The Catt Box

'When I Get Old'

 

I know why some of the elderly seem so grouchy. I really understand it completely....the world makes them that way. You can only imagine what it must be like to take it, and take it, and take it....year after year....you spend your life being nice to people, remembering your manners and letting someone else have the best seat in the house, the best looking banana in the fruit bowl, letting other people bully you out of the shopping aisle, letting people ruin your night out at the movies because they can't shut their mouths (not that I have ever let people disrupt me at the movies...I don't...they know when I'm upset). 

But you take a back seat in life, always putting other people's feelings ahead of your own....and no one appreciates it. After many years of that you get to where you just don't care anymore. And that's right where I'm headed....I just don't care anymore.

When I go to a store now, I don't care...I take my aisle in the store and I move for no one....and I look 'em right in the eye, too. I tell people in the restaurants to keep their kids quiet when I'm trying to enjoy my dinner. Why should we have to pay top dollar for the best steak in town only to have it ruined by listening to over-indulged children scream and fight and whine? Hey, that's why they have McDonald's and Chucky Cheese....don't take them in a fine restaurant where adults like to have a good meal.

I get tired of being diplomatic....it doesn't pay to be diplomatic all the time. It's fun to be 'the crazy one'...people move out of your way...they step aside. They know, intuitively, to give up the aisle in the store.

I want my neighbors to know I'm crazy. When I grow older I want to be that old woman with twenty cats...and lots of plants everywhere. I want my house to go unpainted and my front yard to grow up and out of shape. I want the same curtains to hang in my windows for thirty years...tattered, torn, and stained.

I want school children to fear me and talk of the time that I killed someone and that I have them buried in my flower bed. I want them to tell the stories of the crazy things I do and say...like on full moon nights when I can be heard playing my organ, naked, and laughing and talking to no one. I want it to be said that I have a gun and that I'll kill anyone who comes to my house. I want the very act of stepping on my front porch to be the initiation of every club and coming-of-age ritual in town.

I want to wear nothing but a Chenille bathrobe all the time. You know the ones....pale pink with a big Peacock on the back. And I want to grow warts and bushy eyebrows on my face.

I want children to come to my front porch at midnight...on Halloween...on a dare...just to see.... I'll take my wrinkled hand and smooth back that dry, perm-damaged hair till I have that Planet-Of-The-Apes look....complete with a deep widow's peak. Then I'll slip in those dentures with the teeth that are so small that when I smile I'll look like I have two cobs of shoe-peg corn in my mouth. Then I'll put on that red "Whatever-Happened-To-Baby-Jane" lipstick...and it'll be appropriately smeared and all over those little 'corn teeth'.  And then I'll bolt thru my front door and scare the crap out of 'em with some buck-shot and REALLY give 'em something to talk about.

I want to lose my manners, yell out of my windows, and refuse to fill out my census forms...and I won't move my car, not even for the meter man. I want everyone to think I'm a millionaire....spend their evening wondering where I 'hid the money'...some will say it's in my wing-back chair...some will say it's in the wall in my bedroom....yet others will think that it's buried right next to the dead body in the flower bed. 

They will all tell the tale that I obtained my money from the insurance company when my husband died, which will bring them to the conclusion that I must have killed him. Then, on some foggy night in a near-by cemetery, a conversation between the local teenagers will prompt one of them to stand, as though finally solving the mystery, and shout out that it is my husband who is buried in the flower bed!


Let 'em think what they want....at least I'll get the aisle in the store all to myself.......it's good to be the crazy one!

(enter: thunder and lightening and the fact that I'm humming the tune of 'I've Written A Letter To Daddy')

 

 April 20 and 23, 2000 copyright   Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander