Do you get more fussy as you get older? Or softer? Does it depend on how quirky you were when you were young or how laid back? Is there an actual theory, or just meaningless nonsense that people ramble on to sound knowledgeable?
When I was a teenager, my mother and maternal grandmother warned me about my “sharp tongue”. I would, they said, scare everyone around me and no one would want to talk to me.
I, um, thought I was “smart” with my scathing remarks. Ah, so much for that.
I can’t really remember if I tightened my tongue or just stopped talking. I remember going through a phase where I genuinely disliked most of my parents’ acquaintances and it turned out they might reciprocate.
Part of the reason could be the fault of Mad Magazine, which was required reading for teenagers in the 1970s. One issue taught the reader the “cultivated mockery”. I practiced in front of the mirror for hours. Some people can raise an eyebrow at a time. I can curl my upper lip from either side. It is not easy. can you see the halo I will mock twice when others only mock once. Unless they’re in too much of a mood, in which case they may have missed the fine art of ridicule. my condolences
About 15 years ago, when I was looking for a job, a former colleague asked me if I was still “fiery”. I was shocked! Fiery, me?
Is fiery the same as a sharp tongue or does that just mean I’m in a bad mood?
Flare up at the smallest things. I try to control it. But you know, people sometimes. Gak!
My paternal grandfather once said that the great thing about old age is that you can break all social filters and say whatever you like. First off, this grandfather was pretty specific about what he liked most about his life. He loved provoking people. But he always had a twinkle in his eye, so you knew he was angry and laughing at the same time.
He just used the patina of age to be even more provocative!
His two favorite pet peeve were religion and the supernatural.
My mother’s family reveled in these two. You can imagine the fireworks as the two collided! My mother’s family wasn’t shy or reserved either. Provoke and fight back. oh boy It was great fun. My grandfather always won because his punchline was to demand proof. scientific proof.
Maybe it’s my genes. Spicy, fiery, provocative and crazy!
I used to be a fighter too.
I don’t mean that I was good at it. I mean I was addicted to it. I loved nothing more than a massive verbal brawl. I think I’ve curbed that a bit, mostly because no one who knows me will argue with me anymore! People can be so cruel.
What I’m trying to say is that because I’m turning 60 this year (although I’m already 60 according to Indian math), I think I should do a character analysis. And check where exactly I’m going and how I should be.
A powdery cozy elderly person handing out nonsensical wisdom with mithai and biscuits?
Or a knife-tongued, sober, whipping person. I say whippety, but no matter how keen my mind, my physical form is decidedly luscious and definitely not whippety.
You know, just trying to get some “confidence” all the influencers and “gooroos” tell us that if we’re going to live our days satisfactorily, we must have it. Be yourself, they say. I never get any self The self that talks to you when you’re all alone, like Gollum? The self “prepare a face to meet the faces you meet”? We all have them.
I have to admit here, if you haven’t already got it, I’m skeptical. I’m not buying this “aged” Malarkey. Neither of my parents changed that much as they got older. They carried on with their wit, sharpness (oh yeah, as much as they pretended I was the one, I mean where I got that from), humor, extreme judgment of other people they didn’t like (um, I am much less so than they) and so on.
They also had an annoying habit—both of them—of asking advice from people they didn’t really want, to make those people feel wanted. Then they came home and threw massive tantrums at the advice they had received and the fact that they had received advice. I mean they asked for it!
Anyway, I shouldn’t give away their secrets.
On the other hand, I almost never ask for advice, almost never listen to the advice I get, and ignore any suggestions for improvement that friendly and helpful people make to me. To me almost all advice is free and unsolicited as I rarely ask for it.
Okay, I get it: Confidence 100. Mitigation 0.
The final blow in my journey to mythic mildness came from my closest friend, who knows everything about me. She commented when I called to blow off some steam, “yeah, I noticed you growl on Twitter”.
So dear folks, looks like it’s working. I will be all sweetness and light and powdery comfort in real life. This will be almost impossible, but I will try in the interest of continuing the old wives’ tales.
However, I need a permit. This is practiced on social media. I will growl at anyone who annoys me. There are so many of them anyway. And so I will give my inner scorn and my sharpness space and freedom.
I do so with full awareness that some of us on social media aren’t even real people, our personas on social media aren’t us and who knows, the whole thing might just be someone else’s nightmare.
Ah great. I’m trying. Give me some credit for that?
I know. Old hot woman is my destiny.