Today it was full to the rafters, but we managed to find a free table and settled ourselves down before ordering a sausage roll and coffee (for me) and a tea (for my client).
Then two women of approximately my age asked if the other two chairs at the table were taken and would we mind if they sat there.
I said they were free and it would be fine for them to sit down.
We went through that initial awkward silence as they sat, followed quickly by an even more awkward attempt at conversation, before they settled to their conversation and we to ours.
Our conversation was, as you would expect when chatting to someone with learning difficulties, somewhat limited ... so I eavesdropped!
At first they talked about their kids and universities, before going on about shopping and prices.
Then the following was said:
Woman 1: I could have killed my old man last night!
Woman 2: Why? (there was a heavy sigh) What'd he do?
W1: Nothing! He was just there!!!
W2: Ah! One of those day's, was it?
W1: Oooooo! He just sat there watching the football!
W2: Men!!! Your's is no different to mine.
W1: Then he said 'Get me a beer, love' and that was it!
I screamed and went to bed.
W2: It's (this next words were whispered with very exaggerated lip movements)
W1: You think so?
W2: Well you are of a certain age, Joan!
They then went on to scare the bejabbers out of me by going through the symptoms of the menopause.
Let's go back, for a moment, to my childhood because, as I recall,there were many 'women of a certain age'
around then. I can remember 'The Change' being mentioned in that same half whispered mime by some
of the females in our clan.
I had no idea what it meant but when the words "I'm going through the change" were uttered, I thought
they were sorting out their pocketful of pennies, so I would always get my money box out.
They listed and discussed about 37 (thirty-seven) of the most prominent symptoms of the 'change'.
The symptoms, including depression, range from this ...
... to this ...
|image borrowed from HERE|
(I hope they don't mind)
And the most frightening of all is that one day, maybe soon, my wife (better known as 'She Who Must Be Obeyed') will become one of those 'Women of a certain age' and I will be in the cross-hairs of frustration.
I'm going to move into the garden shed when things get tough!