My Thinking Board
Thoughts about this & that...
Did She Deserve It?
Words cut deeper than knives
Image credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
My mom often warned me about the old saying, "Words cut deeper than knives."
While developing a dialog between the main character of my new book and the bitter, jealous, old woman who tries with all her might to stop her, I remembered the encounter between two women when I was a young child.
My mom was browsing at the flea market with me in tow. I wasn't interested in the porcelain teacups and plates, so to occupy myself, I was watching the people around me. I spotted an old woman by the next table. Her deformed fingers caught my eyes because I've never seen a person crippled by advanced arthritis before. As she stood holding onto her cane in front of the table, she picked up rings and necklaces with trembling fingers, but some of the smaller pieces slipped from her fingers, and she dropped them.
The saleswoman, who looked to be about my mom's age, didn't say anything but with angry, annoyed expression on her face, she kept adjusting the jewelry pieces in the display cases that the old woman dropped.
Customers kept coming and going. They had to walk around the old woman and reach in front of her to pick up the jewelry they wanted to buy. After the old lady picked up and dropped ten or so pieces, the saleswoman asked her hardly containing her annoyance, "Are you going to buy anything or just messing up my table and holding up my customers?"
The old woman didn't say anything just quietly dropped the ring she was holding. "Move over already!" a young woman standing next to her snapped turning toward the saleswoman giving her a conspirator's wink and said in a hushed voice, "Being old is just a burden on everyone. I don't want to grow too old. You can't do anything or enjoy anything when you're old and sick."
The old woman looked at her, and then raised her head staring into space. She blinked, shook her head and turned her eyes back the young woman. "You don't need to worry about growing old, dear," she said in a sweet tone with a smile.
"What?" the young woman looked at her surprised. 'What are you talking about?"
The old woman turning away slowly said to her, "You won't live to celebrate your fortieth birthday."
I'll never forget the shocked expression on the young woman's face. She turned to the saleswoman and let out a nervous laugh. "Crazy old bat!" she exclaimed.
The saleswoman stared at the old woman's back, as she walked away, deep in thoughts. "Yeah, maybe... but maybe not."
What are your thoughts?
Did the old woman scare the young one on purpose?
Was she a psychic and had a vision?
Was the old woman cruel and revengeful?
Imagine the young woman's feelings getting close to her fortieth birthday.
Would you tell anyone something like that?
The young woman was rude, but I do think the older woman's response was a bit over the top. I am sure it had the desired effect though as the two younger women will probably think before they speak ill to old women,
Thinking about this childhood memory, yes, in my opinion, the old woman was cruel. Although the young woman was rude, she didn't deserve the constant doubt and fear she must have felt getting close to age 40. She might have laughed it off then, but later, I'm sure she often thought about what the old woman said, wondering if it might have been a premonition.
This brought to my mind a story belonging to my youth. There was an old man living downstairs my apartment, and he was living with the family of his son. Sometimes the grandchildren snapped at him and his constant grumpy remarks. Luckily he was a man of humor and used always to yell: "You're right, elderly people are really annoying, they should have killed them when they were young!"
Wise old man! I bet it made the kids think
The young woman was tested and failed. I think the old woman spoke the truth.
We may never find out. But I still think the old woman was cruel and did it on purpose. Had I been the old woman, I would've told the rude person, "Well, God granted me the privilege to live this long, and I will enjoy every minute of the time I have left. You might not be that lucky to live as long as I have."
No, I don’t think she was cruel. I think she had finally had enough. Do you think that was the first time that day that her hands failed her? Or a shopkeeper glared or even said something to her because she was slow in her choosing? That young woman was out of line, she got put in her place. Maybe not right away but closing in on 40 I’m guessing she might have felt the vulnerability that the old woman felt. She was just shopping had some trouble due to her age and was bullied by two people who couldn’t/wouldn’t understand what that woman went through daily. Maybe when she looked up she heard what she needed to make her feel better. While one day I may reach that age of that woman... though it’s unlikely. But I have dealt with the knives of other’s words because I walk with a cane and people don’t think I can hear as well as I do. (Quite an extraordinary hearing ability, the blind have my hearing is what I’ve been told) but I heard those mutters under their breath. Hell I even beat the daylights out of a 21 year old punk who thought kicking my cane out from under me would be good for a laugh. When I didn’t go down but instead gave him a side kick to the ribs, suddenly he wasn’t laughing anymore and his friends all walked backward as I advanced. Sometimes there is the final straw. That young lady placed the final straw that broke the old woman’s patience and unleashed her temper. That’s what is wrong with this world you judge the old lady harshly because your young eyes watched her at that table but didn’t see her at the ones before it. When people choose to be rude, they’re asking for a dose of karma, the old lady delivered. Something to think about.
I see your point coming from a person who goes through this kind of negativity on a daily bases! Some people could be very cruel and carelessly hurt others. Some of them lash out at others because they had a shitty day and they take it out on the first weak or vulnerable looking person. Others with low self-esteem assuring their buddy-buddy mentality by making hurtful remarks at the person others seem to be angry with. Young people tend to gang up on someone who they think can't fight back. Good for you for teaching that young man a painful lesson!
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