Thursday, January 08, 2009


It’s one little word but sometimes, in the wrong mouth and at the wrong time, it can do untold damage.

Just before Christmas, in one of my many trips to the shops, I stopped by in the Plaza in Oxford Street, to buy a Christmas Card for David and look at leather jackets covetously.

One my way through to Smith’s, a girl at the make-up stall stopped me and asked if she could speak to me for five minutes. Foolishly, I agreed.

She tried out a bit of salt on my hands that I had to rub in while she sprayed my hands with water. That turned out very nice. My hands have rarely felt so good. However, while she was spraying, and my hands were stuck over the bowl, she started assessing me to find out what other products she could sell me.

She asked my age and I told her I was 44. She looked at the bags under my eyes (I hadn’t slept well that night) and the wrinkles around my eyes (there aren’t that many but I am 44 so there are some) and she said the hateful phrase, “you’re still young” before rambling off telling me about all the lovely products she could sell me.

But anyway … STILL?

What a bloody cheek! That is something someone with no tact might say to an eighty-year-old while laughing loudly and giving every appearance of not meaning it.

I have to say that her little announcement left me a little shocked and I didn't resist as she tried out all sorts of rubbish on my face. And yes, it did reduce the size of the bag under the eye she tried it on. However, I didn’t by any nor did I buy any of the salt. Despite the price (£25 for a box of salt!), I wasn’t prepare to take the risk that the products would have adverse effects on my skin. I told her that and, after some haggling, she accepted it and wandered off to pounce on someone else.

I went back to the office, a lot later than planned, but her little phrase has haunted me ever since.

“You’re still young.”

I know I am no spring chicken and wouldn’t want to be but there is no call for that sort of language.

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