It all started a few months ago. I was chatting to a 24year old and she innocently asked how old I was. I froze. It occurred to me that when I was 24, anything over 30 just sounded old. Yet there I was, the ripe old age of 36. (Actually if we are being honest, I had to pause to mentally calculate how old I was, because who keeps track after thirty?) You see, when I look out, I don’t see me. So it’s easy to fool myself that I still look, oh I don’t know, 27?? And I’ve always been ‘blessed’ with looking much younger than I was.
Way back in High School, I think it was year 10, I was out with my first boyfriend and a lady innocently commented to him that he was so sweet to take his little sister out with him. Yeah, contrary to popular belief, looking younger isn’t always a blessing. It certainly didn’t help my cause that I was the second shortest in my year and he was really quite tall. I think my height, or lack of it, has probably been a large part of why I’ve always looked younger. That and good genes. Another amusing (?) story: When I was 22yrs old, I was at the video store with my girlfriends and a rather handsome guy gave me his phone number. Don’t get me wrong, a handsome guy giving you his number is always flattering. But then he joined his friends and that was when we noticed they were all in school uniform… Yes that good-looking guy was still in school, making him at least four years younger than me. Nowadays, four years wouldn’t bother me, but back in your early twenties – it seemed like an insurmountable divide. This trend continued. Until recently.
I’m not telling you these stories to boast, but rather so you can understand my mindset and where I’m coming from. For me, 30 years of age has always been the clincher. Until recently, I always seemed to easily pass for much younger than myself and always younger than 30. Until recently, I couldn’t understand why people had such an issue with aging gracefully. But then 5 things happened that gave me pause to realise I was a complete hypocrite;
1. The affor mentioned conversation with 24yr old who gave me that “OMG you’re old” look when I revealed my age.
2. Another (incredibly funny) 20 something year old, who I follow on Twitter, writes these snappy tweets… and I have to google their meaning. A lot. I know! I’ve turned into my mum. I’ve completely lost my grasp with all the cool, hipster language.
3. I realised I still use the word cool and have no clue if it’s still ‘cool’ to use the word cool.
4. I was out one night, with a single girlfriend of mine, and instead of having the 20-30year old guys notice us, it was the guys much closer to 50 who were giving us the looks of approval. Hmmm.
5. The big undeniable, you a getting old and can’t deny it – I discovered I had some grey hair. Completely gobsmacked by this discovery, I immediately text my best girlfriend. How on earth could this be happening? She quickly informed me, in that blunt honesty that all best girlfriends use, that she’s been dying her hair for years. Oh…
So it has occurred to me that I’ve reached that divide where I now have more in common with my mother, than I do with someone only ten years younger than me. I have reached that point where I might actually be turning into my mother. I’m also considering colouring my hair. Seriously, the wrinkles I could deal with but I draw the line at grey hair. Grey hair just seems a little too real. I can’t possibly be that old… yet.