There’s a five letter word that I have grown up with but I have grown to hate.
A word that rolled off my tongue effortlessly, when I saw a lady that fit my definition of old which usually meant she wore lipstick and had breasts. I instantly rechristened her Aunty. The world seemed just as normal as mamma, papa or bhaiya. I never thought that this seemingly innocent word could redefine you. Aunty =officially old.
Even though I am at a legit aunty age, I casually use this noun as an adjective that describes other women that aren’t “cool”. No, you can’t wear that. Do you want to look like an aunty? * Friend throws dress in the corner and opts for the sluttiest outfit* We air high five, she takes a selfie.
I decided I didn’t like the word anymore when I became an aunty. I admit that it’s been happening for years now. A cherub girl, toothless with an adorable lisp will turn into a demon child the second she tugs on my sleeve and says, hi aunty. Aunty?! I look over my shoulder. Was she talking to me? When the hell did I became an aunty? Aren’t I still young-ish? Do I not have that youthful glow. Oh wait, that’s just the instagram filter. Dang it.
My beautiful cousin was recently reduced to an aunty by a man who looked like, well, an uncle. She was taken aback and immediately pulled her hair into a tight pony tail and muttered fuck you and stabbed his left nut with her stiletto. (That never happened but I would have clapped.)
She has kids and aunties of her own but when she’s got red lipstick on, the last thing she needs is AUNTY raining on her parade, reminding her that she is in her fifties.
I doubt that I’ll ever come to terms with that word and respond with a gentle yes, beta. I think it will always sting. I'm all about aging gracefully without ever feeling like an “aunty” although chances are I'll hear that word for years to come, until I reach the maata phase. Then aunty won’t sound so bad.