Three Angry Women


Our Daily Correspondent


Last weekend I had brunch with my mother, and she related an incident from the day of the interboro bike race. My mom was walking through Central Park and found her way, and the way of several other pedestrians, blocked by an apologetic young race marshal, who explained that certain paths were closed to accommodate cyclists. “But this is my circuit!” screamed an elderly woman. “Pardon my French, BUT I’M SCREWED!”

“It was extremely unpleasant,” said my mother. “I guess my generation can take yet another bow.”

Several days later, I was at the AT&T store, where a salesperson was patiently answering my questions about my newly upgraded phone. A lady of perhaps eighty, wearing black orthopedic shoes and carrying a cane, came in and sat down in the chair next to mine. From what I gathered, the young man helping her (“Franz”) was trying to explain that a cellular plan would be less expensive than the landline she currently used. “But I need my phone on my bedside table!” she kept saying, and refused to accept the fact that the cellular phone could, indeed, sit on her bedside table, or indeed anywhere else. Where would she plug it in? She demanded. Her outlet was under her bed! The young man seemed unfazed by this inquisition. And yet, after a few minutes she screamed, “If you keep wasting my time, I’m going to beat the crap out of you!”

And then yesterday I was in an office building where one of the elevators was out of commission. A passing maintenance man explained that there was a routine elevator inspection going on; we could use the elevator just down the hall. “No, I will not!” shouted the (yes) elderly woman standing next to me. “I pay my fucking taxes!”

(There was also the woman who screamed, “Don’t even think about it, honey!” when she thought I was trying to take her seat on the bus, but that was sort of different.)

“What is it with foul-mouthed old ladies, anyway?” said my mom, when I related these most recent encounters. Then, cheerfully, “One hopes, at least, that, say what you will, you will never have to deal with that with me!”