You would think as we get older we become more dignified…and maybe some people do, but I haven’t noticed that with me. I am still good with my “please’s” and “thank you’s,” and I think my respect for others has only increased, but I’m turning into one of these popcorn picking, teeth picking, adjusting while walking down the street kind of ladies….let me explain.
Although I still feel a little foolish getting home and realizing the medium sticker on my new shirt has been firmly affixed across my left breast the whole time I have been out in public…random wardrobe malfunctions don’t elicit the embarrassment they once did….probably don’t elicit the same reaction they once did either. And if I have an itch or require readjustment as I walk down the street I am no longer going to wait to find the nearest restroom. I’m going to take care of the problem, ignore any random stares and move on.
Same thing when eating popcorn or chips, or any potentially renegade food. The other day I was eating popcorn and a stray piece fell down the front of my shirt. Without giving it a thought, I reached down the front of my shirt, pulled out the offending piece of popcorn, stuck it in my mouth, and continued on before I stopped to see if anyone was looking at me. There was a time when, Oh my G-d, I would never have considered doing anything so pedistrian…much less pick my lunch out of my teeth…which I don’t make a habit of, but when the need is there it gets done. I remember seeing an older woman doing this one time and cringing, and thinking…”Oh that must be an old lady thing.” Well guess what…I’ve joined the club.
Do I think my manners have gotten that much worse as I have aged or that I don’t care as much anymore…to an extent, yes, but again, let me explain. As I have gotten older my priorities have changed a bit. With raising kids, helping care for older parents, doing my best at my job, and trying to makes sure the bills get paid, the last thing I’m concerned about is what someone is going to think about a quick little itch or a popcorn retrieval. Do I not care about what other people think….of course I do…hopefully I will never forget my please’s or thank you’s…but if I stranger happens to be looking while I happen to be scratching…well, c’est la vie.
And with that I say….”Ahhhhhhh, that feels so much better.”