Contrary to belief, I’m fairly low-key. I tend to keep my crap to myself.
Especially here. In my little corner of the world.
Because I think the world has enough bullying. Enough shit-stirrers. Enough politics. Enough activism. Enough protesting. Enough opinions. Enough dictating. Enough do-it-my-way-or-else.
It ain’t needed here. You can find that shit easier than I can find two boobs if I drop my face south right now.
(Easy peasy cheesy, Ouisy.)
None of this means I’m not passionate about things though. Oh, I can get pretty passionate about things, believe me.
And just because I might get all passionate and strong-believer-ish-y on something doesn’t mean I go all ballistic and start screaming and ranting and swinging my bra over my head and high-kicking in the streets.
And here’s where I tell you what I’m finding myself becoming more and more passionate about.
Women getting older.
(More so, just ME getting older. But I’ve got some room to squeeze y’all in with me. But watch it and don’t get too close. I just got my nails done.)
I heard a few years ago, that when a woman turns 40, something happens.
And boy, does it.
Attitude changes. Tolerance changes. Desire to be loved by everyone at any costs changes. Acceptance changes. Understanding changes. Patience changes.
Shit. Life changes.
We become wiser. Smarter. Wittier. Hotter. Sexier. Beautiful-er. Confident-er. Fuck-it-all-er. Mysterious-er. Stealthier. Independent-er.
And that right there, is some good stuff, sisters.
Let me tell you what happened last weekend to illustrate just what I’m talking about.
(Illustrate? Who SAYS that??)
I decided I was ready to start car shopping. But I get very intimidated with a car dealer. I’ve never enjoyed the process and would rather eat a turd than stand on a car dealership lot for hours.
Or so I thought.
Keith and I arrive and are greeted. Well, HE’S greeted with a firm handshake and a deep-voiced “Good afternoon, sir…” After about 12 seconds of me being apparently completely invisible, Keith says, “This is my wife, Carrie.”
Here it comes.
Instead of a firm handshake, I get a big ol’smile with wide eyes, a jutting neck and all of a sudden the voice is so high a dog came running up, “Well, hello there, ma’am…and just how are you doing today?”
Not. Kidding. I could feel my right eyebrow start to twitch.
Moving forward…we test drive a car with my trap shut tight most of the time. I love the car but ain’t dicking with Howdy Doody. Into the dealership office we go.
Howdy Doody: “If you folks will sit right here, I’ll go get the paperwork so we can see what we’ve got here. Keith, would you like something to drink?”
Keith: “I’m good…thanks.”
Howdy Doody: “Ma’am…how about you? Maybe some water?”
He remembered Keith’s name. I’m just Ma’am. And MAYBE SOME WATER?
Howdy Doody: “Keith, if I can go ahead and get your identification I’ll get a copy made and we’ll get started.”
Not mine. Just Keith’s.
And Keith gives it to him.
After about 18 minutes, he comes back with his “manager”, hands Keith his identification and they are ready to deal. They start the sale of how great the car is and how it’s rated top amongst some group I ain’t ever heard of and how they just have to move it off the lot and how they’re ready to give it away and how it’s the car Jesus would drive if Jesus drove a car.
They throw a number out at Keith. The best price they can do.
I’ve said nothing. Not one word.
And Keith looks at me.
Keith: “I think this is where you take over.”
Howdy Doody’s manager: “Oh, well ma’am…what DO you think? We’d like to know your thoughts, too now!”
(Again, so high-pitched, that dog came running back.)
Me (very low, very soft, very southern, with an extra dose of twang): “I sure hope you want to know my thoughts. I’m the one buying.”
Crickets. I just smile. And stare.
Howdy Doody: “Oh, wonderful! And what was your name again, ma’am?”
Keith just slumped down in his chair, put his hand over his face as I sat up straight and tall. I was in the game now and my fucking name ain’t “Ma’am.”
Me (very low, very soft, very southern, with an extra dose of twang): “Well, boys. I am pre-approved by my credit union and I’m ready to make the purchase. However, because the vehicle has no sun roof…I’d like you come down off that price about $1,500. Do that and I’ll sign right now.”
Howdy Doody: “Now, Keith…the deal we’re offering you…”
Me (very low, very soft, very southern, with an extra dose of twang): “Excuse me, but “Keith” is not purchasing this vehicle. His name will be nowhere on the note. This is alllll mine. I suggest you speak to me now.”
And I smile. And tilt my head. And kinda wink.
Howdy Doody’s manager: “Ma’am…just how much have you been pre-approved for? We’re going to need to know that before we go any farther. Maybe this is just too much car for you?”
Me (you know by now my tone): “HAHAHA…really, now? That’s my part of this game. Your part is to sale me that car at a price I agree to, not the price I am pre-approved for. You see, “sir”, this is a ‘want’ situation for me and certainly not a ‘need’. I will walk away from a ‘want’ very easy. And you can just lay your little head down tonight on your pillow with that car still on your lot thinking this is too much car for me if that makes you feel better. But I assure you, it’s not.”
Keith is kinda bug-eyed now. Not moving. Barely breathing.
They wrote down a number and spun the notepad around to me, as if I couldn’t hear if they just spoke the new price, and again I declined.
Me (same tone): “Well, math has never been my strong point, but I don’t believe that’s $1,500 less. Or is it?”
They both look at Keith at the same time. As if choreographed. He just shrugged, closed his eyes and shook his head.
After about 15 more minutes of the notepad spinning and questioning me on just how much I could afford to spend….I got hungry.
And that was all she wrote.
Me: “Well, I appreciate you boys time…but I think we’re just gonna have to call it a day. Keith…shall we?”
And I stood up. To crickets.
And as they stuttered and stumbled and pissed on the floor and trying to get Keith’s attention….we walked out with me asking Keith where he was taking me for lunch.
(Best damn etoufee ever to enter my pie hole. Ever. Except my momma’s, of course.)
Now. You see?
Years ago, I would have fumbled and probably cried like a girl and gave my soul to them. Not now. Screw’em. I work hard for my money and nobody is going to overlook me or my opinion or my thoughts or my ideas.
I’m where I am because of the shit I’ve been through. The disappointments. The hardships. The heartbreak. The tears. The kicked walls. The broke fingernails.
And so I leave you with this:
Because THAT says it all.
Don’t let anyone smother who you are. Don’t tame yourself and don’t let anyone else attempt to. The older we get the better we get and the more perfect we become.
You’ve come a long way, baby. Stand tall and stand firm. You deserve it. But even more, you’ve earned it.
(And don’t give me crickets.)