Travelled down South to celebrate with my lovely daughter and some of my best friends. Party for my North Island friends is scheduled for the coming weekend. Twenty-one years in the ‘God’s Zone’ forged some great friendships that span length of both islands. For all of them I am deeply grateful.
In between partying I managed to look in the mirror. Carefully. Nothing. I came closer to the mirror – nope, still nothing. Looking pretty much the same. Either that or suffering from some serious self-delusion. I am told it is not uncommon.
Apparently the said affliction selects its victims exclusively from the middle-age population. Which in itself presents conundrum since, courtesy of cosmetic surgery and endless beautification procedures, is fast becoming an obscure term. Fifty is new thirty I hear. Nice. So thirty is what … new ten?
Well if that is not bad enough; the peculiar form of self-delusion provides no warning signs and, yes you have guessed it – there is no cure or even remedy to ease the symptoms. So how to recognize the poor sufferers?
Apparently there are few clear clues, one of which I am afraid to have suffered morning after my significant birthday party!
Still for the benefit of fellow suffers here they are;
Your mirror turns into a time machine; the reflection is no longer of reality but of memory – the image of yourself as you remember it.
That is until;
- You accidentally caught sight of yourself in the shop-window from where a middle-age stranger is staring back at you wearing your clothes; sneakers with rainbow coloured laces and all. Or
- Unsuspected youth wearing regulation uniform of respectable school offers you a seat on the public bus. You look around for the older person the seat was intended for. There aren’t any. Or
- Twenty something shop-assistant at the cosmetic counter tells you that you have a great skin for your age. And what age is that you would have asked if you can be bothered. But you can’t. Or
- When the regular twenty/thirty-something ‘might get lucky tonight’ enthusiasts attempt to chat you up you experience powerful urge to launch for their ears by which to drag them home and put them into the naughty corner. Only firm clasp of hands behind your back stops you. Or
- Your wardrobe starts to resemble cold-war firmly divided between ‘comfortable’ and ‘uncomfortable’ zones. Comfortable zone expends each day (cotton nighty and fluffy slippers are in it -:)). Or
- Your doctor explains to you in some details about such things as knee cartilage wear and tear and comfortable shoes. You make mental note to hold onto the last pair of stilettos you bought no matter what. Or
- You notice onset of an interesting and never before experienced phenomenon – you need longer hands to read small print! The mental note to visit an optometrist follows. Or
- Your internal heating works overtime. Never before have you thrown blankets off the bed in the middle of a cold night. Your wonder whether you can save on heating bill! Or
- You are surprised to find that Tinder is actually not what you thought it is – an app helping owners find their lost pets. Or
- You are unable to decide whether ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is a comedy or a horror movie. Most of it seems either laughable or painfully uncomfortable. Or
- Your hairdresser nudges you ever-so-gently towards mature styles and colours. You consider changing a hairdresser but remember cost. Or
- You resolve to try one more and this time guaranteed to work diet that promises to make you ‘slim and trim’ in no time but cannot remember the rules while shopping for groceries. You buy your favourite chocolate cake anyway to devour with your favourite TV show. Or
- You listen to your well-meaning friends and brows on-line dating sites only to find that men of your age are looking for ‘women under 50 only’. For a brief moment you wonder whether they have ‘too young’ rule as well but get bored soon and abandon the whole exercise.
One day you wake up and look into the same mirror … and whola – it is you. At that very moment.
With all your cry/smile lines, and not-so-firm skin or bright eyes or bouncing step … and you smile at your image with grace and acceptance that only living for five decades brings!