Tough Old Broads

Everyone needs role models, I guess. I used to trick myself into believing that I didn’t look up to anyone, that my own role model was me. My SELF. But through self-reflection and the wisdom that comes with the passing of time, I have had to accept that I do actually have role models. I don’t have a fanatical devotion, but I do generally admire elderly ladies who look at adversity in the face and furrow their brows a little before they just keep on living life until they die.

I’ve mentioned before that Bette Davis is the gold standard for me, but her contemporaries of those days seemed to all grow into no-nonsense older ladies. Tallulah Bankhead and Marlene Dietrich were brassy and my heroes. Just listen to this raspy, catty, glorious banter:

In the past 24 hours — that’s right, this post is some stream of consciousness hot off the press — I started reading Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era. It is an enjoyable read so far about the lives of mid-century era ultra-rich, classy, probably-terrible women (I’m only two chapters in, so I have to wait for the drama and downfall). But it reminded me of this woman who was one of those idle rich and who survived attempted murder by her husband, Lord Lucan.

They lived that ultra-wastrel lifestyle of the mega-rich, then he tried to kill her and disappeared and the enduring mystery is just “where’d he go?” but this wife of his, this survivor… I imagine she has a lot of complicated ptsd but she keeps this extremely composed mask on that I find fascinating. In this scene that I found inspiring for some reason that I haven’t fully explored yet, the documentarian had mentioned that her children were all raised by nannies and barely ever saw her, did that upset her with regrets? And she was like, “well no, I knew they were safe. They had good nannies.” And the documentary guy was like, “but listening to that description, it all sounds like a cold relationship, doesn’t it?” And she responded this way:

Sorry that this seems to be gigantic.

I don’t think that’s something you can argue with. This woman knows of no other way to be. I’ve been thinking about this fifteen seconds of interview since I originally saw it ages ago. Do I aspire to be that way? Not really — unless my life path takes me there.

The other thing that happened in the past 24 hours is that cchris abruptly sent me a news article like it was an emergency. And I suppose it was. Here, I made a comic about what transpired because I like to entertain.

A small, rapidly made comic that begins with c chris, a thin fellow who wears a labcoat and rubber gloves shouting, "stop! stop everything!" He is holding a website out in front of him.
The next panel shows that he had been looking at ABC news story titled "elderly woman survives car plummet." He hands the site to Amanda and tells her to just read it. She sees the name "Tillie Tooter" and runs off to show Billy Holiday, another sneer campaign writer.
She tells him to read it and also supplies him with highlights in the form of screen captured lines like: 

Tillie Tooter's car was discovered by a member of a road clean up crew.
Rescuers freed tooter and lifted her to safety.
Happy Ending, Relieved Family Tooter

Billy says "holy hell" in wonderment.

At the bottom of the comic it says "c chris, Amandoll, and billy just starred in "Relieved Tooter Freed; or, Reckless Tooter Destroys Car." With Billy saying after all that, "That's one tough tooter!"

The main focus is the fact that we are all morons with unsophisticated styles of humor sometimes, but after the laughter subsided, we had to acknowledge that it was yet another example of a lady oldster not giving up. In fact, this article is from the year 2000 and this woman lived to be nearly 100!

Mrs Tooter was trapped in a car suspended over Florida death waters for three days. She survived on rainwater alone that she collected with an aluminum piece of steering wheel cover like MacGyver crossed with the Golden Girls — a tv series I might not watch, but I’m sure some people would love it.

Picture it, Fort Lauderdale the year 2000: An old lady on her way to pick up friends at the airport never gets there. Instead of people-watching at FLL, she’s watching alligators swarming in a swamp one foot below her windshield. Instead of hugging old friends in greeting, she’s swatting at mosquitoes coming in through her lowered windows — it’s hot in Florida!
Daughter: Ma, what’s your point?

— future interlude in MacGolden Girl

Hollywood television, here’s some fresh content for you to do something with!

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