6. Janet Fox

    This just made me snort my coffee in a room full of others. Sometimes being old leads to wonderful belly laughs. (And trust me, I know from old.) Thanks for your honest post!

  7. Mary Wagley Copp

    This is a delightful post, Marion! There’s a poop emoji?!
    I have never thought of you as old – in the way our culture often defines our elders.
    I think of you as experienced and wise and full of sage insights that come with years of openness and compassion and curiousity. Hats off to you for sharing all that with the rest of us! We, too, are full of gratitide for YOU!


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