Saturday, February 09, 2008

Crows Feet and Penguins - Meep!



When I was in my 20's I was part of a really diverse group of people. Ray's family were multigenerational and their social events involved everyone from infants to octogenarians. The local club had a disco on Friday nights where we younglings would fratenise with parents, grandparents, teenagers it was fantastic. Age was no obstacle. Same when Clare went away, our youngest party goer was 8 the oldest 78. Everyone had a terrific time.

I still feel this way and most of our family events involve oldies behaving badly and younglings accepting that we're Nana dancers. But these days, I really look at myself and think about my age. I'm not dealing with it very well. My kids think I'm fantastic 'cool'. Their friends think I'm quirky and a little more liberal than their own parents (except when I roll out the Banshee in relation to noise at 3.00am) but the sad thing is, I feel 20 . . OK there are aches and pains in places that used to be able to tolerate a bungy jump or a slip and slide but I can deal with that. It's the bloody mirror that breaks my heart. I feel young, I feel beautiful, I feel exhilarated, sexy and fabulous but I look like this middle aged cranky frump with frizzy hair and a body shape that belongs on the Simpsons. I feel comfortable with my emotional development. I've experienced much and I'm grateful and it puts me in a position of knowledge and authority that some are happy to share but I look at young things, many of whom feel inadequate in their own shells and marvel at the tightness of youth. They're impulsive, rebellious, they have lovely skin even if it is dotted with pimples. They're fresh and shiny, some are intelligent beyond belief and I feel priviledged to converse with them and I'm dull and beginning to show signs of rust.

I envy those of the mature persuasion who are comfortable in their skin at 50, 60, 70 but I lament the loss of eyesight. I don't want to be the first in the queue at the smorgasbord on the pensioner tour, or sitting at lunch clutching my Louis Vuitton for fear of theft. I don't want to berate the world because it was 'better in my day'. I don't like the music of the 60's and 70's and I really can't stand the compulsion to conform to a dress code that belies my age. It's a bugger quite frankly. I find myself watching programs that talk about keeping the mind active, special insurance for the over 50's and ergonomic cooking utensils for the osteo arthritic. C'mon . . I'm so not ready for that!

Not for me I'm afraid and I'm blessed to be surrounded by young things that still think I have value. Cheeky rang after Clare's departure and is going to be my Sunday brie girl and hopefully will bring her equally youthful mum. Rebecca the Wrecker has promised to drop by and bitch about Mitch. The Fringlet is fantastic value and likes me a lot which is important considering she's probably going to be in my our lives for a long time. I'm still up for an Aktor Gig and Drummer Boy and I speak like adults rather than parent and child. Rattie Mattie is up for play and Kahlerisms doesn't give a shit about age. My niece has invited me to a rampant night of debauchery at Madam Brussells and Ryan and Lemmerman read the blog. So to all my younglngs, thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm still the elder stateswoman and have the power of veto but I appreciate the inclusion. Grow old gracefully. Absolutely not.

Right, I'm off to watch Surf's Up, animated penguins are ageless . . right? I'm so coming back as a a rich man's dog or a penguin!

8 comments:

ian said...

Baino,

I once drank whiskey with a man on his 90th birthday.

"What does it feel like to be 90, Alan?"
"It doesn't feel like any other age - apart from a bad knee, I haven't changed. I remember being 82 and thinking I was just the same person I was when I was 28."

In Austria last month, there was an English bloke in the ski school group above me - who were doing black runs, 360 degree turns, etc - who was 77.

Grannymar said...

It is not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years!

Anonymous said...

He says ...

Nick said...

I think you go through a stage of thinking, jeez I'm getting old, in a few years I'll be a crumbling wreck, I'm doomed etc, and then you move on to not giving a fuck how old you are or trying to conform to some youthful, airbrushed stereotype. You just get on with enjoying yourself - and as you say revelling in all that experience and knowledge you've picked up over the years. I have to keep reminding myself I'm 61, my age seems so irrelevant.

Kate said...

Getting old sucks, but I suppose it's better than the alternative.

Anonymous said...

Break all the bloody mirrors!

Baino said...

Ah, I think my brain's gone soggy with all this rain. Sun's shining today so I don't feel to bad! I'll just avoid shiny surfaces for a while!

Anonymous said...

HAHA!! Enjoy it for now ... the mirrors can wait until Wednesday when the rain returns :)