I was walking through the frozen food section of my local supermarket yesterday when an older lady, probably close to the age of the Groovy Grandma and shopping with her daughter, complimented me on the sparkly stitching design adorning the back pockets of my jeans. It had really caught her eye, she said, and she just had to tell me how lovely it was. It caught me off-guard for a second before I recovered and smiled, thanking her and adding that I’d forgotten about it as the design wasn’t actually where *I* could see it! We both laughed at that as her daughter looked on rather bemused, then continued on with our shopping, sharing a smile over the rows of checkouts as our gazes happened to meet thirty or so minutes later.
How many of us do that? I don’t mean look at strange women’s backsides at the supermarket, lol – but talk to someone you don’t know? It was such a simple thing – sharing an observation or thought – but it was a real highlight, her words a welcome burst of colour in the beige world of food shopping.
The Groovy Grandma was, and still is, a Master of the Chat. Much to the absolute horror of my brother, JT, and I, especially when we were young. “Go shopping with Mum and the shop assistant could end up knowing all kinds of stuff about you,” the teenaged JT would complain. “She tells them ANYTHING!” I’d be looking on with much sympathy, remembering my own experiences of the same – the woman at the school uniform shop knowing way more about me than I felt she needed to, immediately springing to mind. Meanwhile, Mum would just shrug her shoulders. To her it was just conversation; a mother talking to another mother and what was wrong with that? (Now that I have kids, I understand this of course, but at the time? OMFG. Supreme embarrassment.)
I find myself chatting to people I don’t know quite often, though. Whether it’s standing in line at the bank, chatting to the taxi driver, or swapping a few words with the old lady who often walks past our house. In this day and age, it’s certainly not as common as it used to be; people tend to be more private and tight-lipped nowdays, especially in the cities. I’d like to think it’s not like that in the country, though.
It is interesting to note, however, that despite all of the above I am becoming more and more like the Groovy Grandma as I get older. My kids better watch out. I’m quite possibly just as chatty. *g*