RogerBW's Blog

I Feel Old 24 April 2017

Last Friday I was travelling on the London Underground when someone offered me his seat.

This has never happened to me before. Yes, all right, my hair started going grey when I was about seventeen (and became much more so when I was working for an ISP). And I wasn't wearing a hat that afternoon, because I was going out drinking and didn't want to risk forgetting about it. But otherwise I didn't think I looked particularly crumbly.

So now I'm feeling a bit decrepit.

The chap who offered, probably in his mid-twenties, looked vaguely Slavic in ancestry, but he didn't have an obviously non-British accent as far as I could tell from the few words he said. (I was polite to him; I didn't want to discourage him from doing the same thing for someone who might actually appreciate it.)

I am not yet addressed as "sir" by strangers (as opposed to shop assistants who don't have a choice in the matter). Apparently I have that to look forward to as well.

Tags: real life

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 01:49pm on 24 April 2017

    This has not yet happened to me, but it's only a matter of time. I do tend to travel at times when there are lots of people older than me around, so I may be blending in.

  2. Posted by Owen Smith at 01:57pm on 24 April 2017

    I don't call older people "sir" and I wasn't aware it was common in the UK. Who says you have that to look forward to?

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 01:58pm on 24 April 2017

    My dad still offers his seat to people he thinks may need it more than he does. He's only 78, at least that's the way he looks at it and he's doing well on it.

  4. Posted by Michael Cule at 02:58pm on 24 April 2017

    I was the one who told Roger about the joys of being called 'sir' but then I am a) much older and b) much more impressive!

    I also find that when I am standing on corners waiting for a vehicle to pass so I can cross the road they often stop for me, sometimes to the danger of traffic if I'm doing it near a roundabout and the idiot (though courteous) driver stops on the roundabout.

    My hypothesis is that either a) I am just that awesome and charismatic a figure that I can stop traffic (I don't seem to be able to dial it back) or b) I look like the sort of aged loon who might lurch out in front of a vehicle and the drivers are just being careful.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 03:02pm on 24 April 2017

    Ah, well, I learned to stop traffic as a pedestrian when I was a student in the City of London. Mirrorshades helped, though mostly it was a matter of projecting (by stance) the impression that my leg was harder than their car. (This might seem like a hard thing to convince them of, but they only had to believe it for a fraction of a second.)

    The drivers round here now are generally much more polite than they were there and then.

  6. Posted by Dr Bob at 04:58pm on 24 April 2017

    Keith (a Stabcon regular) and I were once asked by the ticket sales lady at my local cinema "Are you both senior citizens?". Which was rather startling as we're only in our 50s and Keith doesn't even have grey hair.

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