Some years ago, upon visiting my late mother in a retirement home, I sat quietly watching the staff as they went about their work, who were totally unaware I was observing them. I felt deeply touched to witness first-hand the gentle manner and empathy with which they treated those in their care. Like my mother, the other residents also wheelchair bound, unable to communicate, were at the mercy of the staff, relying heavily on their compassion. One hears such dreadful stories of abuse and neglect in the news, it was positively uplifting to see a good example of how our loved ones should be treated, and who knows, one day we might find ourselves in that very situation, reliant on others for the simplest of things.
Every person in that retirement home was somebody's grandparent, mother, or father, each with their own story to tell. Sadly most were left devoid of communication skills due to the ravishes of advanced dementia or Alzheimer's, but it did get me to thinking.
The things people do when they assume no one is watching can be heart-warming, amusing, but occasionally just down right astonishing. I've often wondered what makes some men feel they can't be seen in the car. Are they so secure in that comfort zone behind the wheel, they're oblivious to their own conduct in public? Perhaps they think once ensconced in a vehicle, safe in a world of their own, they are rendered invisible. Well gentlemen offenders, it may surprise you to know - you are not! You are visible and can be seen!
In the car with my husband the other day, we suddenly noticed the man behind us, was uncontrollably busy picking his nose with such fervour, had his fingers been any further entrenched, he would likely have caused himself permanent brain damage. Did it not occur to him that all and sundry could plainly see him through the car windows? I apologise for bringing up such an unsavoury topic and lowering the tone somewhat, but I am truly puzzled.
Women generally behave themselves a little better in public, although there are times and certain circumstances that bring out the worst, no matter what gender. In my opinion, there is nothing more ugly than someone who is drunk. It baffles me that a person who is inebriated doesn't realise they embarrass themselves with foolish and unpleasant behaviour. Feeling overly confident, with the need to talk extra loudly assuming everything they say is highly amusing, brazenly losing all inhibition, believing they are the best thing since sliced bread, and suddenly shamelessly finding anyone of the opposite sex within earshot inordinately attractive. Knowing one's limits should be a lesson quickly learnt and hopefully remembered.
There's always a first time for everything, and never one for shirking to try something at least once, I'm usually game for most things, as long as it's not deemed illegal or immoral. When I was in my mid-twenties, before mother nature and gravity had grabbed a hold of this body and began mocking my age, a girlfriend and I found ourselves sunbathing topless on the patio of a penthouse apartment.
Finding a secluded sunny spot, we lay on sun loungers, feeling confident that no one could see us, including the neighbours in the adjacent building. After a little while we heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter flying overhead. Opening our eyes, we saw an army helicopter flying low above us. As it passed by, we closed our eyes again, unperturbed by the disturbance. However, just minutes later, the helicopter flew back over us again. Squinting in the sunlight, we both sat up and watched the helicopter fly past once more. It was only when the helicopter appeared for the third time, it occurred to us, we could be seen! Although keen to boost the morale of our boys in green, there's a limit to what I'm prepared to do for my country, and a free peep show was definitely not one of them. This was to be the first and last time I would ever summon up the courage, or call it stupidity, to dare sunbathe topless. Remember, you just never know who can see you!