Today’s guest blogger is Josette Murray.
Old Woman? Who You Talking To, Son?
I’m going to follow on Jean Copeland’s wonderful blog post about her friendships, being a little more particular.
One of my favorite cartoons was of an older woman battling an overly persistent Boy Scout, finally hitting him with her cane and telling him in no uncertain terms to get the hell off of her so she could cross the street by herself.
That’s me! Although I have to admit, there are times I gracefully accept. Why not? Everybody needs help sometimes. And I only use the cane I borrowed a little. Especially not to beat Boy Scouts.
But I have to admit to having been somewhat foolish in an infrequent fit of road rage, thinking that my age would buy me tolerance, or maybe even respect. At a long red light, I leapt from my car to confront the young man ahead of me who had callously dumped a fast food bag of trash out of his car window, back down the road. I sprinted up to his car, shaking my finger and saying “Shame on you! Shame on you for dumping your trash on the road!” First he feigned innocence, then said something that almost made me look around for someone behind me.
“Look, old woman,” he sneered, “You’re coming up here is a complete waste of my time.”
After “old woman” registered in my heightened, then somewhat confused, sensibilities, “my time” roared up too. Not only was he dissing me for being of a Certain Age, he was dismissing me from his precious life because of that. To him, I was simply not real, or at least, of no consequence.
Well. Do I need to tell you how very much that calmed my outrage?
An explosion of recrimination followed, until he said “You should just get back in your car. How do you know I won’t shoot you?”
Well, again. That had already occurred to me (too late, of course), so I’d been assessing him minutely the entire time. His braggadocio masked a tiny, but detectable, bit of embarrassment and penitence that barely peeked through. I looked him square in the eye. “You wouldn’t shoot me. I can just look at you and know that. Which is why I just don’t understand why you’d litter! Why would you DO that?” I asked him, twice.
Upon which he rolled his eyes and slid up his window, looking studiously forward. I stomped back to my car, feeling somewhat better about protecting the parameters of civilized behavior. And glad to be alive.
I didn’t say I was the smartest cookie, did I?
There’s a lot of me in Dory, one of the four heroines in my new book, Silver Love. One thing that joins them and impels the story is their bond and mutual history (although the latter has its surprises). The other thing is that they simply refuse to “act their age”. Without acting juvenile or ignoring their accumulated wisdom, or the physical realities of growing older, they remain as young as their mind and attitude make them feel. (But most of them wouldn’t do what I did. Not recommended for anyone, actually. Really.) I know a lot of women like them. My oldest friend is in her mid-seventies, and she’s more active than I am.
But when it comes to publishing, elder heroines are in short supply. Now, don’t get me wrong: femme-y me loves examining the cover with the young, dark-haired butch in the leather vest, forelock dangling seductively over her forehead, toned biceps rippling as she stands oh-so-close to her girlfriend. Or even the ones with the shapely black-stockinged, high-heeled leg outlined before a smoking gun and river of blood.
But where are the stories about the grit and smarts of the elders, those who make hay with the fact that they are invisible (great for a PI); those who now can do all or many of the things they wanted to do all their lives? It’s the denouement of their story. They have earned the right to be delightfully eccentric; they can manage derring-do (ah, the serendipity of a cane, faced with a fleeing felon); they live, they love with passion―yes, all kinds of passion. They’re long-distance hikers and swimmers, gardeners. They’re your aunts and neighbors. They’re party girls, still, just dancing differently. They all have an amazing store of stories.
Enrich yourself, ask ‘em. Just ask ‘em, and then make them your heroines. Why, I’ll bet the book’ll just about write itself. Have fun!
by Josette Murray
Jill, Dory, Robby, and Charlene are a fantastic foursome that embodies the varying experiences that come with being Lesbians of a Certain Age. They are vibrant and vulnerable, wise and foolish, introspective and outgoing. The close-knit friends fight aging at every turn—or just ignore it altogether. These four will never go quietly into the night, redefining life after fifty. They are the new mature woman.
But along with twenty-first-century attitudes come twenty-first-century problems. Public office candidate and retired judge Charlene is confronted by a wannabe blackmailer, Jill’s passions threaten to swamp her common sense, Dory’s best-selling book could turn out to be a national disaster, and Robby must confront the hard reality of learning that her wife may not be the woman she thought she was. Steadfast in their faith in themselves and each other, and bolstered by the rich history of their friendship, the four women struggle with twists and turns as they try to navigate a landscape generated by the actions of others as well as their own choices, proving that experience does not always pave a smooth road.
In a world where everything increasingly seems relative, these women remind us that some things don’t change—like the bedrock of relationships. Silver Love is all about love; love among friends, love between lovers, and the unexpected role of love with acquaintances who may not always be what they seem. If you can keep up, join the ride and follow these ageless heroines as they pursue their adventures in the modern world.
MEET THE AUTHOR
And so do her mature heroines of Silver Love, facing down betrayal, addiction and criminal intent— all with overdeveloped taste buds. She shares the taste bud experience with them, to both her delight and rue. She lives in Decatur, GA (Atlanta area) with her two rescues and exercise coaches, Reece and Piper.
CONNECT WITH JOSETTE MURARRY
Thanks so much for stopping by today.