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Crazy Lady
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As I went walking that ribbon of highway sidewalk, I began to hum and then to sing softly, stepping along in time to the music.

I suppose it would be more socially acceptable if I were plugged into an iPod, the way so many of the other walkers seem to be. But I'm just a crazy old lady who has the music in her head and likes to sing along with it.

And, I imagine, one of these days I'll be in the situation where I risk being profiled as a crazy old lady for real, given my penchant for singing and quoting poetry and my offbeat sense of humor. When people don't get the joke, they look at me funny, as though maybe I've lost my marbles. Never occurs to them that maybe I'm just making connections--or puns--or abstract conclusions that they don't "get". One of the hazards of being intelligent, having a classical education is that I have referents and sources which are sometimes pretty obscure. Arcane, even.

It was different when I was younger. People were amused or bemused and gave me some latitiude. Now they see a gray head and a few wrinkles and a rounded figure and say to themselves, "Crazy old lady." I am probably at the age where I'd best keep my bon mots to myself, unless they fall into the acceptable categories of the weather, food, and so forth. Anything abstract or intellectual is too threatening. What people don't understand, they fear.

I think it's called profiling.

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