Wednesday, March 11, 2009
[growing old gracefully] and the problem of seagulls
Look, I honestly do appreciate my residential location, which I’ve somehow accidentally or on purpose [depending on which deity you follow] found myself in.
I really am grateful … but what I do not appreciate is being woken every morning by the squawk of bleedin’ seabirds outside my window at 03:50.
I know that that was the time because I got up and had a look, didn’t I, before telling them to stop their bloody racket. All very yo-ho-ho in the morning light it was too, with birds screeching about over by the ships, very Robert Louis indeed as I gazed down on the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of a one legged man or to musket my way to a few of those pieces of eight.
Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about today.
Yesterday, as you’d understand because I posted, I did the long bike trek into town, taking my two part spectacles into ASDA for repair. They refused, which is fine, so I had to go elsewhere but one thing which struck me was that ageing women shouldn’t try to dress as if they were still thirty. A mini-skirt and boots on a sixty-year old lady is not a pretty thing.
What is a pretty thing on a sixty year old lady is grace and elegance.
Who said a matriarch or that indefinable person called a ‘lady’ cannot be an alluring prospect if she is obviously some kind of Segie whom the years have treated kindly and who goes in for the Arthurian motif? Has anyone not heard of Queen Margot either - although I think she was a bit younger, wasn’t she?
Which brings me to the men.
In about 1995, I was asked by a girl hockey player of nineteen, with thighs like tree stumps [I have to get my own back somehow]: ‘Why do you try to dress like you’re nineteen?’
Rather than tell her to get knotted, I heeded the pastry-loving damsel’s words, took a look and yes, I’d basically grown older and forgotten to adjust the attire in accordance with the years.
Soon after, I passed my psychedelic yellow Sonnetti jacket and jeans on to a deserving teenager, discarded the designer trainers and went in for the loose top, straight cut jeans and black leather Echos on the feet. All I needed then was the body to go with it but that’s a later tale from Russia which you’ll never hear because I don’t want a certain person to know with whom I went.
So yes, a woman of sixty can look quite alluring if she:
1. is not a man-hating misandrist;
2. does not carp on and on and on about women’s rights and how wonderful Germaine Greer is;
3. looks after herself;
4. plays the part of the mysterious woman with a past.
What a man does, when the chin goes double, triple and finally becomes not unlike a pelican, is another matter. Maybe he should:
1. give away the pastries and sweet comestibles;
2. get back into the training;
3. fail to notice the younger ladies;
4. get involved in some noble pursuit which will bring the women in anyway;
5. have lots of money.
One thing he should not do is ride about on a bicycle at top speed, weaving in and out of cars parked at the lights as if it was a slalom course and then tear off down the road because as sure as a plaster cast, those worthy drivers will catch up with him further down the track and no amount of riding up on the footpath, playing chicken with stationary pedestrians and running lights will alter a car owner’s gleam of determination.
The moral is that people of a certain age should start to act their age. The two words ‘concrete boots’ leap apppealingly to the imagination for cheeky sods like the aforementioned.
Disclaimer: I didn’t really do any of the above – it was just fantasy, like the rest of my life.
Speaking of fantasy, there’s another aspect I’d like to touch on and that’s the ‘old farts – young tarts’ syndrome. With the best will in the world, chaps – that’s a fantasy unless you’re in a third world country and we all know about Gary Glitter, don’t we?
And by the way, have you seen some of the YTs today? What are they doing looking like that at that age? Is it their parents’ fault, their fault, society’s or Gordon Brown’s?
Having written all the above, I wonder if it isn’t easier for a woman in the early years and a man in the later years.
Perhaps not but it seems so.
Seems to me that a younger lady who wishes to enjoy the company of men no sooner need announce, ‘Here I am, boys,’ than she has an instantly loyal clientele. A man announcing, ‘Here I am, girls,’ might not attract quite the same degree of attention.
I saw one just now in the town and she was like a magnet for the middle-aged and yes, I would have.
Conversely, lovable, well dressed rogues who enjoy dancing might find felicity beyond fifty. In fact, I know a number of them. In Tenerife, I saw one Spaniard, maybe sixty-five, not all that tall, an expressive rather than a good dancer, cleanly dressed, with a very pleasant manner and women of all ages dripping off him. I looked at my girlfriend of the time and asked how he managed that. Later, he came over and we chatted about things – he really was one very cool dude without realizing why, I was sure of that.
So yes, perhaps we have to come to terms with where we are and not keep deluding ourselves. I shouldn’t imagine this will get too many comments as it’s a deeply personal issue for many and there’s a lot of either self-delusion or despondency about.
Solution? Perhaps an attitude and values makeover first, followed by a dose of reality – Britain’s good for that. Then a lifestyle change with a new game plan thought out.