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Ticking of the cloak

Date

Heckler

I AM 60-plus years of age and have become invisible. Twice recently I have had Harry Potter invisibility cloak moments. Despite being a few centimetres shorter and certainly many kilos heavier than I was for the first 50 years of my life, I am now, apparently, transparent.

The first time it happened I was at the counter waiting to buy a chicken; I had been stationary for at least two minutes.

The girl assistant was finishing with a woman to my left and we were the only two at the counter. A boy assistant was standing back (I was already "not there" to him).

Suddenly a pretty young woman arrived to my right and the boy rushed to serve her, beaming, hands outstretched in mooning supplication: "How can I help you?"

I was struck dumb but the woman to my left, her transaction now finished, reflected: "You are obviously invisible."

This one I let pass but it happened again in the bakery. I was waiting patiently; the customer being served and I were at the counter when some teenage boys arrived.

A serving wench raced straight to them (her eyes did not register me) and beaming eagerly asked: "What can I get you?" She simpered and flirted: "Do you want hot-cross buns? How many do you want?"

My ''invisibility'' cloak was working again. This assistant appeared quite amazed when I remonstrated that I was there first and, in fact, had been waiting for some time. She obviously hadn't seen me.

But also with age has come my threat to those on the road. I have recently traded my large, heavy European car for a very small, light Japanese one. However, it is very nippy and I drive it much as I did the other one - correctly and to the speed limit. I change down and soar up hills at the correct speed and, in fact, I am very speedy off the traffic lights. Few beat me away.

In other words I am not an old dodderer holding up traffic. This doesn't quite make me invisible, but other drivers don't wish to acknowledge me.

How dare an oldie keep up with the rest of them? They move heaven and earth to challenge me - tailgating if they can - making rude gestures and racing past. A small car driven at reasonable speed by a pensioner appears to be an affront, especially if I pass them.

So, don't grow old(er) if you're not prepared to become invisible and to be challenged to know your place - which, be it in a line or a lane, appears to be somewhere well behind everyone else.

Moya Ward

24 comments

  • I don't know about invisible but you are certainly boring.

    Commenter
    Cronus
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 14, 2010, 8:26AM
    • I'm sorry... did someone write something on this page? It seems blank... :-)

      Darwinism in retail shop assistants. Who knew?

      Commenter
      david
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      April 14, 2010, 8:26AM
      • I totally understand where you're coming from Moya! I am in my fourties, and sadly I also see the effects of living in such an ageist society. Australians in their 20s and early 30s seem to be under some strange delusion that their age will somehow stall in that decade.
        Having lived in N.America and Europe, (societies that don't have our age hangups), Australia is in stark contrast when it comes to embracing all, regardless of age (especially in the work force).

        Commenter
        SDC
        Location
        inner west
        Date and time
        April 14, 2010, 8:38AM
        • It's not just the old who suffer from this, or even the not-so-young. It's the not-so-pretty and the not-so-sluttily-dressed as well!

          Commenter
          Merri
          Date and time
          April 14, 2010, 8:45AM
          • I have to say I am guilty of this. I am 19 and I am ashamed to say it but if there is an extremely good looking guy and an old woman I would prefer to attend to the guy. IM SO EVIL

            Commenter
            izzey
            Location
            manly
            Date and time
            April 14, 2010, 9:21AM
            • I am surprised that you can be so indignant when sleging the kid who's working on minimum wage.

              Commenter
              wlark
              Location
              Canberra
              Date and time
              April 14, 2010, 10:04AM
              • I am with Moya. I am so invisible, the more so because I am not of a particularly pleasing appearance. And obviously "poor". I possibly have more money than the person in the three piece suit.
                I have my revenge however. If I am ignored, I simply walk away and try never to deal with that retail outlet again. This applies to a Men's retailer as much as to a franchise shop. That said, I am never ignored by the staff of a particular outlet of a well known bakery franchise. Guess where I buy my bread rolls?

                Commenter
                2114voter
                Location
                West Ryde NSW
                Date and time
                April 14, 2010, 10:19AM
                • Are you sure you're not just noticing this more because you're a bit sensitive about your age? I am a 30 year old female and I have the same issues sometimes. I think some shop assistants just don't care about issues of priority so they'll serve the people who walk up and demand their attention rather than those who stand back and wait politely to be served.

                  As for driving - this is not an age issue, it happens to every driver who dares to drive at or below the speed limit. My husband is a 27 year old male and he gets the same treatment.

                  Commenter
                  Sally
                  Location
                  Sydney
                  Date and time
                  April 14, 2010, 10:25AM
                  • its a fast paced world we live in moya, and to get served you must be prepared to hussle...get used to it

                    Commenter
                    dave
                    Location
                    sydney
                    Date and time
                    April 14, 2010, 11:04AM
                    • Moya, an advantage of age is that one no longer has to worry about image or what the world thinks of us - bye and large we know.

                      Use our new found confidence to attack; stop the slovenly assistant with a very vocal "excuse me but am I not here? am I not to be served?"

                      Follow up with a lecture on manners whilst glaring at those weaklings failing to offer their support.

                      When we are really doddery perhaps we can fit loud battery operated air horns to our zimmer frames - lets show some attitude.

                      Commenter
                      Neil Steggall
                      Date and time
                      April 14, 2010, 11:06AM

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