(with big apologies to Jenny Joseph)
Warning to Myself
When I am an old woman I shall remember
that if I am a grumpy old biddy, it's not everyone else's fault.
I shall not grump about every little thing in the store
because it was better fifty years ago.
I shall not take up two parking spaces
and give other drivers dirty looks if I stole one from them
and scream at my home health aide
and expect others to solve my mood problems.
I will remember that these younger people are adults too
and someday they will pick my nursing home
and be nice to them.
I can wear terrible clothes and grow very fat
and eat unhealthy foods that make me sicker
and refuse to exercise, and hasten my demise
but I shall not demand that medical science rescue me from myself if I do.
I will remember that the younger people in my life
have heard my stories a dozen times before
and I will stop if they look very bored or like they are faking interest.
If I recognize it, anyway.
Maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and remember to be nice.
And, when I am old,
I shall have my grandchildren re-read this to me
so I remember what I said.