Krissie: Out of the Mouths of Babes


I made it through yesterday. Almost everything I ate made me sick to my stomach, which makes the connection between emotion and my stomach issues clear. I read. I listened to audio books. I curled up on the sofa and watched movies.
I did have to go food shopping for my mother. I’m having an upsurge of fibro symptoms so I’m in a lot of pain, and I was riding on the cart. A family was shopping, the kids in one of those carts that look like a car, and the parents were blocking the aisle.
One of the kids (maybe three years old) said “Dad, there’s an old lady behind you.”
Aaaargh. I leapt off the cart, grabbed the kid by the lapels and snarled “You talkin’ to me, kid?”
Uh, no. I slunk away, going “beep beep beep” on my electric cart, thinking dire thoughts about the passage of time.
The only problem with time is that it only seems to go in one direction. I think I need another day of self-indulgence.

27 thoughts on “Krissie: Out of the Mouths of Babes

  1. Oh, I’m sorry you had such a lousy day (but you got through so definitely cheers for that). About the kid — your fantasy made me laugh. I wonder if the parents were as horrified as I would have been.

    A memory: in a used book store with my three year old son who, I must say, looked perfectly angelic — hair so blond it was white in a soft fluff around his head, beautiful fair complexion with a rose blush to his cheeks, the most gorgeous deep blue eyes you can imagine and despite the white hair, incredibly long dark eyelashes. Sweetness incarnate. And as I browsed through books, my perfect little angel marched up to a young woman whose entire demeanor practically screamed Sweet Young Christian Thing, looked up to her with that angelic face and said, quite clearly, “Big penis.” At first she looked dumbfounded. Then she looked at him like he was a toad. Meanwhile, I stood frozen in absolute mortified paralysis. Which gave my little angel the opportunity to say it AGAIN. Finally found my voice: “Son, I think we need to go now!” I have NEVER forgotten it. He’s thirty years older now but I’ve never let him forget it either.

  2. Self-indulge away, Krissie. You deserve the self-care.

    Forget the kid. Everybody looks old to him. He cannot make you feel old or inferior without your consent and, my friend, you rock.

    Sorry that you’re physically hurting. Do whatever you must to lift your spirit and soothe and pamper yourself emotionally.

  3. Krissie–
    You have my sympathy. (For all of it, really. I don’t know where all that silver in my hair *suddenly* came from.)

    But especially for the fibro. Argh. I’ve been having a terrible flare-up. Pain is a 12 on a scale of 1-10. I had a lovely day yesterday for my birthday, and woke up today with my entire back in spasm. Le sigh.

    Hang in there. Maybe come play “Words with Friends” with me online 🙂

  4. Sharon says:

    Mary Stella is correct-children have no concept of age. Years ago, I volunteered in the schools doing an art appreciation lesson. In a kindergarden class, I was interacting with the children about a picture of a girl in a row boat. All the children agreed that the girl could not row the boat. I asked them if their teacher could row the boat and they all said,”NO! He is too old.” Krissie, their teacher was 25 years old, 6 feet 5 inches tall and nothing but muscle! He and I were both astonished by their answer so I asked their reason that they thought he was too old. “Well, look at him”, one little boy said with a pitiful look on his face, “He is completely bald and wears old man clothes.” They thought I could row the boat-I was 58 at the time!

  5. Jen Wyatt says:

    Goodness gracious. That probably felt as good as when the troglodytes at Goodwill ask me if I’m qualified for the senior discount. I’m 41, for crying out loud!
    As for the kid, my mom’s friend had a little one who walked up to a woman in a store and said, “you look like stinky poopy.” (Oh, the horror.)
    May we never look like stinky poopy, no matter what our age!

  6. Awww, Krissie. Ha ha. I can see you grabbing that kid by the scruff of the neck. I hope you feel a bit better today. What is it with all of the aches and pains so many of us are experiencing? Is it the weird change of season, hot one day, cold the next?

    I did my complete housework yesterday and then collapsed on the couch with a book and a glass of wine. By nighttime I had that stiff lowerback, arthritic knee gait that screams “old fart.” This morning I got up and was so stiff I made myself go for a half hour walk. Now I’m taking an epsom salts bath. I buy those packs that are scented with lavendar from the 99 cent store. Love them. Oh, might take some Ibuprofen too. : )

    Here’s to tomorrow being a better day.

  7. Gray hair makes anybody old in kids’ eyes. Often in adults, too. They’re very literal. Look at their art: the most important person is always the biggest one in the picture. My first thought was, “That’s a nice kid, trying to get out of your way.”

    Also, I’m not sure why “old” is an insult. I’m 62. That’s not young. It’s not even middle-aged since I doubt I’ll make it to 112. I think it’s all in the connotation. I told Light she looked really grown-up the other day, and she said, “Don’t say grown-up. That’s for little kids. Say I look mature.”

    You’re looking beautifully mature, Krissie. So am I, except for the red nose and eyes from allergies.

  8. So sorry for your bad day. But you’re still here and still breathing so say “Thank-you” to the appropriate sources. And feel free to take another day off. Have some hot chocolate with marshmallows and amaretto. I did.

  9. You definitely deserve another day of being sweet to yourself, sweetie!

    I hate that old has become something associated with shame. Old is a fucking accomplishment. Look at all the things that could have killed you but didn’t. Look at all the things that could have killed you and not only didn’t, but aren’t even around anymore!

    My first thought at my first grey hair was, “Huh. I lived long enough to get grey hair. Whaddyaknow.” And so far, we’ve all lived long enough to bitch about them. Kudos to all of us! And very gentle fibro-relieving hugs to all who suffer so. Bah & Ptui to fibro, I say.

  10. Kathryn says:

    I’m good with “old.” I haven’t even hit 50 yet, and for the past 10 years I’ve been thinking, “You’re goddamned right you’ll call me ma’am.”
    “Crones Don’t Whine” is on my TBR list, I’ll get to it eventually. Totally down with the crone thing.
    Now if I could just get everybody to obey my every command….

  11. I have a problem with “old” because I think I’m still about 27 or 28. I’m a few years less than twice that. While my white hairs don’t show because I’d rather be a redhead than have dirty-dishwater blonde/brown hair, I would let it grow out if it were all a nice color of gray or white or silver or something.

    But I don’t mind ma’am anymore, now that I’m down south and it’s a sign of respect, not a sign of perceived age the way it is in the PNW!

    I suppose we should “take back the old” and celebrate being old rather than dead. Who’s with me, raise your walker! 😉

    Krissie, sorry your fibro is acting up. I’m on daily pain pills now (which bothers me in a variety of ways), but even with those I can feel the fibro. Must be something going on in the atmosphere. My sympathies and vibes for feeling better.

  12. Reb says:

    When I was about 11, I told my teacher he was a grumpy old man. He was about 30. I still remember genuinely thinking he was ancient. Hah.

    My sympathies to all of you with fibro. Pain is horrible. I hope you all improve fast.

  13. oneoftheotherjennifers says:

    When I was in second grade my teacher asked our class to figure out how old we would be in the year 2000, and to imagine what we would be doing then. Dutifully, we all did the math and concluded we would all be exactly 30 years old in the year 2000. Then, after discussing it among ourselves, we told her that we would certainly all be dead by that time, because people couldn’t possibly live to be that old.

    True story.

  14. Diane (TT) says:

    We had the “ma’am” conversation in Sunday School last week (an adult class). The facilitator is a podiatrist who went up North for med school, and called one of his professors “ma’am”. She told him not to get smart with her. Everyone (this is Tennessee) was flabbergasted, but I reported that, where I grew up (CA), calling someone “ma’am” or “sir’ was definitely suspect – if not conclusive evidence of smart-assery.

  15. Diane (TT) says:

    At least the child said “old lady”! I had a kid think I was a man, once, because I had my hair up. Very young kids really aren’t good at gender assignment, because I was, in fact, also wearing a skirt or dress (I usually do). And I wore a jumper to the supermarket a couple of weeks ago, and I THINK a child said something to her mother about me being pregnant (which I am not and am unlikely to be, at age 46), which was sad, because I’m feeling pretty good about how I look in general, having achieved a “normal” BMI (but don’t get me started on body fat, because I measured that on a friend’s scale and it put me back above “acceptable”. Into “Excess Fat”).

    Sorry ’bout the bad day, and I hope you continue to find ways to heal yourself.

  16. redwood kim says:

    I taught 3rd grade. One of the moms asked her son if he thought I liked chocolate. “Of course, Mom! She’s only like 16 or so!” I was actually 37.
    Feel better, Krissy. Good for you for figuring out your triggers. I think you need to go into survival mode until this spell passes(and it will.)

  17. romney says:

    My boy loves those carts when we’re out on the promenade at the beach. He rings the bell on his trike at them and they beep back. Very civilised.

  18. You know, you’re right. I remember when I was younger than 7 (because that’s when we first moved) that I looked at my father and thought how old he was. He was only 41 at the time.
    They don’t have much sense about how old people are, and on top of it I was in an electric cart. And having a tough day.

  19. I’ve got CRONES DONE WHINE too. I think it’s time to read it. I love the thought of being a Crone, the Wise Woman, etc. Yup, I need to claim it with price. You’ve inspired me, Kathryn!

  20. When I was a kid I saw the movie “Centennial Summer” and tried to figure out how old i’d be for the bi-centennial when it came. I figured I’d be ancient — too old to be a movie heroine or have fun.
    I was 28 in 1976. Ancient.

  21. My daughter seriously thought I was a man when she was young. I have no idea why. It was something she picked up that connected with her being adopted. She knew I couldn’t have babies, and thought that meant I was a man.

  22. Heh. I have so much to say (most of it inappropriate) that I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just say better old and alive than young and dead.

    How’s that for inappropriate?

  23. Maria says:

    I was 25 when I realized how relative age was. Being one of the oldest camp councilors and the Nature Director at the camp, I was usually assigned to units that had “leaders” who were coming up for the week to ease the cost of sending their daughter(s) to camp that year. Finally, toward the end of the season, I was assigned to a unit that had other councilors and Councilors in Training, CITs, all of whom were 16 & 17. It was the week after my birthday and one of the CITs asked me how old I had turned. I told her 25 without thinking too much about it. Her reply, “Wow, that’s old,” still makes me laugh to this day.

    Another score and five have passed and I feel about as old as I did when I was told by a 17 year old that I was old. It’s all relative. The 90 year old who lives across the street from my mother thinks that I am really young still.

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