I’m an Oldie

I have been doing the last bit of clearing in old family home before the sale is competed tomorrow. It has been a strange couple of years. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer young. A lot of the ageing process is painful and sad, even humiliating on the physical decrepitude side. I am terribly sad about the ever increasing routines of funerals – parents, friend’s parents and most heartbreaking of all, peers. There are upsides to this being a bit of an old biddy status too. A devil may care attitude and ‘if they don’t like it they can lump it’ sensibility is no bad thing. I have been reading Colm O’Regan’s hilarious Irish Mammies book and am a little alarmed at how familiar she is to me. I am sure that Mr O’Regan has secretly been bugging my house and telephone conversations. This is rather disturbing as until quite recently I was in a happy delusional state and still reckoned I was a bit of an old hipster (which clearly I am not – AT ALL). One minute I was a pretty presentable young chick and now am a bit of an old broiler. An insurance company in Britain has now famously produced a list of 50 signs that one is an oldie; here is mine:

  1. Your own and your friends parents dying
  2. Having to take care of elderly parents
  3. Friends become ill, and start to die
  4. You have a fine collection of Tupperware
  5. You save old jam jars – for making jam and chutney
  6. Collecting elderflowers and sloes for wine and cordial
  7. You don’t recognise yourself in photographs (who is that old trout with three chins and a scraggy neck?)
  8. You embrace huge pants
  9. Sexy matching lingerie doesn’t look sexy and has little appeal
  10. You love gardening
  11. You play bridge
  12. Inexplicably your waistbands appear to have shrunk by several inches
  13. You have bra fat
  14. ‘Is it just me or is it absolutely boiling hot in here?’
  15. You only ever get the glad eye or get chatted up by very old men
  16. One eyebrow appears to be about 3 inches higher than the other one
  17. Some eyebrow hairs are unusually long and stand perpendicular to your forehead
  18. Horrible realisation that you are mutton dressed as lamb
  19. Your teeth become a serious cause for concern
  20. Aching joints
  21. You read Now or Grazia (in the hairdressers only of course) and make like an old judge – ‘who are these people?’
  22. Finding allegedly hilarious comedians signally unfunny
  23. Becoming totally out of touch with the latest music
  24. Listening to new hotly tipped bands and thinking they are rubbish and nothing like as good as the old days
  25. RTEs newsround, nature and history programmes lovely and soothing
  26. Big night parties on Saturday take until at least Wednesday to recover from
  27. Sitting in with good book or telly frequently more appealing than a night out
  28. Getting dolled up to go into town or for plane trip
  29. Watching your child’s eyes turn to saucers when you tell them about the milkman and his horse, the pig farm that is now a builder’s suppliers, Bewley’s herd of Jersey cows, the open-backed buses, bus conductors….
  30. Nobody but you smokes any more
  31. People feel entitled to tick one off about smoking
  32. When you have a fat tummy nobody asks if you might be pregnant
  33. Your friends are grannies
  34. Comfy shoes are more important than high fashion shoes
  35. You are obsessed with finding clothes with sleeves
  36. Nobody ever gives you big eye meets across the dinner table or at parties (unless they are someone’s dad or uncle)
  37. You are offered a seat on the DART
  38. Saggy knees
  39. Lumbago
  40. Weird white pubic hairs growing from crown of head
  41. Owning a dozen pairs of reading glasses and often wearing three pairs on head at once
  42. Becoming deaf as a post
  43. Finding shrubs extremely interesting
  44. Writing endless to do lists
  45. Telling the same story again and again, and yet again
  46. Boring people at parties and watching their eyes glaze over as the pop up to the loo and go and sit somewhere else
  47. Not giving so much of a damn
  48. Not stressing too much about the enormous muffin top
  49. Being glad to be alive
  50. Loving your friends much more and being kinder

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