Remember those wonderful heady days of being a self-absorbed youth? When you didn’t care about the environment until the cute guy from Greenpeace came to hand out leaflets in your college? When you thought nothing of going to Parry’s Corner on your rickety moped at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Madras Summer’s day just so you could get t-shirts for your departments march drill on sports day? Even though you knew the BBA girls would turn up in shorter than short skirts with perky balloons and body parts and win the trophy. Remember when you cared enough to wax your legs in school, even though the only men on the premises were the near blind pot bellied watchman, the crotchety man in admin and canteen uncle? Remember what it felt like when you could still turn heads on the road?
I’m suffering from the early onset of ageing. I know, I know. It sounds implausible that at 26 I’ve suddenly become a relic from the Pliocene era. But this fossilisation hasn’t happened over night you know. Oh no. I’ve caught myself doing certain things more appropriate for an OAP for a while now.
Every time young girls in derriere grazing mini skirts and hot pants board a bus or train, giggling and texting one another I’m the first one to shake my head in disapproval (140 to Heathrow regular Doris is usually quick to join in, but she’s been in a neck brace for a while now). I’m only concerned for them of course. Frost bitten bums have never been particularly attractive to the opposite (and in some cases same) sex.
My once enviable knowledge of hip music (is hip still a socially acceptable word?) has also plummeted. Kooks were what we used to call crazy people back in the day. And the last time I checked, Arctic Monkeys were what oxygen deprived explorers mistook one another for on first arriving in those cold climes.
I always carry a sweater with me in case it suddenly gets cold. I only get my hair done once every six months. I have started to make my own kitchen cleaning solution (equal parts water and vinegar for those that are interested. Works like a dream). I bake cakes on birthdays and anniversaries. I plan menus for the week ahead, so that when I do grocery shopping I know exactly what I need. I DO GROCERY SHOPPING.
One would think that with all these signs I would have figured out much earlier that I was headed for premature hip replacement surgery. My only excuse is that I have also been blessed with mental faculties of an 80 year old. It takes me a while.
It struck home though when my husband came home last night. He opened a large bag and took out two bottles of Beaujolais and a Chablis.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“New Year gifts for the team from clients”
“What? Wine? No dried fruits like last year?” I whined.
And there you have it ladies and gentleman. Final proof that I should be put in a home with lavender walls and made to share a room with someone called Rose who thinks Thatcher is still Prime Minister. I actually wanted almonds instead of a nice red. I’m an ageing squirrel.
So today morning I said enough is enough! I will recapture my lost years! I will seize the moment! Etc etc. While having an affair with a younger person was ruled out (I might get thrown in jail given the age group I would have to prey on to have a suitably Stella getting groove back moment) I decided I would use the only weapons available to me. My shoes. Why, what did you think I was going to use?
So before I set off to complete a few errands I put on some eye liner and slid in to my red heels (I was also wearing clothes, just in case the above sentence makes it sound like that’s all I had on) and set out in search of my twenties.
In case you’re wondering I didn’t find them. They certainly were not at the post office, newsagent or hidden under the sack of basmati rice I bought at Tesco. I did however discover the biting cold. And remember what I said about frostbitten bums not being very attractive? Well frost bitten toes aren’t that hot either.