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Friday, 06 January 2012

Eccentricities of Being Eccentric No 1

By Stroppy

I told my granddaughter I was thinking of becoming an eccentric.

“What’s an eccentric?” she replied, spoiling my little joke.

I said it’s usually an older person who is tired of conforming to the norms predicted by society. Thumbing your nose at fashion, and what is supposed to be acceptable ways of dressing, behaviour, etc.

She replied by saying, “Good on you Grandma, you’ve already nailed it.”

I was a bit put out at that. I thought I was fairly up with the styles of a modern senior even if I do buy most of my clothes from Kmart or Millers. However, lately I felt I was sick of trying to keep up appearances. I look in the mirror and the truth looks back at me. I know I’m no spring chicken so I think it’s time to relax.

Does it matter if I go to the shops in my slippers? I have only recently noticed my doing this, accidentally. I was initially appalled then decided not to worry about it at all.

I no longer have the desire to fight my comfort zone. Take me as I am or drop me off your contacts list and I will happily disappear from your view. I will no longer fuss about the trivial superficial bits that tells no one who I am at all.

Who make these rules of behaviour anyway? Fashionistas, cosmeticians, hair stylists. Or health professionals with programs like 'Living Longer Living Stronger.' Deathly dull and boring I say. The concept is great, but can’t we improve body strength and balance in more inspiring ways. Line dancing, ten pin bowling, even tea dances where you can at least find a bloke to support you for a few minutes, now and then.

I play old ladies golf twice a week along with other women of all ages. I didn’t learn this addictive pastime of belting a small white ball around until I was 50. Most golf courses are approximately six kilometres of beautiful natural gardens with bird and wild life habitat scattered here and there. The walk in itself, out in the fresh air away from polluted streets and the hustle and bustle of the urban scene, is refreshing, and obviously full of health benefits.

I am lucky to be able to measure my place in our hierachy by my immediate family. Once your grandkids are taller than you are, they are usually only too happy to show off and help with computer glitches and any IT problems, remote control settings, mobile phone qpps, digital cameras - fascinating things that I am more inclined to want to use my diminishing brain cells on than the historical pastimes for the elderly.

I mean craft work, now more often than not, being pursued by younger women. I once knitted and sewed for necessity and never found it fun at all. I’ve decided use my age to my advantage now, pretending I haven’t a clue about something and ask for help.

I tried it out just yesterday. I had received a text message on the mobile three times from my service provider demanding I go online and fix up some discrepancies in my account details. I couldn’t be bothered. I knew this crazy website well and it’s a nightmare to navigate.

I took my account up to the shopping centre where I was planning to go anyway. I found the mobile phone shop and waited patiently in a queue. Now, this in itself is a changed behaviour, I normally avoid queues like the plague.

When my turn came, a sweet young woman asked, “how may I help you?”

I handed her my account and said, “Could you fix up the required details on my account, I haven’t a clue how to do it, dear,” smiling sweetly with my very best old dears smile.

Smiling back, she said, “Of course,” and I stood and watched as she, too, had some minor problems surfing this ridiculous website. Then eventually handing back my account said, “There you are, all done.”

“Oh thanks so much. You are so clever; I just don’t understand these new things,” I said.

To which she replied, “Any time, my dear. It’s a pleasure.”

Cringing inwardly at the “my dears,” I smiled and walked out of the shop strangely happy at my first step toward embracing the new eccentric me. Oops! I see I left my slippers on. Watch this space!

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting..]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a great story!!!
Michigan Grandma

“My dears” can make my blood boil. However, when they work as they did in your case, I say bring them on!

Enjoyed your story.

Hmmm - manipulating others' stereotypes for our own benefit. Not bad!

I'm interested in winning the book. Thanks!


Enjoyed your story very much and will only say that if we meet in the shops, please
don't make a remark about my slippers and I won't say anything about yours!

would be pleased to win the books,right now am reading"and then there was one"..advice for surviving spouse. thanks

pretty funny!! with me its about driving over to the store and dashing in to pick up the daily newspaper -- in my pajamas.

sometimes i just skip capitalizing -- an outdated artifact of typesetting -- but sometimes also join into misusing apostrophe's


I'm in for ENJOY EVERY SANDWICH & gift card CONTEST.

Clever and funny post! I'm not above using my "I'm an old lady and you'll have to speak slowly and clearly in order for me to hear you" line on the phone, and I don't care what they call me as long as they hold the door for me and sometimes even offer to carry my packages.

I think some where I must have turned the wrong corner; I once was considered an eccentric and now I am, as my friends say, mellowed out and nothing much concerns me and I like it this way.

Having read the excerpt, I know I would enjoy the whole Sandwich as well as having an additional one for friends. Thanks for the opportunity.

Funny and great job writing it!

May I ask, or has something gone over my head, what is it with 'winning the book' and 'Sandwhich'?

Thanks for all comments, whatch out for 'No 2'

Loved this article on "eccentricity"...allowing ourselves to be our comfortable selves is a wonderful way of explaining eccentricity, individualism and forgetfulness!

Very entertaining! Kind of reminds me of the "When I'm an old lady I'll wear purple" idea! I've noticed i'm a lot more lax about some things than I used to be. I guess I've gotten to the place in my life where I've learned that the world won't end if things aren't perfect. (but it still doesn't stop me from trying!) Thanks!

When I was young (now pushing 84--hard) I was a Librarian. I soon noticed how much more interesting were the elderly--men and women. They had real lives to tell about. One of my most darling old men was a NYC detective in his youth. When I expressed surprise that such a sweetie could win all those medals for police work he reminded me "you catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar".
He brought me a piece of candy every day--right now I'm sending him lots of love.

I like your style NWD GO GIRL!
Thankyou all for your comments as I said 'watch this space' No 2 coming soon

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