At a meeting at Barnes and Noble yesterday, the only other woman who attended remarked as she ordered her coffee and egg sandwich, “This is my breakfast. I know it’s late for breakfast, but I’m x4 years old and therefore I think I can do whatever I want to.”

I laughed. It took me a minute before I realized I have the same attitude. Of course, I blame it on my mother. You see, she had that attitude, big time.

I remember when we were in Paris together and one day, stopped at an indoor café for a rest and refreshment. She selected a seat directly under the big red circle with a line through it and the smoking cigarette in its center. The first thing she did was to light a cigarette.

I said, nodding my head toward the other side of the room, “Mom, why don’t we go sit over there? That’s the smoking section.”

She lifted her chin a little and said, “Nah. They won’t mind.” And she went right on smoking—uninterrupted, I might add. (She quit smoking when she was 82—because that’s when she decided she wanted to.)

I say I feel that way because there have been times when I’ve actually thought it:  This may not be kosher, but I’m going to do it anyway. Because I want to. And who’s going to stop me?

I think I may come down too hard sometimes. One evening at a party, I walked past a man sitting alone at a table and asked him something (can’t remember what). He replied, not unpleasantly, “Why do I get the feeling I should only give you my name, rank and serial number?” I remember laughing and moving on and I still laugh whenever I repeat the story.

The thing is, I’m retired. I don’t have any boss or work environment at which I have to be polite, generally quiet, and politically correct. I have no boundaries in my own home and outside it, most of my friends share my views. If they don’t, I respect theirs and we remain on neutral ground. Sometimes, we even vent vehemently and laugh at each others’ opposition.

It’s like we’ve paid our dues and now we’re members of a new club. Some of us are a little more in-your-face than others. I’m one of those. And I love it.

Because I can.



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