NYT writer shocked to discover that old women are catty and cliquish, just like young women
What–aren’t we all supposed to be sisters?
Last summer, she moved into an independent living facility with access to a range of services and activities. She has her own apartment, with a kitchen, but can eat her meals in a dining hall. After giving her a few days to unpack and settle in, I got her on the phone. How was it going?
“Well,” Nanna began. Her apartment was lovely. The food was just fine, and there were all kinds of classes and courses to while away the hours. “Have you made any friends?” I asked, in the same chipper tone I used when my younger child returned from her first day at kindergarten.
There was a pause. Then: “They won’t let me sit at their table!” Nanna cried.
“Wait, what? Who won’t let you sit at their table?”
“You try to sit and they say, ‘That seat is taken!’ ”
“Oh, my God,” I said, instantly thrust into a painful flashback of junior high, when I walked into the cafeteria and was greeted with the sight of leather purses looped across the chair backs and the sound of one girl with dramatically plucked eyebrows announcing, “Those seats are taken!”
Here’s a hint: When anyone tells you that women are naturally more oriented toward cooperation, not competition, just laugh. Women are highly competitive over the things that matter to women: clothes, status, and men. You don’t want to be around them when those things are at stake.
Posted by Charlotte Allen