I want to think I'm going to end up as one of those nice old ladies that all the neighborhood kids call "Nana" and has a million family members who love her so much she never has to pay anyone to do anything.
You know, that 90 year old lady who talks to her dead husband. Not in a "time to adjust Granny's meds" kind of way, but in a "isn't it sweet how she still loves him so much" way. She still walks her dog everyday and bakes cookies and always feels healthy until one day she just croaks in her sleep with a smile on her face and whoever finds her just sighs and says,
"Well, she had a great life."
And then they would go downstairs to call the funeral home and find this note by the phone:
"Felt tired today, took a nap. If I don't wake up here's my Will and Testament and there are fresh almond cookies in the cupboard for the funeral."
You know, this lady.
Unfortunately I have this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to end up as the lady who lives down the street from that nice old lady. The one that all the neighborhood kids are scared of because she likes to throw rocks at passersby and has a habit of calling the police every time someone hops a fence to retrieve a soccer ball.
That lady never opens her windows and wears 1850's style dresses in august, and has several cats but never got married. She always feels sickly, like she's about to die but much to everyones amazement and distress never really will.
I don't want to be that lady, but I keep catching myself doing things that indicate I'm on that path. For example:
- The other day I totally beaned a kid with the corner of a very large and heavy box. Hit him right in the forehead as I was walking by, and my first reaction was to laugh. I didn't even wait to see if he was okay first, I just let out an inappropriate cackle and kept walking.
- I assume he lived since no one came looking for me. I want to feel bad because hey, it's a child, but I still don't, because at the same time I like to think I taught him a valuable lesson: Always be aware of your surroundings- especially if you're short.
- Every time the neighbor's Shih Tzu scurries over to greet me I have to fight the urge to give it a good kick, just to see how far it will go.
-This dog had never done anything wrong except exist.
- A group of neighborhood kids were playing in the street and I actually had the thought "Hooligans better stay off my lawn."
- I was having coffee with someone once and had the upsetting realization that I would rather be at home hanging out with my cat.
- I'm too lazy to bake. Too lazy to even make the cookies I could be eating while I watch TV.
- I judge people based on arbitrary things, like their choice of lawn ornaments or how quickly they can order a drink at Starbucks.
-If you can't say "triple grande soy caramel macchiato, no whip, extra caramel" without stumbling you have no business being in the drive-through at 8am on a Monday morning.
- I was taught never to say "I forgive you." unless I really mean it, which means when people in front of me at the checkout turn to me as they are finally picking their crap off the counter and tottering away and wheeze out the phrase "Sorry for taking so long." I just say something like "alright" instead of the expected "Oh no problem at all I'm in no hurry take your time dear!"* because damn-it I AM in a hurry.
*I imagine my mother is not proud of me at this point. But hey, when you teach morals to kids, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences.
I hope all of these things* aren't sealing my fate as the aforementioned "lady down the street from the nice old lady". I hope they aren't as serious as all that. In all honesty I'm not a mean spirited person, I just have my moments like everyone else, except for some reason I keep admitting them to all of you, instead of hiding them deep down in my soul and letting them stew, all the while smiling like crazy and commenting incessantly on how nice the weather is.
*you can call them character flaws if you want, I prefer the term personality irregularities
Plus I'm pretty sure even the nicest people in the world had their bad days. Let's not pretend there wasn't just one time when Mother Teresa was like,
"Dang this is a lot of poor people, how about some manna from heaven here God?"
And I imagine the Dalai Lama rolls his eyes just a little every time a politician promises to head his advice.
So maybe I won't be the nice old lady who bakes cookies every Friday for the neighborhood and has sweet little conversations with her dead husband.
But I can at least aspire to be a nice old lady who buys cookies for the neighborhood, has regular conversations with her still alive husband, and loves almost everyone- except that obnoxious little dog a few houses down, which she kicks every once in a while just to remind it who's boss.