Feeling cheerful?

I have a clear recollection of an essay I once wrote at University on the psychology of ageing.

In short the argument went something like this: as you get older you become more like yourself, not less. Every personality trait becomes magnified. This is bad news for me, as it definitely means I am firmly on the path to grumpy old womanhood.

Attractive, no?

Attractive, no?

Last Summer I realised that I was feeling quite upset with the owners of the barn next door as they had not cut their front lawn for weeks and it looked like a meadow. In truth I knew that being in well paid jobs, young and yet to have a family, they probably had better things at the weekend than to waste time with a lawn mower and a pair of garden shears. In reality though I was bothered that they were making the place look untidy. As a friend said to me soon after though, I need a swift visit to a yurt in Cornwall and some surfing lessons. Starting to grumble about the neighbours not caring about the environment is a slippery slope to washing out your bin every weekend, deciding a cream tea in the garden centre is a fun day out and thinking that topiary is a good idea.

However, it’s happened again. Today I am grumpy about this. In the middle of a recession, with some countries having been on the verge of a total collapse of the banking system, Barclays in the UK have spent out on an advertising campaign to personalise your bank card with a photo. Every time I see the advert I wonder who on earth duped the banking executives into thinking this was a good idea.

I can imagine that the bank went to the agency with a brief about making the retail banking industry trustworthy again. However, whether or not you have a picture of your friends on your bank card, some cuddly dogs or anything else that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, the fact remains that you do not bank with your dogs, or your friends, and never will.

I am worried that they have evidence that every time you look at your bank card, that you will in future experience some kind of ‘awww’ moment that begins to become associated with their company logo. I hope they do though as otherwise someone in a pinstripe suit has given over millions to some skinny jeaned, black polo necked adman who is currently laughing on the other side of his face.

I’d like to tell the bankers out there that if that’s the best they can come up with, then if you’ll just give me your bonus this year, I’ll come up with something better. In the meantime, I’m off to shout at children on bikes wearing iPods, shake my fist angrily at people who don’t pick up after their dogs and find some nail scissors to trim the lawn.

44 thoughts on “Feeling cheerful?

  1. Embrace your inner grump. (As you’ve no doubt already noticed, I certainly am!)

  2. In reading this on the way home tonight I realised that I’m in some sort of inadvertent penalty box as I both work for Barclays AND I let the lawn get a bit unwieldy recently… Granted, aside from two self-designated wildlife areas hidden from public view where the grass is a good 18 inches tall, the grass is now cut and I’m also innocent of any and all photo card shenanigans as well. Ok, I feel better now…

    • lol – yes you were definitely in the penalty box Juan. And I fully approve of wildlife areas. Still raising my eyebrows at the photo card though but so long as it wasn’t your idea…… πŸ™‚

      • Not I! Admittedly division I’m in comes up with some jaw-dropping ideas without any help from me though … Also, I identified annoying neighbor habit no. 1 these days. A flock of lambs ‘baaaing’ away at all hours of the night. Kids these days!!!

  3. Ooh, now, if we’re getting started on ‘stuff that’s suddenly annoying once you’re over 40′ … actually, no. I’m not sure if there’s enough space left on the interweb. But I’m not sure I understand why little ol’ banks are making you grumpy. Surely they’re all harmless, fun companies that are actually your friends and there to remind you of the good times in life – at least that’s what I was thinking just now, looking at my ‘I heart you’ Tatty Teddy bank card. Or have I missed something? ;D

  4. This explains a lot and I can’t say I want many of my personality traits magnified. I’m going to be a scared, grumpy old lady who laughs a lot. I think.

  5. I actually look forward to becoming an old grumpy lady. With funny hats to boot. I imagine it to be the best part of being old. Like Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave. I don’t belieeeve it

  6. Great visual! You with a pair of nail scissors trimming the lawn. As for the grumpy thing, let’s just say you’re full of wisdom beyond your years! πŸ˜‰

    • As you say on your blog Anka, truth is stranger than fiction and I have a neighbour who has actually been witnessed lawn manicuring with nail scissors….. πŸ™‚

  7. I literally just saw this advert for the first time before reading this post! And, yeh, what on earth? My first thought was, imagine if a couple got their photos on their cards and then broke up. They’d be looking at happier times and crying every time they bought something. That could get embarrassing in Waitrose….

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