Saturday, March 21, 2015

Strangers

I live quietly.  I like it that way.  I enjoy the interactions with my Monday Tai Chi class.  One hour of exercise followed by gathering at a local cafe for lunch.  A cheerful bunch of women. 

When I go to the gym on Wednesdays, I enjoy my session more if one of two favourite young people are on the desk.  Those two remember my name, give broad smiles and like to share a laugh.

I look forward to stretching with Lu on Fridays.  We chat and laugh as she puts me through my stretches.

So I have a few regular activities that give me interactions with other adults.  But my day is made when there's a totally unexpected connection with a stranger.  

Like last Tuesday.  I was going to a movie theatre that I haven't attended for quite some time.  I drove past and around the corner before I realised I'd been in the right street, so it was once more around the block before finding a park. Pretty good going for me.  I walked up the street past a tall scruffy youth with his grubby red back to front baseball cap, slouching on a plant box clutching his skate board.  Looked a bit sullen and morose.  

While I was noticing the lad I wasn't noticing where I was going and got to the corner all befuddled.  I hadn't found the theatre.  Turned around and went back to where I thought it should be.  No theatre.  Hmmm.  

It was after 5.30 pm but a young lady was decorating a shop window with the shop door ajar so I stuck my head in and asked for her help, telling her with my best nice old lady chuckle that I couldn't remember where the theatre was.  I got no further before she rushed to my side with a big smile, lead me outside and pointed that is was right next door.  The entrance was right in front of the lazing youth.  Last time I was there a food court had been there, now there is a narrow corridor leading to stairs up to the theatre.  I thanked the lass, telling her to stay young as long as she could because getting old is a real bugger. 

The idle youth became interested and when I came level with him remarked that he's done the same thing, walked right past the entrance and he was only 18.  I actually looked at him this time and he was smiling broadly and kindly.  He added there was a lift near the stairs if I didn't want to climb the stairs and did I want him to help me?  No, he wasn't taking the, um, Michael.

I felt like giving him a hug and apologising for my assumptions.  How wrong had I been?  Shame on me.  

Shame is always easier to handle if you have someone to share it with.  Read that somewhere, can't remember where. 

7 comments:

  1. Hello Pauline,

    You cannot tell a book by its cover!
    Hope you enjoyed the theatre.

    Have a lovely weekend.
    Bev.

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  2. Wonderful. Even better you weren't having a senior moment.

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  3. Some of them look like they are just like the others, but inside they are very different. But you only find out about that by getting in contact with them. And the others don't want any contact with old people, instead of helping you they might even kick you down the stairs. You don't have to be ashamed at all, Pauline!
    And not finding it because they changed the look of the entrance is also nothing to be ashamed of. It's quite normal I would say :))
    Have a beautiful weekend!
    【ツ】Knipsa

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  4. Oh yes, I know the feeling how we far too often jump to assumptions, sometimes it's for the better good, often not, but when we discover that we were all wrong, what a wonderful feeling that is. I hope the movie was good!

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  5. Point well taken on the shame. However, there should be no feeling of shame. They change locations and we are not notified. So did you enjoy the movie?

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  6. I guess we all have our judgments that we thrust upon strangers, but I think that's just part of being human. Of course, it's still not right to judge by appearances and it's embarrassingly surprising to be 'so wrong' sometimes.

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  7. I think you are a tad hard on yourself Pauline. In my experience you are one of the least judgemental of people. And will you please stop saying that we are old. We are NOT!

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