Posted by J Russell
I am too old to be trying on rubbish in the sales these days. Actually, I am too old to try on all-year round and I am a Crappy Shopper. When I shop these days, I just get distracted. I look at fabrics and listen to the music, and in some of the charity shops I eavesdrop on the old ladies who can give good value, sometimes comic.
I found myself in one such shop the day after New Year’s Day and it was heaving, with old ladies, who seemed like the whole Christmas period had starved them of human contact… I pretended to be looking at things, when actually I was completely listening to two of them having a conversation, remarkable in both its length and level of unhappiness. I think the one who said she was in her eighties broke down in tears for a brief period. It seemed to centre on the fact that she was the carer for her brother, and he just didn’t understand that she herself was not up to that much. The brother was painted as a bit of a thoughtless, or selfish, dictator, but that might just have been her low mood speaking. Far be it from me to start throwing around sexist accusations, although I confess the thought did cross my mind. Anyway, after the hankies all round moment, her friend said they should go for a cup of tea, but the woman said she’d already done that. She’d had a teacake, untoasted. She said she prefers them that way.
Old age isn’t for cissies, they say. They ain’t wrong.
I left the shop awash with the sadness of others, and probably as a direct result, made an ill-advised sales purchase elsewhere. I didn’t need to try it on either, other than hang it off my shoulder.
My other excuse for the purchase other than as an antidote to all melancholia, mine and others, is that I want to be a Cowboy. You will see me coming a mile off now.
I’ve debated the term ‘old ladies’ in my head for this blog. We don’t want to be called ladies, now do we? We are women. You can’t say old women though, can you? And if you can’t, why not? I wonder, is it something to do with men talking about their ‘old woman’…