I have reached the age where, not only do young gentlemen offer me their seat on public transport, but I now accept it. I have grown to accept this phase I have shifted in to. It's taken a while, but yes, I got there in the end. The woman who looks tired and old enough to require someone giving up their comfort to help a poor old lump - that's me: the one sitting down on a crowded tram.
Tonight, though, I seem to have begun nudging my way into another phase of life. It seems people like to take my dining chairs. Not the one I am sitting on, obviously, but the spare chairs at my dining table. "Excuse me," she said, her eyebrows lifting a question as her hands are already removing the chair, "May I?" and it's gone before I can even answer because she knows I'm not going to mind right? why would I say No, it's obvious I'm not with anyone and I'm dining alone. I don't need that chair. Or that chair, or.. that chair.
One after the other, they go. Off to laughing groups of friends and canoodlling snugs of lovers who have a more pressing need to buttocks the funiture into service than consider the very weak, and obviously outside chance, someone might want to join my table and therefore require one of those repurposed pieces of furniture.
I might need that chair.
Imagine, if by some pure miracle there was someone in a bar within my line of sight stumbled, bleary after-works hazed, in my direction. That silver fox of a business suit decided he'd had another lame duck day, and two too many whiskeys and maybe he'd just pick some woman up for a fumble and a bit of disorganised rumpy-pumpy cos Lord knows, it's been a long time since he'd seen his penis but he was aware it "popped up" from time to time.
Making his way over to my table only to realise, in transit, there were no chairs to aim his unbalanced progress and it all gets too hard (hello!) to think of options. With no seating for his intoxicated butt, he decides to aim for the big gap that is front entrance to go hail a cab and go home to his wife because frankly, when he starts trying to pick up singular middle aged women with no chairs at a bar downstairs from work, it's clearly time to go home.
I'd probably prefer the company of someone who could rustle up his own seating arrangements, anyway.