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Becoming Miss Gulch

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.

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Comments
19 Comment count
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Homegrown

The only good thing about my hometown experience is that once I was out, I never had to (or even wanted to) look back. And I'm guessing, given the the degree to which I never fit anyway, no one missed me much either.

I think I was always just a flying monkey.

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I'll yield to others' comments on your self-characterization

If I admit to being fond of flying monkeys, I'll feel as though I've begun to morph into her green-skinned counterpart in Oz.

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Just remember you're a fun

Just remember you're a fun Miss Gulch!--although in this day and age, Big Cities don't care and it seems Small Towns have nothing else to occupy their minds . .

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I think I was becoming Miss Gulch even as a small child

I used to ride around town on my bike even then, with our toy poodle in the basket. Admittedly, the basket was attached to the handlebars and wasn't covered, but still . . . 

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I feel a twinge in my heart,

I feel a twinge in my heart, reading this, Jane.

Promise me you'll watch a film called Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

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I haven't begun to turn green, yet

Katia,

I haven't begun to turn green yet, or lured any small children into my oven. I think I'm safe.

xox

Jane

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Go Gulch! Feisty Gulch wins

Go Gulch! Feisty Gulch wins in the end. mx

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No one's dropped a house on me, yet!

I suppose it could still happen, but I sorta doubt it. 

Thanks for your support!

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Beautiful, Jane!

There's nothing that excites me more and fills me with new life than riding my bike on the streets of Cape May, NJ. I'm usually alone. I too wonder if the neighbors are musing where I'm headed to or from while the sea breeze replenishes  me. Sometimes I have my handbag crossed over my shoulder, other times, just a water bottle in my basket, or a letter to take to the post office. This is my joy that I'm grateful to still do in my sixties. I am living. I am thriving here.  I'd like to think that others see my love. I am one with you and my bike. 

Jane, it would be twice as much fun and more bike rides along side of you. However, from this day forwards you'll always be riding with me in my heart.

Thank you so much! Love this. :-)

Love,

Catherine

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm often asked if I own a car

Catherine,

If one old lady on is bike is scary, two would be postively terrifying, particularly if they were laughing!

I'm glad you enjoyed this. Thanks!

xox

Jane

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Way to go, Ms Gulch!

Great blog and despite a scintilla of of regret about your past, your individual humanity shines through - your cogent articles our reward. Thank you, Jane, sorry Ms Gulch - political correctness, don't you know! 

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Regrets

Nicholas,

As always, thanks for your insightful and witty comments! 

xox

Jane

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This is so beautiful, Jane.

This is so beautiful, Jane. I'm smiling ear to ear! I can't imagine you as a Miss Gulch to be weary of, not with your lovely, friendly smile.

I'll be sure to mention you when we sit down to dinner tonight. x

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Smiling

Moni,

I'm grinning, too.

Thanks.

Jane

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I love Miss Gulch

She's my favorate character in those early scenes in the movie.  Well, before we see her true colors, I should add.  Then she becomes my favorite character in the whole damn movie!  So misunderstood.

But, you know, she was self-sufficient, got what she wanted, didn't need to rely on others for transportation, wore a nice hat, and all the while terrorized the countryside. You go, girl!

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I'm having a little trouble engaging my inner Gulch

Anne,

I think it may be a little late to entertain such aspirations, but you may be right about Miss Gulch being misunderstood.

Thanks!

Jane 

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I knew I was missing something!

Anne,

I hadn't even thought of  wearing a nice hat!

Will that prevent the bananas from turning black when I enter the produce aisle?

Must go now. I have little children in the oven!

Thanks!

Miss Gulch

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Well, I don't think it's

Well, I don't think it's possible for you to turn into Miss Gulch unless you want to. I, like Catherine, am always on my bike too; it brings me much pleasure. Especially going to the grocery store, especially if it becomes fodder for dinner conversation. So now I will think of you when I bike around town. Well, probably not until spring, since I don't bike on ice. What would that be called? Other than a mistake!

Time to visualize how you want your life to be and appear on the inside and out. And go for it. I do this regularly. But especially when I'm in a rut, or when I think things are not going as planned. I hope your visualization includes a bike!

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Uh oh

Eva,

During the last horrific windstorm,  I decided it would be far scarier to be trapped in my basement  than it would be to have a house fall on me. 

Anne may be right, after all. 

As long as you're laughing around the dinner table with your family, I don't think you stand a chance of becoming Miss Gulch, either.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Jane