Now my son has pretty much recovered, I’ve stopped worrying about him and gone back to thinking about…..me, and I’m still having issues with the whole age thing!
I know it’s boring and I should give it up and stop going on about it but it’s bothering me. I just don’t like being 50. Well, I like the celebratory part of it as I am still dining out on it, with still more celebrations to come, but I don’t like facing the fact that I’m not a young thing any more.
So, I’ve decided to focus on my MLC. That’s Mid-Life Crisis to those of you not in the know!
Yes, I think I have earned the right to rampage wildly in an overcompensatory manner and I’m quite looking forward to it. After all, it’s only another phase of life. I’ve long passed the yummy mummy stage and I admit to being quite flattered about being called a milf (I’m sorry but I was!) and recently I was told there’d be no shortage of cubs if I fancied being a cougar, which I’m not sure how I feel about but it’s another possible badge to wear. So now, it’s time to get my MLC award.
Because it really must be time for that now. At 50.
Traditionally It can occur any time between the ages of 40 and 60 but it is supposed to happen once you have ticked certain boxes, like buying your own home, bringing mini versions of yourself into the world, owning the obligatory big family car (with a smaller one on the drive) and getting as far as you are able in the workplace. Well, I’ve done all that. In fact, I did it all a while ago and well…I’m still waiting.
Sometimes, life feels hard. The mortgage never seems to go down and seems as much now as when we first took it out. And the recent long recession and high inflation made shopping and paying household bills very stressful. I feel slightly trapped in a domestic prison, which I think must make me ideal for an MLC.
The thing is, I’m not quite sure how to go about it. I thought a gardener might be the answer, in a Lady Chatterley/Desperate Housewives sort of way. But instead of the bronzed Adonis that I was looking forward to, I got Ken. Lovely man but he had no teeth, drank too much of my tea and insisted on showing me endless photos of his grandchildren. And when he took his shirt off in the sun, and revealed his skinny, pasty white-haired, wrinkled frame it was quite frankly just too much and I haven’t invited him back.
I don’t know what I would have done if some gorgeous young thing had turned up to mow the lawn. I’m good at flirting but anything more than that would take too much effort and quite frankly, I haven’t got the energy. I quite like the husband anyway and don’t fancy running off with a younger model which apparently, is a typical MLC thing to do.
So what else? A facelift? That’s also a popular MLC choice but no way am I going anywhere near knives and needles. The needle thing is probably why I haven’t gone down the tattoo route. I quite liked the idea of marking half a century with a tiny tattoo. Probably, wait for it…..a cherry !! I thought I could have a tiny one on my hip, or the top of my thigh or the very small of my back. I liked all these ideas and if I was brave enough I would have gone for it. Though my daughter said she would never have allowed a cherry as it has sexual implications. How does she even know that ? She also said all my favoured areas would make my tattoo a “tramp stamp”. What does that even mean and why must she always be so disapproving of me?
I need to behave badly in some way as I have waited long enough for this MLC. After all, while I’ve been enjoying all the World Cup football on TV, I realise I am approaching the half-time interval of my life…..OK, OK I know full well I’m actually nearer extra time but that’s far too depressing to say out loud!
Given that I don’t know how to have an MLC and yes, I know, I probably should have had it a while ago, the actual answer is probably to just give it up.
I think that my deep obsession with age is more a pathological fear of being left behind or missing my shot at the big time. Soon after her fantastic run on Strictly Come Dancing, Pamela Stephenson said the experience had “ignited something in me that I thought I had lost”. I feel like that when I’m acting and increasingly, when I’m writing – especially when I hear others reading my scripts. But sometimes, I feel as if I’ve left it far too late to be starting all this now. So much to learn and maybe not enough time…
I’ve said it before but I need to learn to be ageless. That doesn’t mean trying to halt the passage of time but instead cherishing the opportunity to let the past years go, in the knowledge that life still holds interesting challenges. Icons of agelessness are Susan Sarandon, Tilda Swinton and Joan Collins who just seem to embrace life and get on with it without worrying about what they once were. When I last watched EastEnders, I realised that June Brown still playing Dot Cotton/Branning in her eighties is undoubtedly an old woman but she’s also truly ageless. I’m going to try and emulate these women because it’s about not hanging on to what I might have been but focusing on who I still can be……without fear.
As for my MLC, forget it – if I go with the ageless thing, I’m not going to have time !