I’m Becoming a Bitter Old Crone and No One Can Stop Me

in praise of the bitter crone man repeller

This year I am making a personal vow to embrace my grudge-holding nature and fully step into myself by becoming an old crone. Not a witch, mind you — a crone. I don’t want to cast spells or enact vengeance, I’m far too afraid of confrontation for that. Instead, I will collect my grudges, tend to them, purposefully move from moody into disagreeable and just generally hang on to the sort of seething resentment that has been proven time and time again to be truly unhealthy*. I’ve given up meat but I’ve taken up muttering. This year is already looking up.

There’s a sort of wisdom to being a crone — a world-weariness that one might say has befallen me before my time. But with this world we’re currently living in, I feel like it’s right on track. In various myths and stories, crones are occasionally helpful, you just never know what you’re going to get. And why not keep people guessing? For better or for worse, I’ve come to think of my anger as a privilege for me to bestow upon others: I must really care about you if I’m taking the time to hash things out rather than stir a pot of stones and sing a song of your demise (that’s how that story goes right?).

But enough about me, let’s talk about my grudges! A new year is upon us according to the Gregorian calendar and I have been blessed with a bounty of small annoyances upon which to place my self-contained ire. Here’s a tasty sample platter of a few of my favorite grudges, feast upon them with your eyes!

Grudge #1: My friend Andy

Andy introduced me to this bonkers show called Instant Hotel and I’ve already lost four good hours and will lose plenty more. Thanks Andy, you big jerk.

Grudge #2: You know what, all of my friends except for Haley Nahman

Every fall since 2011, I’ve spread as much autumnal joy as humanly possible by posting my favorite fall article: “It’s Decorative Gourd Season Motherfuckers.” And every year I’ve waited for one of my friends to gift me the accompanying decorative gourd seasonal mug. After complaining about it out loud, numerous times, Haley bought it for me. So I guess I’m actually holding a grudge against Haley, for exposing the flaws in all of my friendships.

Grudge #3: Dogs

2019 is the year I stand in my truth, and my truth is that I don’t care for them. They get away with too much. Maybe I don’t begrudge dogs themselves, but the lives of luxury they get to lead while contributing very little to society.

Grudge #4: Street spitters

We aren’t even halfway through January and I have had to dodge two spitballs already. There’s a direct line between street spitting and endless sniffing (my longest held grudge) that could all be solved by responsibly blowing one’s nose. A pox upon all of these tissue-averse monsters roaming the streets.

Grudge #5: Chin hairs

Evergreen complaint. How do they sneak up so fast? How is it some of them only show up in certain lights? WHY ARE THEY SO THICK. Why do I feel the need to remove them? So much to unpack here, and by unpack I mean pack into a tiny ball of rage I will store in the bottom left quadrant of my stomach until I die.

Grudge #6: Barbara Walters and everyone involved in 20/20

I should have been the host of this show. Did I audition? No. Did I deserve this job? No. Have I watched 20/20 at any point since 1998? No. But still. I want to travel back in time, be an adult, usurp Barbara Walters and frighten a generation of children with tales of carnival rides gone awry and dressing room attendants who are definitely watching you take your shirt off.

Grudge #7: People who write mean things under Tina Knowles Lawson’s Instagram

Why would you come for her when she’s given the world so much? She is a beautiful, hilarious woman in her own right, a testament to the power of leaving a man who doesn’t appreciate you to find real love AND she’s Blue Ivy’s grandmother. Why are you fixing your fingers like that? I’m annoyed but know that these people will be judged by a higher power, so I’m not worried.

Grudge #8: Time

It is relentless and unceasing and I am NOT a fan.

Grudge #9: The person at the grocery store who looked at me judgmentally while I was inspecting some Gala apples

If I’m being charged by the weight of these apples, I want to make sure that I can eat the entire apple. Good for you for looking beyond bruises and aesthetic imperfections, but apples are my one source of joy in this world and I will be as picky as I please.

Grudge #10: The state of California

My number one arch-nemesis is the city of Portland, Oregon. I realized in 2018 that I was getting too comfortable and needed to expand my portfolio of geographical grudges, annoyances and grievances. Enter…the entire state of California. It steals my friends. Walking upon its grounds is a dance with death. I imagine it to be full of coyotes at all times and it’s been skating on its size for far too long. California is Alexander Hamilton and I am Aaron Burr and while I know this will not end well for me, I’m still ready and willing to fight it.

If your reaction to people encouraging you to become more open or to welcome challenges into your life is to skulk away into the shadows, I invite you to join me (remotely) in this new crone lifestyle! All you need is a healthy dose of skepticism, an obvious and off-putting scowl and underlying and unrelenting desire to be left alone.

*Please note that I am working through a lot of these things in therapy, that doesn’t mean I like it though!!!!!!!!

Collage by Emily Zirimis.

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor is the Editor of Clever. She can frequently be found knocking things over in the greater New York City area.

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