I have never been a stranger to a spot of people watching, however, I never anticipated to stumble across the group of ladies I did on one Wednesday afternoon sitting in my favourite coffee shop. Surrounded by shabby chic decor and the company of a good friend who owns the establishment, I was much in my own little world. When a lot is playing on my mind, I have a tendency to zone out, much like everyone else in the world I imagine. This particular day I was multitasking trying to sort a situation out in my mind and planning on clearing out some clutter in my life. One could not help to overhear the occasional topic discussed by the three ladies sat near the till in the cafe, and no, I do not class this as eavesdropping as they would engage the waitresses in the conversation and alert everyone sat in close proximity that they were having a conversation. Being Irish, you become accustomed to the mammies and older women gathering together for a gossip. In years gone by, that was how any form of local news spread from death to engagements and children misbehaving in school to the stranger who appeared off the last bus and checked into the hotel across the street. Movies, books, documentaries and folklore have spread across the world as the international curiosity of the Irish continues.
What led me to write a piece was their use of technology. I was very impressed to be honest. The ladies themselves were of the older generation whom generally struggle to master smart phones, computers and tablets but they were well trained in the area. It was a modern day mammy catch up with pictures and social media added into the mix. To say the least, it was entirely entertaining. As per the norm, they were discussing the younger generation and by the gist of the conversation I would assume the age range was preteen anywhere up to mid twenties. Again, this was in no way unusual.
I’m not sure if you have ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding or the sequel. Two films based on culture and families living in each other’s pockets. I always imagined that a family that close must be a blessing and a curse and judging by the second film, I wasn’t too far from the truth. What reminds me of the Irish in this instance, is the older women trying to match young men and young girls whether they are aware of this or not! Subtly hinting that you should be married with kids and feeding your entire extended family is more common than you would think, even in this day and age.
So beware, all nationalities and cultures: the older generation have the ability to use the new technology and they have access to social media. Best believe it will be used against us eventually!