Getting old sucks. It really does. People who say ‘Age is just a number’ are talking bollocks. It’s a great big number. And there’s a reason for it. Physical and mental things that happen as your body slowly deteriorates before your very failing eyes. I try to search for the positives: experience and wisdom, kids flown the nest, retirement on the horizon, financial freedom? Well OK so none of those actually apply but you get the drift.
I think this has hit home this week more than ever as my youngest has graduated and just landed her first job. Another chapter closes in the book of life. Which means I might well be approaching the epilogue!
So on that cheery note, here’s a list of things that are really shite about getting old.
- You make ‘old people’ noises when you sit down, stand up, bend over, roll over, walk. It’s mainly because something that you didn’t know you had now seems to ache or hurt. Which means another trip to the doctors. Whatever it is, it’s probably fatal.
- Your tolerance for alcohol is greatly diminished. Sniff a cork and I’m anyone’s. Not that anyone wants me. Apart from the tax man.
- Your toenails seem to get thicker while your fingernails and hair gets thinner! I know this because the beauty therapist now reaches for the angle grinder when I go in for a pedicure.
- You forget that you’re now not remotely attractive to the opposite sex. Well not the ones in your 18 year old mind. I’ve often looked a young lad in the street and thought ‘Oh he’s cute’! Then I realise he’s only about 16 and actually it’s the balding, portly granddad he’s helping across the road who is more likely in my permitted age range. I now berate myself for such thoughts and thank the Lord I’ve yet again avoided a prison sentence.
- No one wants to have sex with you except drunk people. Or someone that’s in to necrophilia.
- Your pubic hair turns grey. Although my husband will argue they’re just cobwebs.
- Your bladder has a mind of it’s own. Muscles that were once toned are now like some worn knicker elastic. The pelvic floor retired shortly after the birth of child 2 over 20 years ago. I dare not cough, sneeze or laugh for fear of leakage. Which subsequently rules out any social interaction of any kind.
- You really do think you’re pretty cool for your age but your kids just think you’re an embarrassing idiot. Personally I see nothing wrong with saying ‘lolz’ but apparently it’s wrong on many many levels.
- You realise that planning ahead is pretty pointless as there isn’t much ‘ahead’ left! It’s all ‘behind’. 30 more summers if I’m lucky. God that’s depressing. Thank God for sherry!
- You watch The Antiques Road Show. Or record it if you’re busy darning some socks. Obviously when I say ‘record’ I mean ‘download’. Hashtag oldbag
- The clothes you think will look great on you just don’t. So often I see something in a magazine and think that would really suit me. The person I imagine in the outfit is normally slim with long legs. I haven’t been slim or had long legs since I was a gangly 11 year old which is about when I stopped growing upwards and started growing sideways.
- You turn into your parents. I find myself telling my kids to make sure they eat before they leave for work/wear weather-appropriate clothing etc. I also find myself saying things like – ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ or ‘In my day…..’ My children are adults! They’re starting to think I’m from another era, not even covered in their history lessons!
- You become obsessed with the weather. Worrying endlessly that if you go out, you might be too hot, too cold or get wet. You end up covering all eventualities by packing a small case with an umbrella, rain mac (one that folds to a handy pocket size), cardigan, sun hat and sun cream just to go to Tesco. It’s suddenly become your main topic of conversation. You’re a weather bore. Did I tell you about the great storm of 1987? Or the heatwave of 1976? Who cares!
- It takes a lot longer to fill in a form. Mainly scrolling down the drop down age menu to find that you don’t even come into a bracket. It’s just 50+ which means ‘actually we don’t really give a shit’.
- You look forward to a dull evening. Although last night we went a bit mad and watched all six episodes of Doc Martin. In one sitting. Practically Netflix and chill!
But, on the plus side, pretending to be deaf does have it’s advantages. And somewhere buried deep in this apathy is a young spirit that, given half a glass of Lambrusco and a pair of leg warmers, might just make those next 30 summers the best ever.
So long as it’s not too hot.