First of all I must apologise to the all the people who are over 44 years old – I am about to have one almighty moan about having turned 44 yesterday. I’m not sure why I should have found this particular birthday so upsetting as I’ve never worried about getting older before. In fact, I have always quite welcomed it as I have, foolishly it turns out, always suspected that with every year that passes another tiny modicum of maturity must surely emerge.
Earlier Son No 3 asked me, “Are you growed-up now, Mum?”
“So they tell me, I answered.”
Maybe that was not the correct response. Maybe my baby son needs to know that the person in charge of him knows exactly what she’s doing and is absolutely as growed-up as it is possible to be at the grand old age of 44.
The thing is despite no longer being in my early 40s but now very much in my mid 40s I do without any doubt feel ‘not-even-remotely-grown-up’ and have no idea when one begins to feel such a thing, because sometimes you meet people and you think, goodness, they’re very sorted and grown-up and then you get to know them and it turns out, either because they are grown-up enough to admit it or because they aren’t but their behaviour kinda gives them away – that they seem just as perplexed and un-grown-up as you do! So now I am fairly certain that the notion of ‘grown-up’ is rather like Father Christmas – something that, as time goes on, you might begin to suspect is a little fantastical perhaps.
But while the mind might not grow up in quite the way my 2, 7 and 10 year children probably imagine it does, the body on the other hand certainly does with or without the person inside onboard. As was so clearly and kindly pointed out by a young and oh, so trendy hairdresser I went to see a while ago, but not since he said the following,
“Well, I don’t think I can let you leave the salon without doing something about these greys…”
I said, “No thank you!”
Because I am actually quite interested in my hair going grey and I want to see it happen, not cover it all up. Admittedly, I am fortunate as the greys are appearing quite slowly and they look OK. I’m quite vain though so if that weren’t the case I might have said, “Yes, please!” (And I’m certainly thinking about a jar of Jolen because no one wants a ‘tash? Well, no one like me that is.)
As it was I ended up agreeing to have some entirely colourless thing which cost just as much as the colour thing plastered all over my hair and nearly doubling the bill because I’m a twit and not grown-up enough to say,
“Do stop trying to sell me stuff and just cut my hair, please!”
Thank goodness a friend now just sends me a text to tell me her home-visiting hairdresser is due to come along and would I like to pop along too? It’s all much easier; no-one tries to dye my hair or points out the greys, or sells me the most expensive conditioner in the world and I don’t even have to come up with the idea of actually getting my hair cut in the first place – just answer yes, or no. Much like someone who isn’t very grown-up at all. Phew!!
Turns out I haven’t moaned about being 44 in the least. Just about not being very grown-up but undeniably ageing nevertheless. Maybe that is what’s depressing me in the end. The fact that I still feel about 17 years old, make the same bloody mistakes as I did then and always have done, still can’t find a way to deal with said mistakes as I’d like to, but am anyhow getting creakier, (would love to say leakier because it rhymes but it’s not actually an image I want to promote) greyer and a little bit more decrepit by the day. Aaaaaaaah! 44!
Image (c)Sarah-Jane Field 2014