Friday, 14 September 2012

Specs and mugs and rock ‘n’ roll

Middle age crept up on me.

There I was, minding my own business, getting on with being me, when suddenly it leapt out at me as I turned a corner in my late 40s.

At first, I wasn’t too surprised. Let’s face it, I’ve been spreading middle age spread on my toast for some time now (though I still prefer Marmite). 

I thought I was cool with the inevitable.

Turns out I was in denial – and I’m not talking about a river in Egypt.

This week brought me back down to reality with a bump. Summer’s over, school’s back in (for now), unpaid bills glare at me accusingly from the ‘To Do’ pile, the ManChild is more Man than Child these days (he’s shot past my 5 ft 10 height and wears boats with laces on his feet), a good inch of mousy grey winks at me when I run my hands through my hair, and the highlight of my Saturday night is a nice cup of tea.

I’m wearing SLIPPERS as I write this, for pity’s sake!
(The Ovver Arf is thrilled – he’s been raging against my bare feet for the past 23 years)

And reading glasses too, to stop the letters doing the Macarena in front of my lens-enhanced myopic eyes. Talk about adding insult to optic injury.

Applying a slash of eyeliner for that desired 'Rock Chick' look on a rare night out results in something half way between ‘trying WAY too hard’ and 'hasn’t slept since Tuesday’.

And as I pull my aging band t-shirt over my head I'm making a mental shopping list (bleach, eggs, bananas, washing up liquid, Coco Pops, toothpaste...) and planning the coming week’s menus. Whatever happened to 3am burgers on a Wednesday and a roast peanut sandwich for a very late Sunday lunch?

Life happened, I suppose.

After a false start, I found the love of my life – in Greece (tells you something that I had to leave the country to find my soulmate, eh?). We make a son together. And a life. And a big pile of debts, obligations and concerns. And then there's the conspiracy of events trying to throw my adopted country into the waste disposal of 21st Century history, adding to my mid-life angst. Now maybe you understand the flashes of silver twinkling from my scalp?

But I won't give in without a fight. So long as there's hair dye in my shade on sale in the supermarket and I can still pull on a pair of jeans without ironing them first, I refuse to surrender to mid-life frumpiness (or worse, over-groomed, tweezed, teased and panic-stricken Yummy Mumminess).

For deep in my soul, a driving guitar riff and a stick-smashing drum solo still play - LOUD. 

And who’s to say I can’t step up to the mike with a cuppa in my hand?


  1. Go girl! (and yes I am wearing slippers and reading glasses as I type this.....) that's the spirit!

  2. You have perfectly captured that feeling of limbo (which I am now in the middle of too) where you become acutely aware that you are walking a fine line between "frumpy middle age" and "she is trying to look 20"...

    No one told me that I would spend my whole life being a more-than-self-confident person, and then wake up one day and suddenly feel like I'd lost my place in a book I was reading. Turn back a few pages, and I don't fit into those clothes any more, turn ahead a few pages and it's cataracts and sturdy lace-up shoes. Where the hell did I go?

    I don't want to spend money I don't have at a salon to end up looking like something from Desperate Housewives, but ponytails and hair clips are really not relevant any more, either. All the clothing designers are trying to convince me that my waistline is a half-inch above my pubic hair.... but no, actually, it's not.

    I've tried to find a comfortable spot halfway between, but I am not at all convinced that it's comfortable, nor halfway between. Mostly I just feel adrift.

  3. Go for it! If it helps I enjoy a cuppa, wear slippers and glasses! lol!

  4. Great post. Know exactly what you mean and you sum it up so well. How did middle age happen? I am resisting old age. I have however always worn slippers and loved my tea.