One of my boys turned teenager this year. How can this be? I thought I was still wearing Doc Martens, listening to The Jam and drawing my eyes in with Kohl. Truth is I am, but should I be?
When I was young and kicking,(do we still use that expression?) women of my age had bad perms and debated over which colour rinse to opt for. They wore stout walking shoes and Lisle stockings. Listened to chamber music and possessed a gun license for shooting rabbits. They didn’t go out much save for walks in the country. Maybe they weren’t left alone for long in case they hurled themselves from a precipice, deciding going on was futile. Oh, and they didn’t have sex.
My my. Haven’t we changed in the last 30 years? I wear high heels with sheer stockings. My hair is long and wild. I listen to Florence and the Machine and Black Sabbath (yes, still, what of it?). I don’t shoot rabbits but I like a glass or four of champagne. I go out all the time, un-chaperoned and everything.
But I still remember that girl with a 22-inch waist who went to Stonehenge. Watched the sun rise over the altar stone before hearing Hawkwind (a rock band from the 70’s and 80’s for the uninitiated) tune up for a crazy rendition of ‘Brainstorm’. I danced on a table in a Greek restaurant in South London with a beautiful Egyptian waiter. And spent a week in bed weeping when John Lennon died.
Obviously I couldn’t do those things now. It would be inappropriate (that word still makes me giggle). However, occasionally I raise a glass to that girl and know she’s still within me, egging me on after a few glasses of Veuve. Encouraging me to yell louder when my boys play rugby. And she’s always there when I see my sister (not often enough!) who brings out the pink and glittery in me, when I usually wear a lot of black and serge.
In the words of another group from my youth, Jethro Tull, ‘I’m too old to rock ‘n’ roll and too young to die’. But surely there must be some middle ground. Leather trousers with incontinent pads. Mini skirts with support stockings. Borrow those old ones from your auntie. Or maybe it’s all tosh and we can rock until we die. With shrinking flesh, dodgy knees and dimming eyesight, we can dance boldly (or badly in my case – the husband leaves the room when I dance) into our future. There should be more dancing. A bad poem I wrote about aging follows:-
When I’m old I’ll wear gold lame
And maybe something clever in macramé
I’ll listen to glam rock
Do my best to shock
While eating bags of sweeties
Ignoring my diabetes
I could enjoy flirtations with sailors
Who’d give me bunches of dahlias
And dance until dawn every weekday.