I remember when fifty seemed so, so very old. It was a vast age – so large it no longer had a public number. It was ‘a certain age.’ I swore that somehow, some way – I would never let that happen to me. I would never let myself turn 50…
Yet… and yet – the years did pass, and with each each year – 32, 38, 41, 47… it grew closer. That day – a time to wail over the loss of youth, perky bosoms, four inch heels and baring my knees. Surely there would be no more designer gear – all traded in for comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes.
My hair – my beautiful hair – it would be cropped off and firmly sprayed into a woolly helmet. I would have to buy an apron. There must be an apron. And if I was so fortunate – I would have grandchildren, who will love me and think I was still beautiful – just like Barney or Bozo the Clown.
Sigh… You know the drill ladies. Our lives follow a cycle, an arc, a bell curve (me, I’m curvier than most)
First the maid – all innocence and beauty, wiles borne of ingenuousness – the muse, the tantaliser, the fantasy. And too damn young to understand power. (I hated Madonna for not being a feminist – and loved her when she made Like a Virgin. She understood something about power I couldn’t imagine.) What little power I was aware of was poured into the fire of passion (good old Mr Right…), the remains foisted on what passed for a maid’s career. I was sucked up and before I knew it…
I was the mother. Patient, loving, giving, understanding. Forgiving. Lots of forgiving. And living FOR giving. Giving life. Creating life. Even my friends who where not literal mothers with young’uns rubbing snotty noses on their breast were busy nurturing men, teams, co-workers, animals – our burning might and strength and patience fed the world, even if the world did not always return the favour. Of course it was nice when it did. But even when it didn’t – we were so strong we almost didn’t notice. Seeing the fruits of our labours was really all we needed to go on. (Yeah, right – and I’ve got an email here for you re an inheritance waiting in Nigeria.)
Sigh… which takes us to the final stage, the stage of warty noses, gnarled fingers, pointy hats??? Yes, the crone. Where’s my wart? I need a new chapeau.
The crone has traditionally been the least trusted stage of womanhood. Her wisdom and sharp tooth terrify those who think they’ve got it sussed. She’s been burned at the stake and hung in the square… Or safely medicated and stored in a rest home until she goes away, away.
No one consulted me when they made this up. Yeah, I was the maid. I was hot! Flirty. A little bit naughty. I wish I was naughtier.
And the mother – yeah, yeah, I all did that. The children are long grown and gone. They may consult once in a while, but they don’t need me anymore.
But this crone business. Sure, it sounds good – if you’re writing a mythology, or trying to stuff a woman of a certain age into a box. But… I don’t know any crones. There may be some somewhere, but not in my world.
Who are we? Where do we belong? We are the women that time forgot.
There is no name for us. No single word or box we fit into. There is only one acceptable definition – we are The Wild Women!
We’ve paid our dues. We’ve proven everything we need to prove. They ain’t got anything on us! The reason it’s been kept a secret is – we are the most dangerous people alive… We’re no longer living for them – whoever they may be.
We do what we want. Go where we want. Say what we want!
Wild women have reclaimed that power we so lightly tossed away. Wild women burn with passion rediscovered. Wild women walk a bit careless – we don’t need to be ladylike.
Wild women dress just a little bit inappropriate. We might laugh a little too loud, sing on the street, dance in the shower, flirt with the cabana boy – scandalise our lovers with our dirty pillow talk.
Wild women have choices. Wild women are more alive than they have ever been.
Wild women travel.
Wild women write and read and dream.
Wild women know how to be a bitch – and still be adored.
Wild women make magic.
Wild women are here to stay.
We’re 50. It’s nifty. To hell with being thrifty!
Wild women love – we love our partners, our offspring, our pooches, pussies and palaminos. We love our friends.
Wild women value life. We are the best we have ever been – stronger, wiser, more beautiful. We are alive.
We are wild.