Monday, 8 March 2010

Never too old

My lunchtime scurry yesterday took me into a charity shop and I overheard two elderly ladies conversation. It went like this:

Not-so-elderly lady: Did you do anything for your birthday at the weekend?
Definitely-older-elderly lady: No! (Loud and defiant)
Not-so: Oh. You didn’t go out?
Definitely-older: No! (Long drawn out ‘no’ suggesting stupid question)
Not-so: Oh. (Voice suggests wariness of proceeding)
Definitely-older: No point celebrating birthdays when you get to my age (laughs, but sounds sad).

What a shame to get to live so long and feel like that. She could have got herself a film to watch, a nice dinner, a bunch of flowers, listened to favourite music, ate some chocolates. Why rely on other people for these things? Who knows what happened in her life that made her so defiantly bitter but it does seem a pity. Framing it better might have led to a more pleasant conversation with her friend:

Not-so-elderly lady: Did you do anything for your birthday at the weekend?
Definitely-older-elderly lady: Yes, I didn’t go out but made a day of it indoors.
Not-so: Oh. That sounds nice!
Definitely-older: It was, and the sun was shining. Makes a difference doesn’t it? (Smiles)
Not-so: Oh I agree! (Voice suggests settling in for a long chat)
Definitely-older: Always worth celebrating birthdays, whatever age you are (laughs, and means it).

Sigh. I wish I could rewrite things for people, sometimes.


Karen said...

You've actually made me rethink my rather grumpy feelings about birthdays since I passed a 'certain' age! Life, however old you are, is worth celebrating and infinitely better than the alternative :o)

Talli Roland said...

I agree with Karen - thanks for the reminder to celebrate my upcoming birthday!

Bring on the champagne!

Donna Hosie said...

I don't celebrate per se, but I do think it is the perfect excuse for a day off, champagne, oodles of chocolates and a Pride & Prejudice dvd!

You can never be too old for that!

Rose said...

no that is a bit sad isn't it- I would have thought the older you get the more point there is in celebrating!

Eeleen Lee said...

thanx for visiting

Wow I didn;t know that Whiter Shade of Pale referenced the Canterbury Tales heheh thanx for telling.

Eliza said...

Great post, I keep having to remind myself that I'm not too old :-)

Jayne said...

Hello Karen. I agree - infinitely better!


Hello Talli! Champagne at the ready. :)


Hello Donna. I think it is nice to mark the day with something enjoyable, whether it is a big celebration or just something that makes you happy. Definitely the P&P DVD!


Hello Rose. I know, it just felt so desperately sad. I should have got the lady some chocolates or something, just sprung a little present on her. At least then she'd remember the birthday a stranger gave her a present!


Hello Ee Leen! It's a rather oblique reference - the song carries the lyrics 'as the miller told his tale' - which is to do with the Canterbury Tales, as far as I know anyway!


Hi Eliza - and do! Never too old, me dear. I have to tell myself that too. :)