It is often said that 'old' people become invisible in the street; that we go about our daily tasks and nobody notices us, unless we dress outrageously, or sing loudly as we walk along.
We were talking about this at our Friday coffee group when one of our friends spoke about being in a shop in our little market town. The shop is a popular one , selling 'home made' cakes and pies - perfect fodder for the working men of the town, who pop in for a pie for elevenses or a cake to eat with their coffee.
She was in there waiting to be served when a young workman came blustering in, pushed in front of her and ordered his pie or whatever. She wondered whether to accost him and say that she was first, but decided against it in case she got a mouth-full of abuse. Straight afterwards, another young man, obviously a colleague, came in, joined the first young man and placed his order. All this time our friend stood waiting to be served. To add insult to injury their loud voices were peppered with foul language. She felt like telling them to curb it, but decided against it. My question is this - when the first young man pushed in front of her, should she have said 'Excuse me but I think it is my turn.' And when the second chap arrived and the bad language started, should she have told them to curb it (and risk a mouth-full aimed at her)?
Talking it over with the farmer last night, his opinion was that it should have been up to the shop assistant to a) serve my friend first and b) tell them to curb their language. This begs the questions - did she realise that my friend was first (invisibility theory at play here, although my friend does wear a red anorak), and also would the complaint about the language (to which she may be very used) just mean that they wouldn't come into the shop again and the shop would lose custom?
This kind of dilemma must be played out a dozen times every day in some shop or other. As elderly folk we really should not put up with such behaviour, but what can we do about it? I am sure my friend will be interested in what you have to say.
*On reading this through, another thought occurs to me. These two young men, most likely living in our little town anyway, have no doubt got mums and grans at home, and would not dream of using that kind of language in front of them - and most likely go our of their way to be helpful at home. So what happens to them to make them so different once they are in their working environment?