Being thrown out of class is a serious business. I’m averaging a couple of times a week here in the retirement home and my punishers are all old women. The past few weeks I have gone down to the hall to the chair exercise class, dropped into a vacant chair and 10 seconds later an irate 85 year old is standing on front of me, hands on hips; “You’re in my chair!” I nod politely, get up and move to another vacant chair with the same result. This one is even more irate and older too. So I move again and I keep moving until the instructor asks me sweetly, “Wouldn’t you like to join the later class? There are a few empty chairs there.” So I change classes and make the same mistakes in the second session – sitting in a chair where another old exerciser has a lifetime lease. I have to learn to arrive after all the others are in so I can find an honest vacant chair.
The scenario is sometimes the same in the coffee lounge. I get a cup of coffee at the counter, find a comfortable seat, open the paper and start work on the crossword only to be interrupted by a not so discreet cough. I don’t bother to look up. I sigh irritably and loudly, fold the paper and move to another place. Finally the penny dropped and few of us have moved in and established our own corner so that we too can use our verbal shotguns on trespassers.
It all goes back to the lessons I learned early in life: “When an older woman is standing in front of you, stand up and offer her your seat!”
But Mom, I thought that was only meant for the bus!