I’ve always had a “so-what” approach to getting older. In my youth, I did all those foolhardy things we are warned to avoid – I drank too much, I partied all night, and I never went sunbathing without first dowsing myself in virgin olive oil to make sure I got a deep brown. How foolish was I? The answer is, very foolish indeed.
The trouble for me and for many others my age is that I don’t feel old. Most days I am convinced I am trapped in my 30s, until I walk past a mirror and wonder what my mother is doing staring out at me.
The first indicator I got that I was aging was my eyesight. I’ve always had poor eyesight but once I began walking into cupboards and falling off pavements, I realized I was getting older.
On the plus side, I can’t actually see the wrinkles that are mapped across my face – what you can’t see, doesn’t exist, right?
However, like it or not, I have got older and as my mother always said, getting older isn’t for sissies. She’s my heroine. At eighty-two she still partied the nights away with friends. Her legendary Twister party went down in the annals of history with the locals in Cyprus (and the doctors who had to treat those who got stuck on the mat in contorted positions playing it). Anyway, because she also refused to age gracefully, she neglected to tell me all the things I could expect as I got older so some came as a shock to me.
In an attempt to enlighten others to the perils of getting older, here is my list of what no one tells you until it’s too late:
Ladies, one morning you will wake up to discover your eyebrows have migrated south and taken up residence above your upper lip. You will either have to have them tattooed back on – ouch! Or start using an eyebrow pencil. I advocate the latter as you can have enormous fun putting on one eyebrow higher than the other and giving yourself a quizzical air or for full-on fun, put them on upside down and scare people.
Men, you may discover a similar migration. The hair from your head will gradually disappear and begin to force itself out of your ears and nose. You know you are getting old when you suddenly find yourself fascinated by those nasal hair trimmers. Alternatively, you can let the hair in your ears grow. It might block out the sound of your other half nagging you haven’t done all those DIY jobs she left for you.
Honestly. You will be walking along the mall one morning, thinking about what to buy for your lunch and a woman, on a mobile phone or chatting to a friend pushing a baby buggy, will approach from the opposite direction and aim directly for you. They will not move out of the way, and you will be forced into a doorway to escape from being run down.
Or, you will walk into a store and try as you might to attract the attention of a salesperson you will fail. They will continue to talk about their families and boyfriends and ignore you. Congratulations! You have just become invisible.
I use this new superpower to amuse myself by wearing a lampshade on my head and travelling up and down the escalator in the department store. Amazing what you can get away with.
Forget buying tasty, sugary cereals that you used to enjoy, or bagels and peanut butter. You will find yourself naturally drawn to nutritious bran-enriched cereal and… prunes.
Actually, you won’t be able to eat a lot of the stuff you used to enjoy. You can kiss goodbye to those extra fries for one thing. All those carbs will just make your stomach blow up and give you stomach ache. You’ll be kept awake listening to your stomach groaning as IBS plays you up and has you reaching for the anti-acid tablets. I recommend you live on small bowls of soup and sandwiches – it makes for easy meal planning!
It happens to us all. You’ll trundle down the stairs, enter the kitchen and wonder what you’ve gone in for. Or, you’ll open the fridge and discover the washing up liquid in the place you normally put the milk.
This is quite acceptable as is checking you have turned off the hob several times after you have already locked up the house and returning to the car to see if you have actually locked it.
If this has started happening, stick a post-it note on your head to remind you and hopefully that will help, as long as you remember you have a post-it note on your head.
Men are mostly the culprits in this department. For some unfathomable reason, they’ll burst into a non-musical version of a pom-pom-pom song much like the character Winnie The Pooh. Some may take to whistling tunelessly instead while many females will merely end up talking to themselves.
Both sexes will begin to let out a wheeze as they stand up; even those who are slim and don’t have bad joints. I’ve decided it must be compulsory and have adopted a grunt that I use when I stand up on buses and trains. It certainly confuses people who wonder where it’s come from – after all, I am invisible!
What did you least expect about getting older? What aspects of the aging process do you find funny, intriguing or unexpected? Please join the conversation.
Tags Getting Older