Based on the posts I have made on various websites, and the articles I’ve written here and elsewhere, I want you to think for a minute about what I might look like. Tall/short? Fat/thin? Sitting wrapped in blankets because I save on the heating to spend more money on preps?
It’s easy to think of female preppers as ruddy cheeked, wild haired women who can their own produce in the morning, home school the kids in the afternoon and spend their free time collecting seeds and foraging for wild mushrooms. Living in the middle of a city of more than a million people, this would probably, at a minimum lead to me being investigated by social services and at a maximum see me carted off to a security facility for the mentally ill.
We are all guilty of stereotyping in one way or another, we all have prejudices in some form or another. The question is, is it prudent to judge a book by its cover? I don’t think so, but that could well be me feeling a little confused, and indeed irritated by a few comments I’ve had recently.
I’ve never been one to lie about my age, so during a playground conversation at my daughters school (I am by far the oldest mom in the playground) where the age of the head teacher cropped up…to be followed by calling her an ‘old biddy’ I was somewhat irked as I happen to know we are the same age. I pointed this out only to be met by blank stares and then hoots of laughter…not quite the response I’d hoped for I have to say. It turned out they were laughing because they though I was joking, nobody at all had me pegged as being in my 50’s. I was no longer irked, I was happy, very happy.
I was called an ‘airhead’ this week by a chap who enquired if I could actually read road signs or was that beyond me? He was quite polite about it to be fair, so I was quite polite back and responded that men of his age driving cars like that usually did so to make up for what they lacked in the bedroom, he was very fast with his response ” women like you usually drive cars like that because they are the mistress of a man who can afford to buy them one” How rude. I continued pushing my way into the lane I actually wanted to be in order to get where I wanted to go…..
I have been told by HE WHO THINKS HE SHOULD BE OBEYED that I absolutely positively can’t have a really beautiful handbag I have seen, he says I have so many that if I sold them and gave the money to government I could reduce the national debt by a substantial amount. This is entirely untrue. He is just worried because I will want the shoes to go with the bag.
On deciding to try out contact lenses my eldest who is 32 asked why I was worried about not wearing eye make up at my age. Bloody cheek. I can’t see to put it on wearing glasses so I want lenses. Simple.
My youngest (aged 8 ) thinks I was around when dinosaurs walked the Earth so enough said about that.
The list goes on, each view adding a piece to the jigsaw that is me. Little chunks that viewed in isolation fail to give a view of the whole picture…and lead to stereotyping that’s based on what a person has seen or heard. For example I was chided for the amount of typos I made on shtfplan, until they got to know me a little and now they just tell me to file my nails down a bit.
The point of all this is simple. We are all different things to different people, few people outside of our immediate family ever see the whole picture of who we are, what we believe in, what we stand for. To the purist prepper I will NEVER make the grade. It’s stacked against me. I live in the city, I don’t spend every penny on prepping, I don’t spend every waking moment prepping either, and I have no intention of doing so. I like handbags and long nails and I love my car, especially if the weather allows the roof down. I like my blonde highlights and I like my winter sun holidays, I have no intention of giving them up until I have to, and we all know I will have to and possibly sooner rather than later. To others my mindset means I am not a prepper at all. Others may regard me as a good prepper just because I have more stuff stashed than they do, or because I have medical knowledge. It all depends on which bit of me they have formed their opinions on.
Prepping is a lifestyle choice, just like anything else and being awake and aware, to me at least does not preclude have a two week holiday that has been worked and saved for. It doesn’t mean I can’t look after my hair and nails, one does not preclude the other.
Painted nails don’t stop me scrambling into the loft to store my new items. Well groomed hair does not prevent me hunting for meat bargains and cooking daily from scratch. Driving a nice car does not stop me prepping for the lean, maybe desperate times I think we will face in the future.
Life is for the living and prepping helps me enjoy my life. It keeps me grounded, it’s very nature makes me aware of what’s happening not just in my little bubble but in the world as a whole. It allows me to enjoy a holiday in the knowledge that it may well be the last one we have. Prepping for tomorrow helps me live for today, to appreciate what I have because I know that in the not too distant future I probably will have no more than what’s stored in the loft and many very happy memories.