Not long conversations you understand, but just the odd comment here and there, a word or phrase of encouragement, exasperation or frustration to my inner self.
I try not to do it when there are people in close proximity and I try not to do it too loudly, but I guess I’m getting a tad grumpier, and also that years of living with someone whose hearing is afflicted may have influenced the general volume of my conversational tone.
The other day I was walking through the shopping arcade that leads from the city car park to the city centre itself. Ahead of me two young women with pushchairs were ambling along. Towards the end of the arcade the thoroughfare narrows into an exit and in the corner some obliging soul has placed one of these paid rides, a big brown and white horse.
As one of the brood belonging to the first young mother stopped to attempt to climb onto the horse, she stopped dead in the restricted exit and began shouting at him. The second mother, who was not with the first one, tried to thread her pushchair between the side of the exit and the now stationary pushchair but the first mother swung round sideways, blocking even more of the exit with her entourage. The second young mother had to back up.
Pedestrians piled into the back of each other, or swerved headlong into the rush of oncoming people trying to enter the arcade whilst the first mother made no attempt to move out of the way and continued to bawl at her off-spring.
“Oh for God’s sake,” I muttered quietly under my breath as I picked my way round the blockage.
“Whaaaat?” screeched the offending mother, fixing me with a gimlet eye.
I ignored her and pressed on.
“What did yer f***** say???” she bawled at my fast-disappearing back.
“Yer can use the rest of the f***** exit yer know,” her banshee-like diatribe continued as she warmed to her theme and to the attentions of the audience still trying to pick their way round her.
My pace quickened, and I worked out the likelihood of her abandoning her pushchair and brood to pursue me. Unlikely I thought.
“Unless o’ course yer too f****** fat….”
This was well below the belt, for whilst I might be heading for 66kg (or ten stone for the non-converted) there’s no way that my arse could be described as being ‘the size of a small countreee’ which was her contribution to the problem in the first place.
The fishwife’s voice faded into the distance (thankfully) as I pressed on into the crowds, but my shopping expedition was ruined as I kept glancing furtively over my shoulder, my heart leaping whenever another mother and pushchair came into view.
In the event of a further confrontation, popular opinion would be on my side I guessed, though headlines such as “people stand by as young mother beats up pensioner” flashed through my mind, and I toyed briefly with the idea of putting my glasses on as a means of disguise. (Only joking… I’m braver than that…I think) 🙂
It was not an enjoyable shopping trip, and as I watchfully made my way back to my car an hour or so later I decided I might try to curtail these one-way conversations for the future, or at least revert to the whispering style that my husband claims I adopt anyway.
At the very least, I might need to contain my grumpiness.
When I got home I rushed upstairs, and seized a small hand mirror to examine my rear view in the long mirror in the bedroom.
Nope, I thought with considerable relief, there’s no way my arse can be described as ‘countree-sized’.
The fishwife was clutching at straws there.