Thursday, March 14, 2013

Perks of being a gray haired old lady

Last week someone asked how a mutual friend was doing.  The friend had been felled by a two-week long cold, the coughing exacerbated a preexisting back problem.  She was in pain but gamely trying to get around.  "She's walking around like a little old lady," I answered.  "Guess what?" said the friend.  "She is."  "So are we," I responded.  My friend concurred. 

But we weren't in pain, didn't need a cane and weren't as grumpy as this cartoon picture.  In fact, we didn't feel like "little old gray haired ladies" at all.  However there are times when I "play the little old lady card," as I did yesterday when I was mightily frustrated by the modern engineering of my car.  I've been trying to set the car clock ahead an hour.  I managed to make a general mess of the dashboard info.  Instead of changing the time, I changed it to a 24-hour read out -- I don't want to have to subtract 12 from anything from 13 onward.  I had somehow changed the speedometer from MPH to KPH which totally threw me when I saw I was going 55 in a 35 mile zone. And I'd added some fuel consumption rate data I was entirely uninterested in having there.  I needed help because I had no idea what the manual was trying to tell me.

So I stopped in the dealership which is about half a mile away (part of the reason I wanted a Honda) and went to the speedy service desk, said I was embarrassed at my ignorance but could someone help me set the clock.  A man gallantly, and immediately, went out to my car, told me what to do (as if I'll remember next time?) and within two minutes my dashboard was restored to usability.  To tell the truth, I was not embarrassed at all. I've learned that people are nice to helpless white haired ladies, at least where I live.  I never put on the grumpy face and am always very grateful.  I'm grateful, too, when people of all ages and genders open doors for me or are otherwise thoughtful and kind as they might not be to someone they consider an contemporary.  I've tried to be nice  and polite to people all my life and it's very nice to have earned this payback.  A smile help.



Yes, a smile helps in most situations. Where I live I have noticed a special kindness from folks when they are dealing with older citizens. I don't look at it as patronizing rather community caring. -- barbara

June Calender said...

That's right, Barbara, I don't feel patronized. I suppose some urban settings might be less attentive, but even in Manhattan when I looked (and was) younger I found people generally kind. What's different is that I am no longer embarrassed to ask for help which is very freeing.

Gale said...

I also use my age to my benefit. Whenever I walk into a store and the person at the door asks if I need help, I always say 'yes' now. I never would have done that a few years ago. And when I am talking to a salesclerk I begin the conversation with, 'talk to me like I'm your mother' . It works great!

June Calender said...

"Talk to me like I'm your mother" is a line I must remember any time I'm in a computer store or buying any kind of electronic item. Thanks, Gale.