When I am old I shall not wear purple, like the poem, but be a woman in her 70's still wearing jeans, slogan tee-shirts and maybe a jaunty hat. I will, however, be less and less inclined to conform, to act like everyone else and I will NOT be told what to do.
The older I get (and goddamn it - I am cracking on now) the easier I seem to be wound up. The more cross I get at injustice, at process and protocol, at politics, at religion, at hierarchy and authority. Don't tell me what to do, unless it is for a very good reason and that there is plenty of evidence to back up why I need to do what you want me to do.
I am not inherently a rebel - more like a goody-two shoes and a swot in my younger years, so this bucking the trend, shouting against the system and daring to stand out doesn't come easy to me. But the older I become, the more irate and furious I feel, that it's actually hard to keep my mouth shut. I am that outspoken old lady who everyone rolls their eyes at and thinks "what's she banging on about now....?"
I get cross at my kids being told what to do. I leave them in the school playground full of barking orders. Be quiet. Stand in line. Do your exercises. Sit on the carpet. Cross your legs. Wear a uniform. Walk, don't run. Put your hand up. Be quiet. Do your maths. Be quiet. You'll go on the red. I SAID BE QUIET.
And when we had a homework meeting last week in school - so that we would be better equipped to help our children with phonemes, graphemes and split diagraphs (I know - look it up, what a nightmare), we all just nodded and did as we were told. Do this, do that and your child will read and spell miraculously. Really? WHY?
And no one could answer that. So I'm not going to do it.