I'm an older woman occasionally seen riding a bicycle in town. I ride with a purpose, as if I'm going somewhere, which I am, or I wouldn't be riding my bicycle. I don't have a husband, a boyfriend or a social life.
There's no question. I've become Miss Gulch.
If there are families who sit down for dinner together any more, families who talk at the dinner table as we did long ago, when I (Miss Gulch, that is) was young, I'm sure my name comes up more often that I'd like. If Grandma or Grandpa are present, they reassure the children I'm not dangerous, but Mom and Dad aren't as sure and caution the kids to be wary.
I didn't want to be Miss Gulch and I didn't set out to become Miss Gulch, but I am, admittedly, despite all my best efforts, Miss Gulch. I deliberately use my married name, including the "Mrs." Title, because old ladies who don't have husbands scare the living daylights out of everyone. The third Mrs. Wilson apparently learned this, because she's begun using both her surnames as an assurance that she is still married. She has no intention of becoming Miss Gulch.
I tried making a list of the pros and cons of being Miss Gulch. I drew a line down the center of a piece of paper and labeled the columns. When the first word that entered my head was "toenails," I realized there is nothing about being Miss Gulch that's favorable.
When I think about it, I've been in training to be Miss Gulch for a really long time. I didn't make frequent visits home when I was in college because although I had a car, I didn't have a boyfriend to bring with me. Eventually my parents implored me to come home with my laundry.
My graduation from college was so humiliating I couldn't attend. I'd not only finished college, I'd received a Bachelor's degree instead of an engagement ring. I returned home in disgrace and moved in with my grandmother. I was a young Miss Gulch then and still cringed when I was told, "You're so wonderful with children. It's a shame you never married."
At 22 years old my options were limited, but in retrospect, I realize how fortunate I was to have a living, partially blind grandmother with a spare room and a car she no longer drove. I was still a young Miss Gulch, but at least I didn't have to ride my bicycle when it was raining.
It was inevitable. Becoming Miss Gulch was my destiny.