I was out for a walk alone yesterday when I bumped into my postman — we’ll call him “Benedetto” to protect his identity — and after exchanging the requisite “Heyas,” he asked me how my “Old Lady” was doing.

I stopped for a moment and wondered if he was talking about my mother.

Benedetto is an older Black guy ready for retirement after 37 years of service, and I’m a little younger and a Pale White Boy.

“My Old Lady?” I asked back.

“Yeah!  Your WIFE!,” he shouted back at me, even though we were less than a foot apart.

I told him using the “Old Lady” moniker for my wife would likely get him a punch in the stomach — not from me — but from my wife!

He laughed and said, “Everyone calls their wife, ‘Old Lady.'”

I told him I thought we were experiencing a cultural disconnect — because people I hang out with would never call their wife an “Old Lady.”

Benedetto laughed from his gut, “Okay, so how’s the ‘Young Woman?'”

I laughed back and smiled, “Now that will get you a kiss on the cheek — not from me — but from my wife!”

19 Comments

    1. Hi Elizabeth!

      Thanks for your comment. Do you think “Old Lady” is derogatory slang or a term of affection?

      When I shared the story with my wife last night, she laughed about it and said our postman was likely a “child of the 60s” when “Old Lady” was more in vogue in our common vernacular.

  1. I will say that I have near been offended by the term “old lady” however those that do use those words generally do so out of sincere affection for their “old lady” 🙂 now I would find it odd for someone else to refer to another mans’ “wife” as “old lady” but if they do it is usually due to the husbands use of the term. Who knows what every man thinks but for me, I was raised with the terms “wife” and “husband”. For the record my parents have been married for 49 years this year and I have not heard my father ever refer to my mother as his “old lady”. It truly depends on how the person was raised. As for me, I hope my future husband never refers to me as his “old lady” when making introductions. Perhaps it is just the term “old” that is offensive. Either way at some point, we’ve gotta “get over ourselves” and appreciate any kindness we are blessed with each day as we grow “old”. Thank you for sharing.

    1. If my wife is my “Old Lady” that makes me her “Old Man,” right? I say “Ick!” to that! I think it’s all pejorative and derogatory.

      I have heard some guys in the streets introduce their wives and girlfriends using, “Hey, this is my Bitch.” Which, I suppose, is much worse in every way than “Old Lady.”

  2. One more note David. I have been referred to as “young Lady” nearly my entire life. With that said, it is clear if the term “old Lady” is found offensive it is due to the “young Lady” offended at having grown old enough to have earned the title. One must also consider the tone in which those words are spoken. Tones usually sound clear as a bell. 🙂

  3. Wow! Were our ancestors so rebellious to the Crown that they actually laid a foundation for countless generations to continue on the same path? I hate the term “bitch” due to the fact that its meaning is “female dog”. It is offensive on the literary stand. However, if the Olde English referred to “lady” as “bitch” then it looks like the younger generations are speaking more truth or revealing the truth more than we realize! It is offensive to me on behalf of Princess Diana and every royal who holds the title “Lady” as we “females” are simply “female men” known as “woman”. I think even God said “Wo”, at least we know Adam did as he was the one who named Eve. I think it is evident that we as a people lack much knowledge about where this word or that title stems from, therefore it is safe to say attitude says it all. I am sure those who refer to their loved one as “my bitch” are clearly aware that their females are not offended. Diversity barely explains the character pie in this age. I am not easily amused and so easily offended at times. God knows I would be shocked and appalled to be introduced as “this is my female dog,Elizabeth” 🙂 smile or no smile tone or no tone…manners matter and as for me I am a female man plain and simple. 🙂

    1. You make an important point about cultural sensitivity, Elizabeth — and how “bitch” can be accepted in one culture and disdained by another — and that makes one wonder how can we effectively communicate if we hold such different cultural values on any meaningful topic?

  4. This is where “kindness” becomes the communicator. Understanding for the sensitivity of others becomes our duty. Therefore making love the law,creating justice, which is simply the truth in action.

  5. I am one who hates the term when I hear others use it due to it simply being used out of context. Bitch as defined is a female dog. Me and my peculiarity have caused me to disassociate from some as some of my ways may cause others to disassociate from me. Regardless, disrespect,dishonor,assaulting, insulting and appalling surroundings cause mankind to naturally find their “peace of mind” away from such things. Education is the key here, hand in hand with patience. For me personally when I learn new facts I strive to hold onto that knowledge and carry myself accordingly. This whole conversation truly changes much as now I must think twice before referring to young girls as young ladies. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He said “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. It all comes down to the intent of the heart whether it is care that is the intention or destruction its goal. The challenge is understanding. 🙂

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.