Saturday, September 04, 2010

Slaps in My Saggy Face



Aging seems to be a bit of a  theme at the moment. I had an email conversation during the week with The Chicken's Consigliere about it, Little Miss Sunshine  and I have been discussing it and then Jenn over at Life in Bonetown posted this  video which is absolute gold. I'm jumping on the bandwagon because I haven't had a decent rant in weeks ( that wasn't kitchen related) and I had two age related experiences this week that mildly peeved me off and confirmed once and for all the world no longer  views me as a  spring chicken and has no qualms about shoving it in my face.

I don't think of myself as old. Until this week I didn't even consider myself middle aged, despite being a grandmother. A. Very. Young. Grandmother.    In my own head, I'm still somewhere in my early 30's, lithe , gorgeous, hip and totally down with it, and with a world of possibility at my feet. There is no way I look my age.  I'm still trendy, don't dress like a nanna, refuse to let my hair go grey and still use moisturiser daily. I haven't let myself go (much ) but have clearly been kidding myself the world views me the same way I view myself.

I was  in a shopping centre on Wednesday looking in Noni B, an upmarket ladies wear store to kill some time when a sales assistant in her mid 50's came up to me and commented on the dress I was looking at. Conversation ensued -on her side because she's hoping to make a sale, and on mine because I'm too polite to say "Lady, I'm not going to buy anything today because I just installed a new kitchen and we're livin' off credit cards". And then she started telling me about the new range they've just got in that is "fresh" and "new" and "so suitable for ladies of our age" and I seriously wanted to punch her in the face. Given that this woman was in high school when I was born and was probably having her first child when I started Grade 1,  I was mildly offended. At that point any vague hope she had of a sale galloped out the door.

Scenario Two: While I was at Lincraft on Thursday night getting my crafting supplies I ran into someone I worked with about 20 years ago. After we had exchanged the usual pleasantries, (which included catching up on our respective kids doings, and trading notes on divorces, births  and deaths) she commented "oh you're here getting craft stuff? -we're at that age where we're getting into the crafty stuff". The at that age part is in italics because it's important. For me that was the key part of the sentence.

My first thought was "No shit Sherlock-I'm in a craft store , holding a 48 x 60 canvas , 6 bits of scrap booking paper, 4 metres of 250 cm wide bamboo batting and the spray can of glue I have tucked under my armpit because I've run out of available hands makes me look like I'm a freaking kleptomaniac -  good observation that I'm here getting craft stuff" . I am usually quite testy by Thursdays and it had been a particularly long day. In my 20's I would have actually said this out loud, which means I should get some credit for having at least developed tact along with  wrinkles.

My second thought was - who says aged  people are the only people being crafty. I know a lot of younger people who do craft stuff.  And  last time I checked there was no law that said you to be over 40 to wield scrap booking paper, or knit a beanie, or handle modge podge.

My third thought was "Exactly what age are you referring to  and  why do you even think I'm  there along with you when I clearly recall you had high school aged children when I gave birth".

I've been thinking about all of this. Apparently it's socially acceptable to intimate these days I am an old hag. Apparently I look my age , or worse still ten years older than I actually am. Apparently I have reached the 40-59 year age bracket that you find on survey forms. Apparently I am meant to be behaving in a certain way , wearing certain clothes and undertaking certain activities because I am no longer "young".

I've decided  I must need a face lift - and I'm broke. If you can help by sparing a   few bucks , email me and I'll give you my Paypal address. According to the world, I look like a train wreck and it's OK to comment on it.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to wander off and make a hair appointment. And  go roller skating and then hit a night club and get drop down dead drunk. In a mini skirt and ridiculously high heels. I refuse to allow the world to pigeon hole me because of a number.

17 comments:

P. said...

I must be old because the thought of going roller skating (ouch, my knees, and, oy, my equilibrium), hitting a night club, getting ddd drunk, wearing a mini skirt (cellulite?) and ridiculously high heels (knees again, plus I respect my bunions)...just makes me tired.

But you go, girl! Which is probably so 1995 to say...

Anyway, I feel ya. That's maybe only so 2005...

Jenn said...

OK - you've convinced me - I still think you're "hip"!! :)
Now, if you put "LOL" after everything you wrote you'd REALLY be hip!!

Brenda said...

Oh, reality bites! I'll be 47 tomorrow and I love the invite I got for my friend's 47th birthday party she threw for herself a few years back: "47 and still sort of hot" was how she phrased it - I guess we just have to laugh and enjoy the perks of being in 'that age range' - free time, new kitchens, time and money to craft, etc, etc, etc...

Barb said...

That is odd about that crafty comment, I have crafted as long as I can remember....what does age got to do with it?

Now I am in my 50's (sob) and it is not so bad....trust me. I feel better about myself, more confident and loving life just a little more than I did when I was younger.... the media makes it look bad....to grow old gracefully is a trick. You are just a young thing....don't let others rudness bother you.....

Deb said...

I'll meet you at the door..... I'll be the one getting help ot of the taxi and walking towards yoy with the zimmer frame and in warm sweat pants and woolly hat.
Love ya!!!

Elizabeth said...

In my head, I'm still just 17. I have the best collection of super high, extra pointy heels, love me some teeny-bopper pop music, and stay up waayyyy later than any of these kids do because I don't have to go to school in the morning. I've figured out who I am, don't care what other people think of me and am totally happy with my life. And I'm a lot cooler than those 'young people' are b/c I don't have to ask my mom for gas money.

I'm sure these people who've been giving you a bad time are just feeling old themselves and want to bring the world down with them.

You rock Mrs. P. Age is just a number, and it is nobody's business what that number is.

xo -E

AnnieO said...

That was a terrific rant, loved it. I've "crafted" for as long as I can remember and surely that's not enough to classify me as old, LOL! I'm feeling my age a bit too, now that I am the mother of someone who is a quarter century old, but I agree with you, there's not such a hard line on old these days. You are free to act as childish as you wish!

Amanda said...

Loved the rant, nothing like a good rant to make you feel better. Age is just a number and most of the time I forget what my number is, doesn't help much when your husband has peter pan syndrome and time has stopped still from the moment you met him (tells everyone including the kids that he is 27) and I am years older than him which I am not. And the crafting thing is a lot of rot only amateurs leave it until they are old, experts have been creating all their lives. I remember going to ceramic classes with my mum when I was a teenager, she crafted all her life didn't get to be a grandmother and lied about her age till she died at 49 (told everyone she was in her 30's up till the end I might add that shocked a few people at the funeral when her age was revealed lol). I am a better me than I was 20 years ago have less agst and know where I am headed (out to the sewing room of course or off with the quilting girls all whose number is bigger than mine but I don't care we still laugh cry and have fun and create together as much as we can and still feel that we are just in our early 20's only we DO KNOW MORE just don't think that we do).

JKP said...

Love it! Who cares how old the calendar says you are. I work with a woman in her 50s who complains about her health so much, she sounds like she's in her 90s. And my grandmother, when she was in her 70s, was living with "an elderly" woman, helping her out, cooking meals, taking her places to visit her friends, and she told me she was getting tired of hanging around "all these old people". Live how you feel, and you'll be just fine.

Jennifer said...

There are no numbers after 29, you know. I, myself, am 29 and some months despite the ages of my children, who were conceived before I was born....a medical miracle written up in all the best medical journals.

Kris said...

Hmmm... Are all these commenters really your friends? Cause I think they are not helping this situation at all. They are just accepting that you look OLD. (What's with that?) As I said. Not friends.

My take on this situation is quite different. The NoniB lady is probably thinking that SHE is young. (Delusional, but there it is. She probably still thinks she is 17 - see comment above) So, when she says "our age" she could quite well think you look 17, because she thinks she's 17. Don't be upset at the NoniB lady. She's well meaning, but obviously delusional.

As for the former workmate, (I'm going out on a limb here by suggesting that you won't consider her a friend. Just a former workmate.) come on....... This craft thing is serious. We not only spend hours doing it, we also spend hours reading about other people doing it and putting our work "out there" on the net for all to see. We are not some sort of "little old lady amateurs" who craft cause they got old and can't do anything else, whatever else she is. I mean, we have BLOGS!!! And people read them!!! No, we are professional crafters and are acknowledged as such by the blogosphere. She obviously just wishes she was in your league! (The woman has no clue so why are you worried about HER assertions?)

So the way I read it you are not old at all. You are as young and fresh as you ever were. As for hiding grey hairs I just have this to say. I am extremely young and I have grey hair. So grey in fact that there are silver streaks in it. This has nothing to do with my age. I know this because my mother has less grey hair than me. (I defy anyone to prove that my mother is younger than me! It's science baby!) It is genes, not age that grey your hair. (Obviously not her genes! Grey hair comes from my Dad, a white haired man. Hi Dad! *waves*) So Mrs P, are you all good now? Don't do anything silly (We live in Adelaide girly! Is there even anywhere to go roller skating? Seriously!) and get on with some serious crafting!

Baa-Me Kniits said...

At least you are the grandparent! My husband and I get asked if the boys are our grandchildren by strangers in the street and if Bill picks up the boys people will say 'your granddad is here' ( I am so much younger than B, and of course so much more mature ;-) )

My Grandma and my Great Aunty were fantastic examples of how to live your life young. they were both always doing something and involved that they never had time to be old....Gran went on the Concorde to NY with my brother when she was 90!!! I was so jealous as we used to watch the 'Lovely Lady' fly past her window every day when she was landing at Heathrow. It was so fun, we would both hear her coming and rush to the window to watch :-)

Hey that has nothing to do with being crafty (my mum was always doing something so I take after her) BUT thanks for the chance for a trip down memory lane.....I miss my Gran xx

Michelle said...

Hmmm. Sounds like the two people you mentioned are trying to find their self-identity in an age group.

I'm 46, and I wouldn't go back to being 26 for anything. I've finally accepted the fact that I'm not 5'10" and 100 pounds, that I *actually* should trust my own judgment over most everybody else's, and that I've got nothing to prove to anyone.

Although I've got some gray hair, so far I've managed to avoid coloring it. Yes, there is the beauty of youth, but likewise there is the stupidity of youth. I've earned my gray hair dammit! I'm going to flaunt it.

Mistea said...

My recent ageist experience involved an member of staff of an employment agency who told me that I did not have any relevant work related skills despite having a tertiary education and 30 years work experience in the relevant area? Guess she must have been 20!

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Mrs. P, youth is over rated, but if I had to guess, those ladies were not trying to age you, but youthify themselves. Drink a cosmo for me. I'm on my way to the *Craft* store.

Shevvy said...

That craft comment would have really got on my wick! I thought that sort of nonesense was over. I've been crafting since I was about 5! Admittedly I didn't know anyone else in my teens who knitted or crocheted or cross-stitched but in my 20s there were quite a few.

lw said...

I LOVE this rant. This is exactly how I feel, though at 52, I am old enough to be your mother.

The latest ageist comment that got to me was a rant on one of the machine quilting websites from the 20-something blogger about "older quilters" who make comments about "things not being done right" when obviously there is no right or wrong, just self-expression. I think a certain (jealous) type of person makes comments like "your wrap-around binding isn't done right", and age has nothing to do with it. This is followed up by another post about a new blog for gen x and gen y quilters (implication-- us old ladies are too old to get the hip-ness of it all.) I'm going to forget it, though, because everyone has off days, the blogger is in her mid-twenties and overworked, and she's so damn good at design that I wouldn't miss her even if I did feel insulted.

I think your unfortunate incidents are most likely due to the fact that you do look better for your age than they do and they're jealous. And I've been crafting since my teens.