No Country for Old Women

Cyn Mobley
4 min readSep 5, 2021

And why you should be angry about it.

First thing I noticed in England was how many old people were out and about. Natural hair color, canes, carry bags — they were everywhere! On trains, in stores, ambling about, often as couples or in small groups, but just as frequently completely alone.

And everyone acted like it was completely normal.

It was 1981, and I’d just arrived in London, headed for Wales for an eighteen month tour of duty at NavFac Brawdy. I was 24, had been in the Navy for six years, and it was my first overseas duty station.

Now, the military is a young population. The average age of an enlisted sailor back then was around 25. By the time you hit 45, you were ancient. Like, REALLY OLD.

But it wasn’t just my military mindset. It was my American mindset.

America was different, at least as compared to England back then. We had malls, masses of cars, little public transport — you didn’t see older couples meandering down the streets, stopping in shops, waiting at the train stations — well, perhaps YOU did, but I didn’t. Old people were invisible. They were somewhere else. The contrast struck me immediately and is still a clear memory forty years later.



Cyn Mobley

Attorney, CA & TN. Retired naval officer and black belt in Isshinryu. Generally peaceful. Blogs at