Travelling back from town on public transport, a gorgeous young girl got on the bus and ended up in a seat facing me. As she looked me up and down she gave me a sort of pitying look as if to say “Why have you let yourself get old?” Granted I wasn’t wearing my Sunday best but looking at myself through her eyes she might have had a point, but this made me smile.
Young people always think that they will never get old.
It will never ever happen to them, they will fight it all the way maybe even thinking that scientists will discover a magic serum that will keep them looking young (it’s called Nivea) because god forbid they end up being invisible, unnoticed,ignored, unworthy,and all the other negative connotations associated with the word “old.” But it’s not as cut and dried as you think. Getting older is an insidious process, it creeps up on you when you’re not looking and doesn’t happen overnight. One day you’re happy to wear outrageous clothes, hair and make up but a couple of years later you might think it best to tone it down a bit if you want people to take you seriously and you just never go back. Instead of shopping in all the quirky shops that sell the things you used to love, you start shopping in different ones and finding a different style but one which still reflects the “real you.”
Things might change again once you’ve had a family and you’re trying to juggle kids, house and work.Easier to just buy things that are easy to wear, comfortable and you can just throw in the wash so the days of buying fabulous items that are dry clean only go out of the window, and let’s face it, where are you going to wear them these days? You tend to spend more on the kids clothes than you do on yours (even though you were never ever going to be that woman) and maybe start spending less on makeup. Obviously you’re still making an effort everyday, especially on the school run as we all know the bitching that goes on at the school gates, but something’s changed. Doing the weekly shop in the supermarket it’s easy to just throw something in the trolley for yourself in the clothing section, not exactly Top Shop but it’ll do.
Once the kids become teenagers you might start to question your choice in what to buy in clothes as you’re entering unknown territory. Too old for a lot of the fashion but still far too young to give up. If you’ve still kept your figure it’s tempting to still try to keep up with the fashionistas but you don’t want to be that woman who people point the finger at as “mutton dressed as lamb.” While you’re open to trying new styles it’s difficult to hang on to your identity as the girl known as the trendsetter back in the day now shops in Debenhams. Instead of Radio 1 it’s now Radio 2. Instead of the latest hairstyle it’s now a shorter one that you wanted to “try out” a few years ago and seemed to have settled with.
Once you’re over 50 you may as well turn to dust, game over. No one is in the slightest bit interested in what you wear, say,look like or have an opinion on. It seems to be one step away from Bon Marche and everything that goes with it. Or so people think. While some people like to say “50 is the new 30!” let me tell you no it’s bloody not. By this time our bodies have slowed down, health issues start, most of us are wearing glasses, we tire a lot easier especially if we’re working a physical job but our minds still like to tease us by making us think we are younger than we are. And this is where it’s easier to buy clothes that reflect how we feel society sees us, bland, insipid, plain clothes that make us feel safe and easy to just fade into the background. But some women might try to make one last stand, running the risk of being ridiculed by wearing skirts too short, tops too low and wearing clothes that draw attention but for all the wrong reasons. So in a way I can understand why the older men/women in their 60’s/70’s end up buying beige. To stand out is to have confidence and not many older people have that as life has a funny way of knocking it out of you. It would take a very brave older person to stay true to their younger self and wear what they’d love to wear.
But let’s not forget. Youth is wasted on the young.
Last week I went on a date.Coffee of course, you know the script by now.I`d chatted to “L” a couple of times on the phone and I liked the fact that he was really easy to chat to so I was looking forward to this one.Yes he had a dodgy hairstyle but that can easily be fixed, as can dress sense so off I went.
As I got to our meeting place I saw an old man and my heart seemed to stop for a second.It was L.My first thought was to turn around and txt with some bizarre excuse as to why I couldn`t make it but decided against it as at least he`d made the effort and turned up.He was 57 yrs old and was smartly dressed but all the time I was thinking “I`n too young for this”.During coffee he never shut up about his childhood, exes,his job and I put it down to nerves and when I was asked the usual questions he started talking before I`d finished. Not a problem as I`d already decided I wasn`t going to see him again, but it got me thinking.
This is it now for me.It`s been like a slap in the face as I realise that the men my age are mostly old in outlook and just want someone to go on holiday with.A companion in other words.L said it himself that he was just looking for someone to “do stuff with”.I now have to come to terms with the fact I am never going to look at someone and think yeah….let`s rip your clothes off.And that believe it or not is quite upsetting.
I don`t want to hear from people (usually married) “Oh why do you even care about that?” I`ll tell you why.I don`t want to think that I`m never going to have that heart lifting moment when you spend time with someone who you can`t get enough of, butterflies when you see them, nights on the town, making endless plans and just the thought of them puts a smile on your face.That I believe now, is never going to happen again.I`ve been on enough dates to know the score.
Older people like to think that they`re not getting older but of course they are, the mirror and our bodies tell us that, but I for one want more than just a companion and I can`t tell you how it feels to think I`ll probably never lust after anyone again….
People often say “How did we meet people when we were young?” Well I’ll tell you, when we were 16/17/18 we had a wide circle of friends and every weekend we all went into the town centre and went into all the pubs at the same time as the rest of the 16/17 18 year olds who lived in the same town. So everyone the same age was out at the same time so it was really easy to meet guys(or boys as they were then). Fast forward 40 years and obviously we’ve all come out of marriages, maybe moved away to live somewhere else and probably lost touch with a lot of friends on the way so for a lot of us it’s now the internet which is our new best friend. If we go out it’s either a family get-together (usually a meal) or out for a drink with a couple of friends and let’s face it, there’s probably not that many people our own age who are in that restaurant/pub at the same time that we’re in it. So we join these dating sites hoping we’ll meet someone but it`s difficult when you are talking to someone on-line and you don’t have your “wing-man”.
Back in the day everyone thought that they were in the top clique, there were different groups of people and each one thought that they were the top one and it wasn’t just the girls either. The guys were just as bad and each weekend they were stood at the bar watching all the girls strutting their stuff on the dance floor but 2 guys in particular stood out more than the rest. J and D dressed to impress every weekend, wearing their sharp bright suits and hiring a Lotus Elise just for the weekends. The rest of the lads hated ’em, but one night J came in useful. One Tuesday night my wing-man M and I went to the only pub that would be packed that night and walked up to the bar. At the time I was sort of seeing someone “P” but M really fancied his mate and this particular night they were both in the pub.But so was a group of girls who also had their eyes on these guys.
As we stayed at the bar J came in and came straight over to us. He knew what was going on and said “Just laugh at everything I say”so we did. P and his friend kept walking past but made no attempt to approach us as by now they’d sat with the other girls who were doing a lot of hair flicking and leaning forward to listen intently to what they had to say,(which wouldn’t have been a lot let me tell you) As the night wore on J stayed with us and when it was last orders he said “Let`s just walk out now.Each of you link me on each side and as we walk out you have to laugh your heads off.” M wasn `t too sure.” Oh no! That would be curtains for me! He won’t want to know!” But J was insistent, As we walked up the road a car pulled up along side us and P had his head out of the window with his mate sat beside him.”Get in!!” J winked at us as he walked away,he knew exactly what to do to wind them all up.
It wasn’t long after that when me and P parted ways because as much as he was a looker he just didn’t have the personality to go with it, and as for his mate it would seem he was far more interested in his clothes than what any girl had to offer.
C’est la vie.