Friday, October 21, 2011

Old Fashioned

On one of those blustery days earlier this week, we tellers were frequently chatting with customers about the chilly weather, the grayness, turning on our furnaces or not. One customer said, "We didn't turn on the furnace yet. This is good weather for cuddling up with the old woman."

"The old woman." Gary has never called me that. I don't think Dad ever called Mom that. I don't think Gramp ever called Nanna that. I don't think I've ever heard one of my friends refer to his wife as "the old woman." Maybe "my better half." Maybe "my sweetie." Often "my wife." But never "the old woman." I find that a rather offensive moniker.

The gal that I was working with said after the customer left, "Wow, I didn't realize he was so old-fashioned." I was puzzled. Why would she call him old-fashioned? I racked my brain to come up with something he had done or said that would peg him as "old-fashioned." When I asked, she said she didn't much care for it when a man calls his wife "the old woman."

I agree with that.

But where did she get that that was "old-fashioned"?

I guess I tend to think that "old-fashioned" is generally a good thing, whereas my co-worker must think it's a bad thing.


  1. You know, I'm now not sure if my dad used this or not. I do know he would use "woman" in a sort of amazed/disgusted (although that is too harsh sounding) tone when mom had done something not quite smart.

    And I'm not sure I find it offensive. It can be yes, but I seem to recall hearing it in a loving way, and then again, maybe I chose to hear it in that way.

  2. Glenda, I can hear in my mind the tone of "woman" that you're talking about. And you're right, that doesn't usually bother me. And I agree that it depends on the tone of voice, whether it's said in a loving way. But when it sounds like "this is my ball&chain" I feel uneasy hearing it.

  3. Agreed Susan. It would make me uneasy to hear it as a ball&chain type sound as well.

  4. I think maybe she was referring to the "staying warm by snuggling up" as being old fashioned, not the offensive language he used. I can remember my grandparents talking a lot about snuggling to keep warm in the winter time in North Dakota.

    Kristine Dent