One thing that I’ve enjoyed so far while working at the State Department that I never thought of before is the level of diversity. And I’m not talking about race. I’m talking about age. One of my instructors pointed out today that this is the first time in the history of the Foreign Service that there have been four generations working together. My mother would probably find it funny that I’m so excited about the older women at State since I didn’t really get along with my own grandmother after she moved in with us when I was 13. But she was bitter and mean and cranky. I guess living through the depression and two world wars will do that to you.

The women that I’ve been encountering lately are simply awesome. They’re probably in their 60s, which means they were born in the 40s, and have been working at State for decades. They’re well-groomed and sassy and articulate. Not all of them have lived overseas, but many of them have either as a direct hire or, more commonly, as a spouse. And they all have excellent manners, a creative way of swearing, and great names. Names like (and I do mean “similar to” because I’m not using their real names) Maggie Beekman, Betty Johnson, Dory Cooper. They just sound fun…like they’d all belong to the same social club or were riveters or Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs)…even if they are just a tad too young. They are inspiring nonetheless.