“Deputies Kill a Fla. Grandmother Armed With Gun”
“Grandmother Defeats Home Invader”
“Slamming Granny: Grandmothers for Peace Get Hard Time”
“Australian Grandmother Fights Shark”
These are just a few headlines from print and broadcast stories of late. In addition, The Washington Post reported recently that “Donna M. George was a grandmother living in a gated community in Fredericksburg when she sold prescription drugs out of her kitchen — while babysitting for her three grandchildren.”
I am not sure precisely what image the news media are trying to conjure by naming Grandmother in the headlines but I am pretty sure it’s not me or my peers. While I am not yet a grandmother, plenty of my friends in their 40s and 50s are. If they did anything newsworthy, why would their grandmother-hood be of note?
No, I suspect the image the media are after is the stooped over, gingham-clad lady with a gray bun atop her doddering little head. You know, Tweety Bird’s Granny. It’s that lady’s role in a crime or act of heroism that makes the story all the more sensational.
I have news for headline writers. Today’s Grandmother looks like I do. No gingham shirt dress, no bun. Today’s granny wears low rise jeans and a ponytail. She listens to Christina Aguilera, pops her gum and says “I’m like” when she means “I said.” While, admittedly, she may eat a few more prunes than she used to, she also runs marathons and goes to wine tastings. She might even write a blog.