It’s a commonly held view that after a certain age women become “invisible” and in some respects this may be true, but I have noticed over recent years that people in the street are much more likely to greet me with a smile. I think this has a lot to do with me looking more approachable as I get older. As an intensely shy young woman I think I probably gave the impression of being rather aloof and unfriendly, as I walked briskly along trying to look “cool” with my cheeks sucked in, my nose in the air and afraid to make eye contact with anyone. These days I wander around with a slightly bemused half smile and am reaping the benefit in smiles from strangers. I have started consciously allowing myself to make eye contact with people because I no longer fear that it will be misunderstood as anything except friendliness.I even have conversations with people in shops! It's always possible that I'm creating a new impression as a crazy person (and my increasing deafness can certainly lead to some odd non sequiturs), but actually I'm enjoying the human contact, so I don't much care.
Er, that's Ruth my oldest daughter, not some random stranger!