I'm a firm believer in equal rights so it's only fair that, having sounded off about Grumpy Old Men, I now give equal attention to the female of the species; Grumpy Old Women. Women very rarely accept that they are ageing well and often become banshees of the black shawl set, acid tongued old crones who harangue us with their constant complaining about everything from the useless, broken down, ineffectual man in their life to the price of spuds at the Green Grocer.
Grumpy Old Women may once have been the Belle of the Ball, the vision of loveliness who took young men's breath away, or even the love of some poor delusioned man's life. But many women do grow sour with age. As their beauty fades and their sight dims it appears their one remaining joy in life is to make everyone feel as miserable as they do. Their spouse, or partner, if he lingers, never brings home enough money, or is to busy playing golf, or any of the other activities a man pursues to avoid going home. Their children grow distant and disinterested and the grandchildren are just another imposition on their mostly empty life.
So the bitterness , and the resentment grows. They grow bent, and can no longer control the advance of body weight. The once svelte curves, that turned men's heads have finally surrendered to the advance of cellulite, and arthritis, and a multitude of "women's" complaints. They sit on bus stops, and seats in city malls or parks and glare disapprovingly at the antics of the young. It seems that, to them, youth is the ultimate crime. One wonders if their fading memories retain any history of their own past and the fact that they too were once young. Perhaps, if those memories are still retained, they are ruthlessly suppressed, after all who wants to be reminded of what used to be. Then there is the opposite approach of these Grumpy Old Women - nothing is a good as it used to be and, it follows, no one else is as good as they were themselves. One hears the bitter complaints that - "When I was young etc, etc." - fill in the blanks for yourself.
Of course there is the final irony - the Merry Widows - of which there are many sub types. There is the calculating younger woman who carefully chose, and married, a man 10 or 20 years her senior and patiently waited for her time to come. They can be recognised by the brand new outfits purchased with the proceeds of their late husband's estate and their some what desperate attempts to catch a younger man, hopefully to reward them for their years of devoted and slow wearing down of their husbands to ensure the poor man meets his maker before his rightful time. A realisation that by the time they collected they were past their prime brings the whole gambit of bitterness to the fore. This sub type is easily confused with the divorcees who got impatient and bailed out before collection time. Their bitterness is usually accompanied by a string of invectives describing the ex husband, especially if he was smart enough to have an effective pre nuptial agreement in hand.
The final sub type we will examine is the most fearsome of the lot. The Self Sufficient Woman. This subtype is not always a Grumpy Old Woman but can display a very effective facsimile if it suits her game plan. Self sufficient women are inevitably well groomed, generally look younger than their true chronological age and quite often are well educated. A sure sign is if they have gone back and studied for a Degree or Diploma subsequent to their partner's demise. The self sufficient woman is likely to own her own property, or properties, and is most likely to be financially secure. She knows what she wants, and more importantly what she does not! Gentlemen be warned, the capture of the self sufficient woman is a task beyond the skills and capabilities of most mere males and has a high probability of backfiring. Be aware of Grumpy's 97th Law of Survival. The female of the species is more lethally dangerous than the male!