Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #57: Presence
Do you shop at this store alot?
I looked around and my eyes settled on a woman about my age. Dark hair. Glasses. Head swiveling from shelf to shelf, before meeting my gaze.
Yes I do.
She smiled…Do you know where I can find the cornstarch? I’ve looked and looked.
We were standing in the baking aisle. Clearly the right place.
It should be in the baking aisle. Which is this one.
She thanked me and started to wheel her cart away, giving up the search.
I spotted 4 varieties of cornstarch on the top shelf and called out…I found it. Here it is.
Thank you so much!
She dropped the cornstarch into her cart and added…Now what can I do for you?
What can she do for me?
To be Clearly Present in a public place…
Seen. Heard. Acknowledged. Offered assistance.
A full circle personal exchange.
Interesting thing about these advancing years. Well, maybe not so much interesting as downright alarming and often depressing…is how we become more invisible. When exactly did the page turn to this chapter?
When you start to fade from public view. Even when you are in the public view.
Was it a certain age? A shift in job status? The nest? What?
I am still trying to figure it out. It shouldn’t matter that I can’t walk as fast.
Drink as much. Eat the same. Sit as long. Stay up as late.
As I used to.
Obviously I didn’t pay close enough attention to any warning signs pointing to my impending invisibility. But perhaps there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Except to develop the presence of mind to reclaim my spot. When I’m ignored. Or dismissed. Interrupted mid-sentence. Deemed irrelevant.
After all, as the infamous line from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” repeats…I’m not dead yet!
Maybe if I’d known what to expect, I wouldn’t get as pissed off about it.
However…let’s think positive.
There is the grocery store. Which is a start. Apparently I am very present…not sure why. For random fellow shoppers – of all ages…with burning comments and questions: Is that a good brand of bread? What is the best gluten free pasta up there? Do you know that those detergent pods burn holes in your clothes? I love your sweater, where did you get it? Does that chicken look fresh? That broccoli isn’t too good, is it. Where do you get your hair cut? I can’t find a damn thing in this store since they remodeled it, can you?
And a few days ago…What can I do for you?
I understand about being present in my personal life.
But me, myself and I is not enough.
In the meantime…at least I know where the cornstarch is.