Wednesday, 17 December 2008

It may be the new 40, darling, but....

Tomorrow I shall be 60. And I really don't mind greatly. My teens were ruined by Twiggy, and by the time I accepted that I would never be taller than 5 ' 1" or weigh as little as my mother, and my skin had cleared, I found it hard to care much about the advancing years. I thought my 30s were the best years, and later had far more to think and worry about than my age. Anyway, I am always more aware of the progress of time when it is my son's birthday, rather than my own: "He's going to be what? 37?? But he was a cute toddler only moments ago!"

What does get to me though, isn't the accelerating rate of decline, physical and mental, that comes with having lived all those years (a horrifying prospect when we were 16 and thought our friends' older sisters were over the hill at 21), but the paraphenalia that comes with the decline; the hair colourants, the upholsterery where once was lingerie, the spectacles. Ah yes, the spectacles. As if they weren't bad enough in themselves, the trendy ones being so expensive and too numerous to choose from, why, in this high-tech age, are they still so uncomfortable and able to make an unpleasant notch across the bridge of one's nose? Why does one lens keep popping out, to be found in the car, in the sofa, and (months ago, probably never to be found unless it starts a major grass fire) in Sydney Botanic Gardens? Where are all my specs, anyway? I must have eight pairs, mostly old and from supermarkets, but all I can find are the two pairs with a missing lens each, (yes, I know what you're thinking, and I thought of it too, but have you tried wearing two pairs of reading glasses at once?) and the ones that catch my hair, and that I fear will in time create a little bald spot at my temple. Reading glasses alopecia.

Suzy came up for a cup of tea this afternoon, in order, she said, to have a last look at me before I turn 60. I'm not sure what she will expect to see tomorrow; I hope she doesn't know something unpleasant that I don't.

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