I recently read an essay by Bev Katz Rosenbaum on the life and times of one of author Janet Evanovich’s main characters, Stephanie Plum, a rather ditzy female bounty hunter living in New Jersey. (Yeah, I know it’s a glunky first sentence, but it works.)
In the essay, Rosenbaum climbs Stephanie’s family tree for evidence of repressed female role models. She then refers to Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur as a woman who is now “reveling in her geriatric freedom to do and say whatever the hell she wants.”
The focus of Grandma Mazur’s social calendar revolves around attending “viewings” at the local mortuary. Her behavior at these viewings runs the gambit from jumping on corpses to prying open coffins. She wears hot pants, packs a gun too heavy for her to handle in her handbag, and occasionally sings in a cross-dresser’s band. In other words, she’s outrageously her own woman, and holding nothing back.
Grandma Mazur could be the poster girl for the poem that states, “When I’m an old woman I shall wear purple.” I love that poem. And I love purple. And today I’m another year older and thinking it’s about time I forget about “what people might think” and allow myself the geriatric freedom to do and say whatever the hell I want. I’ll carry a banner sporting a picture of Grandma Mazur which reads, “To thine ownself be true.”
The challenge, of course, it to figure out just who mine ownself really is…