My work has taken me back down to Hedge End on a regular basis, and I was in Sainsbury’s Hedge End recently, which was where the Brides in the Aisles photo shoot was.
I saw the young Sainsbury’s employee who was roped into the photo shoot, but I was in guy mode so obviously she would never have recognised me. But I had really liked her during the shoot, and I felt I just had to say hello. So very bravely I waited until she was on her own and asked “Um, excuse me, but were you in the Brides in the Aisles photo shoot?”
When she said that she was, I said “I thought so. Um… I’m Joanne”
I’m not sure what I expected, or feared (certainly my heart was pounding in my chest), but she could not have been more natural, accepting, or friendly. Without missing a beat she just started chatting with me like it was the most natural thing in the world. We reminisced about the shoot, whether we had attended the actual event, I asked whether she had got into trouble for being seconded by us for most of a morning, etc. And when I mentioned I had been worried about saying hello in guy mode, she looked at me in momentary incomprehension and then was completely dismissive of it (in a good way).
Truly we are raising a generation way more tolerant than the previous. And I think that is totally awesome.