Monday, 28 September 2015
As I get older, I get angrier. More quickly and about more things. Such as:
* Ten-foot teenage schoolboys barging ahead of me onto the bus.
* Clothes shops that have special sections for oldies, stocked with ghastly pastel-coloured jumpers knitted in the kind of nylon yarn that gives your hair the mad scientist look when you pull the sweater over your head and which, rather than being soft to caress our delicate, ageing flesh, are set-your-teeth-on-edge hard and synthetic. They always plonk them next to a rack of polyester trousers in dark navy or e.coli brown, or a row of skirts in shiny nylon festooned with flowers in funereal shades of heliotrope and sludgy green. You know the sort. You, too, must have seen them and shuddered and, like me, scurried on to the Manta Ray or Wallis section, where you let out your breath in a relieved 'Whew!'
* Coffee shops where the barista chats to the much younger person standing behind you in the queue, whilst she mixes your coffee on autopilot and takes your money without even looking at you. Add to that the food sections in coffee bars which feature a row of vomit-coloured egg mayo and cucumber sarnies when you craved the cheese and pickle one that was snatched from under your nose by a long-armed student standing behind you. Also add the barista who looks scathingly at you when you order a cappucino because she was just dying to show off her mastery of the pumpkin spiced latte.
* Recipes that sound delicious and get you rushing excitedly around assembling contents, until you reach the point in the ingredients list that halts you like a horse stalling at the last fence after a clear round. Merguez? Tagliarini? Mesclun? No, I didn't have any grated blue unicorn hoof lying around in the cupboard, either.
* Days that are too wet. Too windy, Too hot. Too cold. Make that Weather, in its entirety.
* The wasp that sees me coming and sets out to annoy me, buzzing round me, invading my personal space with its whirring wings and threatening sting. It's no accident those annoying striped flying beasts are all males. The females recline in the nest with all six feet up, waiting for their servants to bring them nectar - which reminds me of a certain type of woman who makes me almost angrier than wasps do.
* The nurse at my GP surgery who gave me a shingles jab, telling me I'd only need the one as it would last for life - then I Googled it and found out it lasted five years. That really brought me down. It made me wonder if she knew something I didn't!
* Financial institutions that won't give me a loan or a mortgage because I am 'too old'.
* Travel insurance firms who double the price you were paying at 59, because at 60 you're suddenly twice as likely to have a heart attack whilst sipping your pina colada in Marbs.
* All those special weekend and holiday deals which, when you read the small print, are for two people only. Am I never supposed to go away again because I don't have a friend or lover to accompany me? I have rung travel companies, begging and pleading, offering to pay more, but they have been implacable: the deal is only for two. Why? Grrrrr!
* Scratchy labels in clothing. One of my pet peeves. I can't count the number of items I've damaged while trying to cut off the stupid label that has made the back of my neck red and itchy.
* Cyclists on the pavement. Almost always male and not all youngsters. The other day as I strolled to the shops, I was nearly mashed by six mountain bike wheels, pedalled by a bulky dad and his two sons of about ten and twelve. Talk about setting a bad example. Pavements are for pedestrians, get it? If I'd had a walking stick, I'd have given them a poke in the spokes.
* The conversational talents of hairdressers. It has taken me years to find a stylist who can actually talk about anything beyond, "Going anywhere nice for your holidays?" My current one talks about music, politics, books, films, psychology, restaurants, Ireland, Italy... She can pick up a conversational ball and run with it and score a goal by doing a fantastic job on my hair. Although it takes me an hour and a half to get to the salon, I shan't be going elsewhere in a hurry. I just hope my super stylist and colouring queen won't get lured elsewhere, or get married and preggers. Not for another five years, anyway. After that, if the practice nurse was right, it won't matter and they can all carry on queue-jumping, wearing nylon cardis, flapping wasps away and gagging on egg mayo and cucumber sarnies.