1. Muriel is one of the most spirited, funny and insightful people you’re likely to follow.
She also happens to be 94 years old. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she now lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her almost-9-year-old Yorkie, Tiger (a recurring figure in her tweets), and as of Thursday has 24,985 Twitter followers.
“My Young Friend put me on Twitter,” she told me in an email, “because she was going back to Los Angeles and knew I would miss her company.” The “Young Friend” in question is comedian and animal rights activist Elayne Boosler and she’s a common character in Muriel’s tweets as well. Boosler is the founder of Tails of Joy, a nationwide animal rescue and advocacy organization, and Muriel helps raise money by selling her quilts through the nonprofit’s website.
“She chains me in the cellar until I come up with at least five new quilted wall hangings a month for her to use for fundraising,” Muriel said. “I didn’t really start quilting until my seventies, so I have a lot of items to make before she’ll let me out. Truly, I love animals, and being able to do something I love, like creating warm and beautiful things, which also save lives, is a wonderful thing.”
3. She tweets about things like food and quilting (clearly).
I just finished cooking dinner for fifty people, even though only six are coming.— Muriel B
My Young Friend took me to a vegetarian restaurant. Horrible! Lol, sorry, but it’s true.— Muriel B
I marvel at ur joy of “fresh organic natural foods”. U cannot imagine OUR JOY at new canned goods! Freedom, flavor & saved time LOL!— Muriel B
(“I will confess that sometimes I use a boxed mix in baking,” Muriel told me. “We loved when cans and mixes came in, we wanted time out of the house. You enjoy your organic, cooking from the ground up ‘indigenous ingredients,’ Tiger and I are going to the park.”)
9. But she’s also not afraid to talk politics.
I made it to 94 without ever shooting anyone, and I’ve lived through 6 wars.— Muriel B
Ugh. If I were still teaching I would put congress in the corner. Of Russia.— Muriel B
International Women’s Day. One day women will take over and we’ll let the men have one international day.— Muriel B
If some gun control isn’t passed, I’m going 2 get every1 over 90 2 buy guns. How safe will the bigshots feel when we’re fumbling around lol!— Muriel B
13. And Twitter.
Thank u 4 #FF me, but I have to say I don’t always know where I’m going.— Muriel B
Twitter may verify you, but you’ll have to justify yourself.— Muriel B
Dear Friends, so wish I could do the #FFs but arthritis fingers rebel. All who share daily luv, ideas, joy, should b followed!— Muriel B
I’m not quite sure but I think I’m “live tweeting” right now.— Muriel B
I am truly thankful for twitter restoring my hearing. I can be in a crowd again! :)— Muriel B
18. And pop culture.
I don’t feel so old now, knowing Lady GaGa needs a new hip!— Muriel B
Youtube must b a govt plot. While the govt fiddles & steals, we’re all ahhing at cats.— Muriel B
I have to love Downton Abbey for so many older woman characters who r smart, funny & non cliche. Nice 2 have role models at 94.— Muriel B
21. And her age.
Great 2 b my age. 2nite I’ll leave out a big box of chocolates to surprise myself in the morning, and I will be surprised! LOL.— Muriel B
If any1 had told me in 1918 I’d be welcoming in 2013 I’d have said, Well of course! Maybe that’s why I am.— Muriel B
Good news. U look 4 your glasses which r on top of your head only in your 70’s. In your 90’s, you’ve forgotten u have glasses.— Muriel B
At 94 & in good health, want u 2 know I’ve never bought a bottle of water in my life. #waterisfree,whatnext,buyair?— Muriel B
Oops! Broke my own rule. I never say “in my day”, because this is still my day!— Muriel B
As for what these 25,000 followers have brought Muriel, she said, “I’ve met lots of wonderful people on Twitter, people I might not have met elsewhere. Twitter seems to work best as a conversation, not a monologue, just like life.” Her children don’t tweet, although “they think it’s wonderful that it has given me so much pleasure. They are amazed that I have so many followers since they don’t listen to me at all.”
“The only other thing I hope people will consider, especially young people,” she told me, “is to always vote, never underestimate pickles and olives, and using cans or mixes is just fine.”