Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Ecstasy of the Mature Heroine

by Maxine Davis

My grandparents were in their late 70’s when they had their last formal picture made (and probably the only one in a studio). Having farmed all their life and being parents of 12, they had the gray hair, overalls, and cotton dresses that you would imagine. Well this last picture showed them smiling and looking truly happy. I asked Grandmother one time why they had such big smiles and looked so happy. Expecting to hear the wisdom of the ages, she got a far-away look, smiled and said, “T.W. pinched my butt.”

I have never forgotten that. Once when my hub and I were at a friend’s house during Christmas, the wife said, “Let’s get a picture of the two of you.” He had not been in the best of moods, so when she said, “Smile,” I pinched his butt. What we got was a picture of me with a broad grin on my face and him jumping with a startled look on his face; if the flash had been a moment later, it would have captured two people having a big laugh. We still laugh and get a warm feeling about that picture.

See there. There is life after 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 – forever if you let it happen! You only have to be young-at-heart to find love, give love and have love. No one is ever too old to want love. “I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.” Javan quotes (Iranian born American Inventor)

This is the month we talk about older heroines. If we live long enough, one day we all will be one. Yes, I do believe every woman is a heroine to someone – whether they know it or not. There is a lot to be said for experience and age.

Hopefully, one day soon, there will be romance novels that tout this wisdom. Sure, I love a young fierce heroine and a ‘he-could-be-a-Greek-God’ hero. It brings back memories, or at least an older ‘girl’ can live vicariously through them. But I also love reading that an older woman can be filled with lust, fall madly in love, take a wild chance and find true love, and a hero that sees all of that in her.

Come on publishers, wake up. You have books about young doctors, and young fierce women. Experience counts, it just does not mean you can’t act silly some time or even find a rotten love--temporarily, but experience also means that you can find that wonderful hero that will appreciate and, yes, prefer the experienced heroine and will ‘go to the ends of the earth’ for her. I can personally vouch for that.


Sandy Elzie said...

Good morning Maxine,

Touching story...and funny! I love stories about grandparents who still love, still play and still enjoy moments in life.

I, for one, choose not to be a sit-in-the-rocking-chair-on-the-porch-and-knit kind of grandmother. My 12-year old granddaughter and I compete at Wii games...and I then tell her that I'm letting her win. She knows better. (g) The point is, we have fun even though I'm almost 60. (BTW, my father-in-law told my husband when hubby was in his 20s, 'there's sex after 60' and even though I call it 'love', all I can say is...Thank the good Lord the man was right!)

Have a good day. Sandy

Natasha said...

Great post, Maxine! I love to read about older heroines. I'm going to remember that hint for picture-taking :)

Maxine Davis said...

Sandy, there's not a doubt in my mind you could beat ME at Wii. I think that's a fantastic grandmother.

Natasha, I want to see that picture!

Thank you ladies

Tami Brothers said...

I LOVE IT!!!! I can totally see your grandmother’s picture and you and your hubby. Talk about making memories.

I really do appreciate hearing these stories. My grandparents weren’t this way and I always dreaded “getting old” because I didn’t want to turn into a sour puss…grin…

Thanks for making my day!


J Perry Stone said...

I LOVE the butt-pinching stories! Both of them. I am definitely going to try that.

And I certainly agree that experience counts. I just think the pub-world thinks it's only attractive in males. Maybe an experienced female is threatening? I don't know. You all know how I feel about the "mature heroine." I actually think I may have reverse age discrimination, particularly when it comes to picking friends.

Nothing flavors a woman better than experience. And I can take women doing stupid things as long as the choice taught her something in the end.

BTW, I'm cutting and pasting this quote:

“I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.”

Wonderful post, Maxine.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Priceless story, Maxine.

Susan May said...

Just goes to show you that we are never too old to love and laugh together. Nice post.

Maxine Davis said...

Thank you for your comments.
Tami, no way will you be a sour puss. You'll be a hilarious granny.
JP glad you liked the quote.
Hi Debbie, Thanks.

Cyrano said...

Maxine, what a great post.
I laughed out loud when I read about the pinch that caused a happy smile. How cute is that?
You know, I'm actually called the pincher in my family. I pinch butts constantly, don't know why. I get my kids all the time. In fact, they're so used to my prediliction that when we're going up the stairs they turn and walk up the steps side ways because they know I'll try and get a pinch.
And I really, really liked the Javan quote you shared with us. I have a quote wall in my office and that one is priceless, it's getting tacked up after I finish this comment.
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom today.
Have a lovely morning,

Marilyn Baron said...

I loved the quote you cited and the post too. I'll have to try the butt-pinching technique for photos. Although we're already big smilers in my family.


Barbara Monajem said...

Thanks for the stories and a big smile!! I like older heroines a lot. In my favorite Jenny Crusie, Faking It, I love the fifty-something mother. Her romance is a side plot, so the space allotted to her is relatively short, but her scenes and her feelings really speak to the older woman in me.

Anna Steffl said...

Lots of things here to think about, Maxine.

Marvelous quote.

And I think you are so right that every woman is a hero to someone. It makes me feel good to think about it.

Oh, and now I know never, ever stand next to Tamara when a camera's around.

Carol Burnside said...

Your grandparents sound like great people. I guess it runs in the family. :)

Linsey Lanier said...

Adorable story, Maxine. I'll have to remember that next time I get my picture taken with hubby.

I'll also have to watch out for Tamara at M&M! She made me remember that my husband pulls that trick on me sometimes when I go upstairs... it has nothing to do with pictures...


Maxine Davis said...

Thanks ladies for the wonderful comments. Barbara, I love Jenny Crusie too! Tamara, looks like we'll make you stand on the front row for pictures;)

Everyone have a great evening.

Darcy Crowder said...

"TW pinched my butt."

Thanks for making my smile!