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 …