Are you being served?

Last updated: 22/01/2015 15:21 by SheenaLambert to SheenaLambert's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
There’s nothing like a little harmless flirt (that’s the verb, not the noun). If it’s reciprocated, it gives you a bit of a perk; puts a smile on your face; makes you think for a second that despite your unwashed hair and the vague smell of baby-sick that follows you around, you’ve still got what it takes to turn a man’s head. 
 
Nowadays, most of us have daily interaction with the opposite sex, be it in the workplace, or even in the schoolyard, where there is generally a better mix of mummies and daddies than in previous decades, and therefore plenty of opportunity to give and receive admiring glances. But back in the sixties and seventies, when many of our own mothers would have been stay-at-home housewives, the opportunities for a bit of innocent flirting were nigh on non-existent. There was only one place they could go to be guaranteed some male attention: the shops. 
 
Yes, back then, a trip to the butcher or the green-grocer was the highlight in many a bored housewife’s day. Down in the shops, these mothers could be reminded of their worth as a homemaker, their value as a customer, their allure as a woman, all in the wink of the shopkeeper’s eye.
 
No one would suggest, of course, that these women were so shallow as to live for a little semi-sincere admiration, but then, just like now, a little bit of recognition would doubtless have made their day just that little bit brighter.
 
Now, the Irish retailing geniuses at Avoca stores, whose food has been making us salivate for decades, have apparently realised that in addition to selling retro homewares, they should be using retro selling techniques too. Avoca customers are predominantly middle-aged women, and it’s no coincidence that the sales staff in their new food-halls seem predominately male, in their thirties, unshaven (in a good way) and wearing some form of apron that just can’t help but remind one of a Chippendales costume. 
 
And it certainly seems to be working. On my most recent visit, there seemed to be a minor crush going on (pun intended) at the charcuterie counter - and a higher density of shoppers in the food-hall in general.
 
Well, it beats praying for the man to come and read the gas meter I suppose, doesn’t it?
 
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her debut novel Alberta Clipper is currently available from Amazon and her second novel will hit shelves this March.
 
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