I had an eye-opening experience this weekend in a fabric store. Well, not really eye-opening so much as I finally tried to figure out why some stereotypes seem to be fairly consistently true. And this stereotype is that middle aged women are bitchy. Sorry, ladies. It’s not all of you (soon to be us), but it’s such a big majority, I know something’s going on to make it that way. Men seem to get more relaxed and sweeter the older they get (even the pervy ones). But women seem to hate life and everyone who’s in it with them.
Just in my short time at the fabric store I encountered five (yes, five) bitchy women. And there were probably less than fifteen people in the store. First, some lady was complaining to the lady cutting her fabric. I didn’t listen very well. I just avoided because I feel sorry for employees who are getting yelled at by someone who doesn’t even want the problem fixed. They just want to complain.
Second, I was back in the back corner of the store and got some batting. There was what I believed to be a cutting table in the same area, but no one at the table. And I didn’t know how the store worked, if I had to take the batting, closest to this table, to this table for cutting or if I could take it across the store. So I did what I do in all situations where I don’t want to get yelled at (by a bitchy middle aged woman) and trolled Facebook until someone came to help me. Finally a (middle aged) woman comes around the corner, exasperated, and says, “She’s coming. I had to get her.” I said, “OK.” Clearly making it known I wasn’t motivated enough to look, so she would be first in line.
Said employee soon comes around the corner and asks me what I need. Fire-breathing, already grumpy middle aged woman customer gets GRUMPY, mean-mugging me with hate daggers. I start to answer (to say I was here second) and she says, “You just want some of that cut?” And I’m paralyzed. Knowing the not so friendly customer service lady SHOULD HAVE handled this better, and now I’m the bad guy. And that it’s possible the customer is going to pull a machete out of her purse and mow us all down. I finally say, “Yesbutshewasherefirst.” (All in one quick, frightened word.) And the lady says, “I know that.” Jesus. Really? OK, so why don’t you help HER? And she says, “If you want that cut, you need to go over there.”
At this point I just want to leave the store.
Luckily the other cutting table is (wo)manned by a younger girl who cuts my batting. In the meantime some lady with a cart comes through behind her, and clearly can’t fit. I mean she, minus the cart, might have been able to fit, but even that was a stretch. There simply wasn’t room for her to be wandering around back there. And she stops her cart right next to the girl (who is mid-measure). And stands there. Awkwardly. And quite pissed. Finally the girl notices her and the lady says, “I’m just trying to get by here.” I know the girl wanted to say, “Why don’t you go back the way you came?” But she just smiled and squeezed in close to the table.
Finally, on my way out, the store was setup kind of strangely so it was hard to form a line. I ended up behind a few people and stood between two display racks. I know I was the first person there because when I came up to the register I couldn’t decide where to stand, but as the line moved forward a lady was standing on the other side. She SHOULD have seen me standing there (I thought she was shopping). And she verbally huffs at me like I just cut in line. With my three items (versus her cartful), she was noticeably pissed at me. Apparently for being in the store. I don’t know?
Anyway, rather than curse the day I’m middle aged and bitchy because it seems like this is everyone’s destiny, I decided to think about all of the reasons they are the way they are. Mostly because I want to avoid the same destiny, but also so I can understand and feel sorry for them.
So here’s the list of things I assume are making them grouchy:
- Hormones – We gotta throw that one out there, I guess. I don’t know anything about this, though.
- Marriage – The more of my friends that get married (and divorced), the more I realize a lot of people get married to get married, and then later regret it. Some of these friends will stay married because it’s “the right thing to do.” That can’t make a person happy.
- Life ain’t always what you think it ought to be – They’re disenchanted, like me. Life didn’t turn out the way they dreamed it would. And rather than it being a new phenomenon, it’s gotten old and now they’re pissed.
- Exercise – If I don’t workout, I’m a bitch. I’m not saying anything else.
- Disrespected and Misunderstood – Most of these women acted as though they expected to be disrespected. Maybe they feel like no one respects them, and expect it, so they’re bitchy all the time because they’re recalling those past events. Maybe they feel invisible. I know as a kid I felt like that a lot. And when I did, I’d throw a tantrum to get my perspective heard. This is honestly where I’m putting my money.
So to all of you middle aged women out there, everyone in this world isn’t bad. Don’t assume they are. It’s a bad color on you! Save your rage and unleash it on someone who truly deserves it. If you’re that unhappy in your marriage, get out. If your hormones are out of control, see your doctor. There are natural ways to try to remedy it. Get in a little bit of a workout everyday. It’s not hard to break a sweat. It burns off some rage. And if you’re pissed about your life or getting ignored, then do something about it. Do you wish your life had turned out another way? How would that be? Find a tiny step to fix it. If you always imagined you’d have taken a trip to Italy by now, start saving today! If you thought you’d be able to spend more time with your grandkids, then start hosting dinner at your house! If you don’t want to support your leaches of children, cut them off. Tell them by the end of this year they need to be financially solvent and independent. For good. (This is assuming they aren’t 12 years old.)
Whatever it is, change it. Sure, life sucks and people suck. But that doesn’t mean you have to ruin your day before it’s bad. Or ruin someone else’s. Get it together. You aren’t getting any younger.