Causing ‘chaos’ in a supermarket

Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday November 13.''File photo dated 02/10/13 of a general view of a Sainsbury's supermarket as the store is creating up to 16,000 temporary jobs over the busy Christmas and New Year period. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 13, 2013. Around 2,000 posts are expected to be made permanent, the company announced. See PA story INDUSTRY Sainsbury. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday November 13.''File photo dated 02/10/13 of a general view of a Sainsbury's supermarket as the store is creating up to 16,000 temporary jobs over the busy Christmas and New Year period. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 13, 2013. Around 2,000 posts are expected to be made permanent, the company announced. See PA story INDUSTRY Sainsbury. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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Older women are more out-going than younger women. As sweeping statements go, that’s pretty sweeping but it’s not without some validity. The contrast is both surprising and unsurprising.

Of course, for obvious reasons young women have been socialised to avoid getting into conversation with strange men.

Well, OK that may depend on how strange they are! Beyond a certain age, dodgy motives can more readily be discounted so in that sense it’s only to be expected that older women will be more out-going. However, the extent of the transformation is often surprising.

The other day in Sainsbury’s four or five mature men, probably visitors, who’d brought the wrong stuff to the checkout, were sharing good-natured banter with two older, helpful female staff. That caused a slight delay to the queue behind. One of the men turned around and said, “We could cause chaos anywhere”. A young woman ahead of me looked embarrassed at being spoken to by a random man and she said nothing. Just to acknowledge the apology I said, “Don’t worry, I often cause chaos too.”

A couple of minutes later the man I’d spoken to slapped me on the back and said, “Cheerio, son”. “See you later,” says I like a proper Derry man.

Naturally, I was a little taken-a-back the “son,” bit and not for the first time thought of the contrast between the older women and the reserved younger woman. Does the same marked difference exist between younger and older men? Probably.