She was old, tiny, and somewhat stooped, but she was wearing trainers and moved pretty spryly for her age. As I approached the red light at the intersection, she scurried out to cross in front of me and shot a defensive glance at me. I was moving very slowly and obviously coming to a stop so I was a bit offended that she would think herself in danger from me. To my left was a very large Waste Management truck. I saw the pedestrian light counting down and realized she had jumped into the intersection on the big red “Do Not Walk” hand. As she passed in front of the truck, he shifted gears, rumbled, and moved about two inches forward.
The moral of this story is that being old does not mean you can break all the rules. Of course, no one would run her over, and I’ll never know if it was done on purpose. But twenty minutes later I am still laughing at the look on her face.
As a post script, at my advanced age I am trying to walk the fine line between breaking a rule for the fun of it and breaking one because I think I am somehow untouchable because of my age. When your hip hurts and your kids haven’t called for a week, I imagine it is easy to feel entitled…but you’re not.
One more thing, thinking back on it, she looked remarkably like the old woman I watched “sample” at least a third of a pound of cherries at the nearby Farmer’s Market.