My friend has just turned 50. She bounced through the front door of my house, sparkling with happiness. Undiluted, open happiness. She carried the big box of Lindt chocolate and bottle of our favourite Riesling with her. To last us through our preparations for the birthday bash she has arranged. For few close friend in the local winery.
‘We gonna have great fun!’ She declared triumphantly,
Hmmm … my thoughts stirred from their never too deep slumber,
‘You are sparkling like a Christmas lights’, I observed the obvious,
‘Oh I am so happy’!
‘About the party?’
‘That too, but about hitting 50 actually’!
‘Of course, it is wonderful this is!’ (giggling)
‘Why?’ (rolling her eyes). ‘Because it is finally over, all of it!’
‘Over … What is over?’
‘Oh the pressures, the agonies, the insecurities … all of that.’
‘How much of that wine have you had?’
More giggling … ‘Not much actually, but am going to!’
‘Don’t you know’ she started …
‘Nope, I do not …’
‘Ok’, she said, suddenly serious … ‘as you are not far off it yourself, I am gonna tell you!’
‘Come on then’ I said,
‘It is glorious this old age is.
You are no longer under the spotlight, on display, observed, compared, pitted against, and talked about.
There is no one you are desperate to impress!
You can say whatever comes to mind and wear whatever comes to hand; all of it will be simply dismissed as the old age eccentrics.
Your partnered girlfriends will be inviting you to their parties; you no longer pose any threat even when seated next to their men. Besides they hope to look younger with you around.
Your starvation days are also finally over; instead indulge in watching tortured looks in young chicks’ eyes while enjoying full servings of your favourite dishes. After all those years, you have earned the right to savour the glorious food in public and not feel guilty about it!
And once you liberate your feet from the agonies of sky-high stilettos, it will be like walking on the air!’
‘Sounds like bliss to me …’ I said.
‘Exactly!’ she exclaimed. And you know the best part of it … You can no longer be a fallen woman?’ (more school girl like giggling).
‘A fallen woman?’ What’s the ‘fallen woman?’
‘You know … ‘
‘Not really …’
‘Oh my … (impatient), you know that has sort of fallen …’
‘Like falling down’ (me while applying mascara),
‘Oh God your English is appalling’ (laughs) … ‘No, not that kind of falling down … more sort of morally … like a loose woman.’
‘Called a loose woman … by whom?’ I asked,
‘A society, silly … people around you, your community’, she explained.
‘I see,’ I said, (only I really did not see it at all), ‘think I have always been like that.’
‘You … a loose woman?’ (laughs loudly)
‘No, just free …’
‘Oh God you are just hopeless’, she pronounces while ushering me into her car … to celebrate freedoms I never knew needed permissions!