I was sitting on the ‘bus this morning, as you do. It was a typical tuesday morning crowd. There was a young woman with her two year old son on her knee at the front, and I sat down in the seat behind her. And then was treated to a lengthy discussion by her, of the birth of her son, blood clots and all. Apparently, she delivered her son herself, despite the presence of her mother and a midwife in the room. She then went on to tell all and sundry about her son’s forthcoming operation to drain a cyst on his brain. To give her her due, she did not aim her comments at the rest of us. It was all part of a conversation she was having with a man three rows away. Why could he not move to sit beside her? I don’t know the answer to that one. But she seemed to think it necessary to conduct her discussion at length in a very loud voice, just to make sure it carried to the back seats.
Then, while I was waiting for the ‘bus back home later, two young women arrived and met up with a friend sitting at the ‘bus stop. They then proceeded to talk about their recent smear tests and one woman’s IVF treatment, again, in loud voices, just so the rest of us got the picture. It was not edifying, I can tell you.
Is it just me, or am I old-fashioned in thinking that the intimate details of one’s intimate life are best shared in a more, well, intimate environment? I’ve noticed that the young seem to feel it acceptable to conduct every detail of their lives in public and the more people who are let into the details, the better. As well as blaming the parents, I blame this texting culture. Just watch an average episode of the Jeremy Kyle show and you’ll see what I mean. In one episode, there was a young lady who talked about having got pregnant at a ‘bus stop. What’s next: maternity units at ‘bus stops? It’s no wonder that the elderly feel bewildered and frightened by it all. Personally, I’m disgusted.