Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A no news day

I didn't have much fun people watching today. I went to the park in town straight after the school run, there were only two others there.  The peace, increasing warmth, birdsong and sense of optimism Spring often induces was inspiring. After around 40 minutes, the park filled with people, the atmosphere changed. The people were pleasant enough, nobody dodgy looking or overly uncouth. The volume and lack of personal space began to upset my Chakra (I don't really use that phrase).  Ladies arrived in pairs, 'friends' whose only link seemed to be motherhood. I could tell from the strained, slightly uncomfortable conversations that most of them weren't firm buddies. That  forced, over-enthusiastic put on voice mums and grandparents adopt when speaking to children started to irk me, I had to leave. I think children should play in parks, explore freely and yes, maybe learn the odd harsh lesson about turn taking, gravity's pull and kinesthesia (maybe not the potentially devastating speed/velocity lesson being hit by an occupied swing teaches).
Children were sort of guided methodically around the play apparatus "wow, shall we go on the swing next? (for 1 minute) "do you want some juice now" (it's bloody squash woman, not juice!!)  Mobiles ring, I cringe waiting for the Dom Jolly reply "Yeah, we're in the park HAVING CONTROLLED FUN!" Our cue to leave.

I walked the scenic, peaceful route, more birdsong, gently rustling trees, that's better. Back through town for the charity shop circuit, the only shops worth going in. Then, dare I venture into CoOp? Go on, it's quiet, you never go there, there's little choice, the prices are shocking, and the chance to bulk-buy anything is remote, but it WILL save having to go shopping tonight. It's a poorly managed store, as was Somerfield, Gateway and Fine Fare before it. No till rolls, no carrier bags, miserable bitch serving me hadn't cleaned her teeth or combed her hair for work, and was chatting to the customer behind me, ignoring me and my child who was grinning pleasantly.

The charity shops were full of those people who you imagine David Cameron is referring to when he's having a pop at the jobless. Overweight, childish, poor spacial awareness, 'duvet day' clothes on... I think Cameron described them as 'languishing on the dole'. The few times I've braved 'Game' I've seen the same set.  It's as if they are unaware of how rotund their lifestyle has led them to become, and they still feel 12 years old,  8 stone. 

I stayed out, enjoying the weather for as long as I could, even going back to the quiet area of the park. 
How would I be described by the people I encountered today?  A sullen loner who doesn't engage with her son? A pain in the arse going into small charity shops with a pushchair? An unwelcome stranger to the social club that is the Co-Op?
 Nah, I just blended in with all the other mums, which left me feeling more lonely,  I'd rather be on the outside looking in than on the inside looking out.

1 comment:

  1. I always wonder what people must think of me too when I'm out and about. I have also witnessed many of the mums you deccribed. Scarlett x


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