The story of my slow descent into old age:
1) I send a note into school with my daughter. The teacher (who claims to be 25 but is clearly about 12) asks my daughter what it says because ‘he is unable to read my old-fashioned handwriting’. I ask, don’t they teach joined-up writing in schools nowadays?
2) For the first time in my life, I have decided to begin a skin-care regime and to frequent the make-up counters of department stores.
3) At one of the make-up counters, I am handed a free sample. This is a proper grown-up thing which has never happened to me before. I am very pleased until I see that it is for ‘over 40s’, and although I am 40 I am ONLY JUST 40 and I have always been complimented on my youthful looks.
‘Do I look 40?’ I wail to my daughter.
‘No, Mum, definitely not,’ she replies comfortingly ‘you only look about 39.’
4) I have lived for long enough to see fashion coming around again. Last summer my daughter looked as if she could blend in at my old high school.
5) I notice young men doing double takes when they see her, and realise that it is a very, very long time since anyone looked like that at me. Almost a lifetime away.
They look at their feet when they see my ferocious glare.
6) I am able to scare young men. This is actually quite fun (sorry, young men. I am sure you mean no harm, but my daughter is only 11 and is squirming and embarrassed under your impolite gaze).
7) I stop trying to be Nice and wonder if I might become Formidable, and if this might even be enjoyable? Have I found the positive side to ageing?
8) I have developed a mono-boob. (This is a vast, shelf-like expanse of chest, which occurs when a large-breasted women reaches the age when her cleavage is too wrinkly to wear plunging v-necks, which would break up said expanse of chest. Also known as a matronly bosom).
Rather than feel upset by this, I wonder if it makes me more Formidable?
9) When the hairdresser suggests doing something new with my hair, I react with a horror that makes me realise that I have reached the age when my hair will become frozen in time. Like my Grandma with her 1940s wave, my hair will remain in this style until the end of my days (in this case, a poker straight, side parted 90s style. Think Rachel from Friends).
10) As I become less Nice and more Formidable, I find myself becoming more Impatient. Even my bowels are somewhat irritable. However, giving up my Wine and my Coffee is absolutely out of the question.
I have become Set In My Ways.
How about you? Have you ever had a moment where you realised you had suddenly reached a new age in life, whether it be the end of childhood, the beginning of adulthood or the first signs of old age? Did you find it a positive or negative experience?