Could You Describe the Ruckus, Sir?

Welcome to Vicky Bell's blog.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hey! Crone!

crone (plural crones)
  1. (obsolete) An old woman
  2. an ugly evil-looking or frightening old woman; a hag

There you have the definition of crone according to Wiktionary. But I say they got it way wrong. Because I'm taking over the name, me and a zillion other boomers, and  putting a new face on it.

I'll be 51 soon, and like a lot of women my age, struggle to define my post-menopausal, newly-empty nesting, still searching and still insecure self.  I remember whining to my shrink so many years ago- "But I'm going to be 29 soon and I still don't know anything!".


Here are some things I do know.

1. On television and at the supermarket I see women all the time who are probably my age or older and have had at least one procedure too many. I do not want to be one of them.  Even if I had the cash.  I dislike my sagging face and under-eye circles as much as anybody, but prefer to find the stuff inside me to deal with them than to emanate the desperate vibe of fake looking skin, outsized lips and a weird, robotic lack of expression.  Yes, I am vain. Unhealthily so even, yet I'd rather be thought of as old than as pitiful.

2. I've had my turn to be young. Now it's somebody else's turn. I'm okay with that. I've always been pretty good at taking turns and sharing the goodies. Thinking of it this way helps me to remember things happily rather than wistfully.  It really does.

3. Menopause sucks. It just does, there is no positive spin. All you can do is be glad when it's done with and move forward. There's no avoiding it. It's like death- it's going to happen, one way or another- only you get to eat chocolate after instead of sucking dirt, so that part's good.

4. As long as I can sit on curbs, I'm going to sit on curbs. Once when I was about 16, somebody asked me if I still sat on curbs. I did, of course, but, sadly, this person said he felt too old to sit on curbs anymore.  He was 26 at the time.  Ever since, sitting on curbs has symbolized for me a kind of refusal to give in or give up. I don't think curb-sitting is an age related thing, as long as you can physically do it (and, more importantly, stand up after). So as long as I can sit on curbs, I will sit on curbs.  And run on muddy trails in the woods. Paint my car with flowers and such. Tear up my aarp mail into tiny little pieces and mail it back. Wear colorful barrettes in my hair. Experiment with funky clothing. Create art. Laugh at every little thing. Avoid negative people. Which brings me to number 5....

5. I am loving this part of aging- my life- my rules.  I no longer worry (much) about what people think. I don't feel the need to spend time with unpleasant, negative or gossipy people. I don't feel the need to attend meetings, events or gatherings which I know in advance will prove unpleasant.  I don't feel the need to wear clothing I find uncomfortable, for any reason, ever.  I've worn pajamas to church, work and the supermarket. I have embraced the hamper clothes way of life and found it to be awesome. I have dessert for breakfast and cereal for dinner. There are definite advantages to having put in a bit of time on earth.

I'm a crone. Proud crone. Happy crone. Still a sorta hippie crone. If you are a crone too (or in a partnership or marriage to one)- what do you embrace about it? What do you find hard?  I want to hear from you, as part of my research into my soon to be launched crone zine. Thanks.


  1. I am also a crone! But what an honor to have reached the age of croniness! Great article!

  2. me too! 50 next year and happy to be a crone - grateful actually. After all, one could, as you say, be sucking dirt...yuck. Almost as bad as eating a big mac...

    My favourite thing about being a small crone is that people EXPECT me to be sweet and a bit bonkers - and get a shock when I'm not. I'm cronelike and completey bonkers [missed out the gradual decline]...I want a photo of me mixing cement on my patio in the tipping rain in the Crone-Zine please ;)

  3. Oh very cool send it

  4. Great blog post! Spoken like a true croniac.
    "..laugh at every little thing, avoid negative people.." Your words are a breath of fresh air for crones everywhere.
    Here's to being past the 'what if' and 'if only' stage!

  5. You, my friend, will never--ever--be either of the definitions quoted at the top! But by redefining the word Crone with your blog, you've been that from the time I've know you. Except, perhaps, that you've evolved from being a great free thinking free spirit, to being an awesome one. If that's part of Croniness, you're it.

    So, it seems that being a Crone is more about being more free, more open, more accepting of and good to oneself and less concerned about what others might think or say. Or perhaps more simply, becoming more Real. Like the words of the Skin Horse to the newbie toy asking about the magic of beoming Real in Marjorie Williams' "The Velveteen Rabbit":

    "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

    I'll never be a Crone (due to that pesky Y chromosome), but by your words and by your actions and by your life, you inspire me to become the best Old Codger, Coot, and Geezer I can be! Thanks for being my best man, best friend, and best Crone/Cogger role model--and you still have eyes and hair (and maybe a bit looser in the joints, but still not-too-shabby!)

    Good job--again!

  6. I am in the pre-crone stages...

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I was feeling like a crone until I realised that age (or life-stage) = experience. Then it isn't so bad

  9. Nice post.

    With nearly 53 years on this earth, I am happy to be among the crone population. I would never consider having "procedures" to try to convince myself or others that I am any younger than I am... heck, I don't wear make up, have and piercings or body art, color my hair or partake in any exercise program. I live in overalls which are extremely comfortable and practical and I long ago quit worrying about what others thought of me or how they thought I should "be." As far as I know, I've not lost any friends by being happy with how I am.

    AND..... it is SOOOOO nice to be on the other side of menopause.... and without having to deal with taking hormones. No, it was no piece of cake, but I got through it.

    Now, of course, as the memories of my youth were never those of a beautiful, head-turner, I suppose it is easy for me to have this stance. I really believe every year is an improvement over the last.

    I had to laugh when you defined age by curb-sitting. I was 22 years old when my then-hubby told me he thought I was too old to wear T-shirts. I didn't stop then and I have no intention of stopping now. In my book, I will never be too old to wear T-shirts!

    Enjoyed the post.

  10. Living where I live,I've never even heard of "curb sitting"! Maybe sand sitting, grass sitting, but not curb sitting! Other than the curb thing, your blog is so full of things I can relate to--it's such a breath of fresh air! Life's too special to spend time on negative activities, or those which make you unhappy. I'm happy to be cronish with you. Great piece of writing!

  11. You declare yourself a member of the crone set and yet the picture you post says, "crones be damned." Having said this, you are the successful blogger - I am not. I had a blog, and wrote 30 or so posts. This yielded 102 hits, 0 followers, and one comment from a guy suggesting how I might lose 10 pounds. I got no "breath of fresh air" comments. Go girl.

  12. Aw, jewel, don't give up! I got lucky, that's all. As for the pic? hair dye, sunglasses...... If you try blogging again I'll be your first follower, just lmk. Cheers!

  13. @ Jewel- I should add, it's not so much "crones be damned" as "this is what a crone is"- taking back the term- making it useful for our present times...

  14. Soon to be 53 and happily croning away. I try to teach Morgan that it does not matter one whit what others think about you. Easier to say when you are 53 vs 15, going on 16. And I love having my own rules - it is so very liberating.

  15. Yes! There are those who don't understand how I can be happy to have achieved the great milestone of 50 years on this earth. I am a "real" grown person now - my words have the weight of experience.

  16. You're so beautiful. I don't know how I feel about the confusing 20's right now.. and can't wait 'til the 'crone' stage.

  17. LOVE this post... I'm 45 and also find it disturbing how many women I know who are getting their looks "altered"... ewwww. I will happily slap on some "Oil of Old Lady" (as hubby lovingly refers to my little pink bottle of cream) and go on my merry, wrinkled way. :) New follower, come see me!

  18. Oh, and just realized I am your 200th follower! Yea me!

  19. Just found your blog on etsy. Love it! I especially love this post. I just turned 50 so I know exactly where you are coming from!

  20. What an awesome post!! My mother is in her 50s and she's still quite young - she dresses hip and has way more energy than I do (I'm 24), she just doesn't define herself by her physical age but by who she is at heart. She's a ton of fun! I love that you're being YOU without being defined by what we think of certain age groups growing up.
    Adding you to my feed reader to stay updated when you post :)