Reinforcing ..something..

Just went for a walk up to the shop. No idea how far away it is but at a good pace (which is my standard speed setting) it takes ~15minutes. About halfway there an old lady appears from a driveway and starts walking in the same direction towward the shops. She’s around 80 yards ahead and is walking slowly. I’m listening to music and not really concentrating on much when I see that she has half-turned, looked at me and then kept on walking. The distance between us has closed and she does it again. But this time she doesn’t just turn and keep walking, she starts scurrying. She actually speeds up while still taking her small steps and she holds her bag tighter. Having seen this behaviour countless times, I simply cross the road. I don’t look at her (I’m still around 40 feet behind her) but I notice she glances at me and visibly slows her pace. It’s an odd exchange of sorts and I cannot be the only bloke that this sort of thing happens too – and I perfectly understand why it happens, but I can’t help feeling that even though nothing happened that this old lady has had some believe about society reinforced. Is she thinking that because she ‘got a good look’ that I was ‘scared off’ ? Is some other aspect of the situation reinforcing something that she holds to be true already ? Because you can bet she is not thinking “that bloke realised I was scared and moved across the road to make me less afraid” which is what really happened.

5 thoughts on “Reinforcing ..something..

  1. Similar situations happen to me often as a tall, youngish male. I have stopped caring about it, which is sad.

    I just read your 100 things and think you should go to Japan. There have been a few things in my life I thought were unlikely but managed to accomplish. If you really want to go that bad, you will.

    Take care,

    David

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but last time I saw a photo of you you had a shaved head, piercings, and well.. your one of those people who look intimidating. In fact that very look is classically worn to intimidate.

    Now I’m not saying its right, or that you do it for that reason, but concidering the situation.. I can’t blame her, or at least I can understand.

    Even though I’m over 6 foot, and quite broad, I’ve never got that kind of reaction. Or maybe I’ve never noticed it. Wierd…

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