When did you stop wanting to get older? For me it was about 33-35. Until then, I only ever wanted to be a Grown-Up. Being a younger sister, I never felt this was really possible – there was always SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED two years ahead, and I was always playing catch-up. But then everyone around me started to look a little more haggard and wrinkled than before and one of those people was me. So I told a lie ….
I LIED about my age. In the Press.
It’s all there in black and white:
The journalist asked me outright how old I was. I could have said:
- “Can’t remember”
- “Nobody’s business”
I said 46. Then I decided to be honest and upgraded to 48 but it still wasn’t QUITE the right age. What the hell was I thinking? Probably, I don’t want to be old. Getting older is just about the only thing we all have in common but it’s never the right time is it.
But guess what? When the article came out, I felt years younger. So did all my family, old school friends and everyone I’ve known for decades. They were all happy to shave a few years off too by association – so Hallelujah! – who needs Botox, Collagen, Nips and Tucks when all you have to do is shout out loud:
I AM YOUNG !!I
AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT GET OVER YOURSELF!
But my conscience is pricking. What if it does matter? If every person in the world tells even one teeny little ‘white’ lie, it might accumulate around the world and form into a gigantic glob of dishonesty that makes liars of us all. Lets face it, telling a lie doesn’t sound as bad as being a liar.
ON THE OTHER HAND what if my budding career as a Stand-Up Comic crashes almost before it begins when they find out I am ancient and OVER FIFTY?
Probably did that anyway, when I strode onto the stage of The Oxford Playhouse in a long black dress and sparkling red shoes a few weeks ago and found myself staring into a dazzling spotlight. This was the first time I’ve performed in a theatre and only my second ever gig. Were my upper arms jiggling? What about my jowls? Mutton dressed as lamb one thing. Ancient deluded granny dressed as middle aged woman quite another. Could I even remember what I wanted to say?
Squinting out across the auditorium, there were shadows of an audience in the distance but the first few rows were empty due to a mix-up. The only person I could see was one of my oldest friends from London in the fifth row. The light cast on her face gave her a grim, scowling appearance. Now all I had to do was make everyone laugh … surely that’s what it was all about.
Did I die on my arse? But more important, was my arse fat and wobbly, and did I look old?
Find out in the next installment …
Tee hee! Fab as usual, Jo.
Whenever I ask myself how old I am (crazy, I know) I always come up with 25. Over half my age! Barmy! It’s because I don’t think of myself as 51 until I look in the mirror, and then I’m cruelly reminded of the fact that I am.
My Dad is 92, but thinks, behaves and charges around the place as if he was 32. There is no way he would add on the extra 60 years in a million years. It is because he thinks he is that age that he continues to live for ever, happily, healthily and full of vigour.
My mother said to me once: “How can I have a middle aged daughter when I’m not middle aged myself?” Good point.
Mind over matter really works then. Must be in the genes too Alice because you look very young for your age – not embryonic mind! Sometimes I think I must be old because I remember Hermans Hermits.
Blimey – something I missed out on? What or who are Hermans Hermits?
Who are Hermans Hermits? WHO ARE HERMANS HERMITS? My dear you are a youngster …
I was there and you looked gorgeous
wow an admirer – which one are you?
You’re never too old to do anything you put your mind to and it’s all your life experience that gives you the material to do stand-up. If you need proof re-read the previous comment from younger man fan.
Too right Izzie. How exciting to have an admirer. Does that make me a cougar? or would that be him? (goes off to tone essential parts)
I once inadvertently ADDED a year to my age for almost a whole year, through bad mental arithmetic/lack of concentration. It did mean that I got to be 37 twice though – I genuinely felt that I had gained a year of life. Love the post, fabulous drawings as always!
Clever you – why stop there Emma? If the clocks can go backwards and forwards, our ages most certainly can x
I may have been a year less as a teen when I met my husband
i know someone who hid her passport for the duration of their marriage having taken 5 years off at the start
Brilliant Jo! Sometimes the little white lie has popped out before you’ve even had a chance to consider the consequences….well that’s my excuse anyway. I reckon being on stage demands a long black dress and red heels. Go you! x
thanks Suzanne – long black dress and red heels to pick up is my next aim. Gotta keep shaking things up eh? *when i say pick up i mean school gates not the red lion on a sat night x
Great post – I’m intrigued about what happened next! I always said that when I turned forty I would start counting backwards. Funny thing though now that I’m here I don’t. Love those forties!
good idea about counting backwards. where to stop? twenties, teenager or toddler?