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Monday, May 07, 2007


“You’re very well organised.”

I turned to find a silver-haired gentleman in his late sixties grinning at me.

“Your shopping: it’s very neat.” He pointed at the food I had placed on the conveyor belt and he beamed at me again.

I felt myself blush. “Well, yes, I like to keep things in order: it’s easier to pack that way. See, here’s all the larder stuff; over there is all the cold produce; and at the back are the things I stock up on, like coffee and tea. Separating them out helps me pack it properly with everything in its place, and ensures that unpacking is made easier when I get home. I hate to have raw food with salad stuff – ugh!”

“Well you don’t need to justify it to me: it seems like a great system you have there.” His grin grew even larger.

Embarrassed by my noticeable obsessive shopping-organisation, I tried to look occupied by absentmindedly rearranging the tins of (organic) chick peas and red kidney beans.

“You’re a good stacker,” he continued, gesturing the tins.

I smiled and turned back to the conveyor belt.

“One could say you’re well stacked,” he sniggered.

I wasn’t too sure I had heard him correctly, so gave him a half-smile and pretended something else needed neatening in my shopping line.

“I said, ‘you’re very well stacked’,” he repeated, and dropped his gaze so his eyes were level with my t-shirt-clad breasts. He then beamed at me again, and continued feasting his eyes on my boobs. “Like I said, 'well stacked': you’ve got a great rack!” he said loudly, almost proud of himself for saying something so hilariously funny.

In another situation – with a man my own age, I would have pulled him up on these comments. I would have pointed out that this type of innuendo does not flatter me; that I find such remarks sexist and objectionable; that I would prefer it if my breasts were not stared at and commented upon. Flirting or not, this man’s approach was inappropriate: no man has the right to comment on my body. (Unless I have asked him to.) (Or we are in bed together and his remark about my boobs being large/attractive is related to the fact that he is busy sucking on them.)

But because this man was older than my own father, I felt I should give him a little leeway and be polite to him; age should bring respect from younger people, I think. So I only scolded him gently:

“Let’s leave it there then,” I suggested, aware that his eyes were still nipple-level with me. I pulled my jacket over my boobs the best I could to try to cover myself.

He seemed to take the hint and removed his gaze from my chest area, returning to continue stacking his own food on the conveyor belt. Grateful for the pause in sexual innuendo, I began to pack my shopping away whilst the cashier ran the items through the till.

When I had finished paying, I looked over to him, smiled gently, and said goodbye. With a glint in his eye and a mischievous grin, he leaned towards me.

“Keep that rack highly stacked!” he exclaimed, with a hearty giggle.

I smiled awkwardly and made my way to the exit; privately laughing to myself that a man of his age would certainly know a thing or two about droop-age.

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