Spirit that does not want to be called ‘dearie’

From: Maureen Hunt, Woolley, near Wakefield.

AFTER all the rain, grey skies and unseasonal cold, it seemed that summer had arrived at last. Not only was there a blue sky and sunshine, it even felt warm inside our cold house.

That meant that my new outfit, a Marks & Spencer denim skirt and flimsy blouse, which had remained in my wardrobe for about four months, could finally be worn with bare fake tanned legs and snazzy sandals. Off I went into town feeling on top of the world. Well, after all, it was my birthday.

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All went well until my last call at Marks & Spencer food department.

The lovely assistant, who only meant to be kind, popped my three purchases into my shopping bag and rang my small bill through the till. In that short time, she managed to call me “sweetie”, “dearie” and “darling”. I crumpled up into a little old woman – until a few minutes later when I thought: “I am not, have never been and never shall be a sweetie, dearie or darling. That is just not me!”

I may look like an elderly person but inside I am young. Undoubtedly, the body is gradually wearing out, like an old car, but the spirit is growing stronger. After all, we are spirits and we only live in a body in this world so that we can be recognised.

So please don’t patronise me by talking down to me, as I once did, when I called a young girl “dear” and don’t call me by my Christian name, unless I ask you to. It does show respect which is important to elderly self-esteem, already fast eroding away.

And, lastly, don’t judge me by my wrinkles, my grey hair and my failing memory. Look for the spirit within. That’s me.