Am I Old Now?

Getting old sucks.

For some of us, it’s the grey hairs and fine lines. But I can handle those; I’ve earned them!

For others, it’s the slightly saggy flesh suit our babies have gifted us. Personally, I don’t think I can really blame it entirely on the kids – it has taken years of careful over eating to get where I am today. My beautiful silver lines are all on them, however!

I’m not even too bothered about having to keep my blue cluster veined legs under wraps these days – it’s nothing a can or six of Sally Hansen won’t fix when needed.

The hard part for me is marrying this older, slightly careworn exterior with a mind that still feels about 21!

Every now and again, life slaps me in the face to serve me a reminder that I am, in fact, no longer 21. Like this afternoon when I went for a walk. As I was powering along my route, music thumping in my ears, adrenaline pumping, in my mind I was a lithe young thing in a buzzing nightclub, body bouncing to the beat, having a blast – HELLO IBIZA 2000 AND SOMETHING!!

In reality, I was a pretty wrecked looking Mum of two wearing a pair of trakkie bums I’ve owned longer than my kids, walking probably not that fast actually, and gently leaking onto my incontinence pad.

It didn’t help that I was then lapped by a Rapunzel haired foetus with buns you could bounce stones off (I didn’t, I swear…).

Reality bites. Ouch!

It’s a clothes thing too. How does a sprightly minded, nearly-forty-year-old dress these days? Now I’m quite happy not to be pouring myself into Lycra trousers up to my armpits or wearing tops I can only describe as nipple strips. This particular tide of fashion has crashed over me and left me happily washed up on a beach of covered navels and sensible shoes – ‘Thank God!’ screams everyone, everywhere.

But when I hit into my 30’s, some gland in my brain started excreting a hormone every time I crossed the threshold of M&S. The smart pants, the fine knitwear, the deep, cotton-soft knickers… I’d find myself drifting towards the changing room, quality slacks in hand – it was all so confusing!!!

Who am I? How did I get here?

And the summertime always brings out a woeful yearning in me to be in a beer garden somewhere drinking pints and smoking hundreds of fags. But I know I’m not able for that craic anymore! Plus I have children to look after, so it may be seen as slightly negligent.

Every year I watch all the festival footage from my couch in my luxuriously comfy M&S lounge pant and think, ‘Yeah, that’d be so deadly!!’ Then I see some plonker painted silver from head to toe wearing zoggabongs and fluffy boots and I think, ‘Christ, I’m just not able for that shite!’.

On the rare occasion I do venture over my threshold after 8 pm to go and get down with the kids, I’m often left pondering things like; ‘Do they still dance like this?’ or ‘Whatever happened to proper signage on the jacks doors?’ or indeed ‘Why do all the bar persons have such lush hair? Where did all this lushness come from? Is it a prerequisite to work here??’

Luckily, my penchant for an auld G&T means I am able to blend in with the uber fashionable. Until the end of the night when I am desperately scrabbling for the last taxi home like Peig on a potato, longing for my lounge pants.

So where do I sit on the scale? Am I old? To my daughter, I am. To my mother, I am only a young thing! To my friends? Well. We’re all still 21 really…

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