I was born in the late hot summer of 1975. I have the scars to prove it. Cold metal forceps dug deep into baby soft flesh, tugging, pulling, splitting the skin. My poor mother. She was only nineteen.
Very soon I will be Thirty Five. And what I want to know is, how the hell did that happen? My eldest son will soon be twelve - is due to start secondary school in September - and still I don't feel so very much different from the young girl trying desperately to give off an air of sophisticated worldly wisdom in the hopes of fooling the circling predators on her own first day of secondary school.
I can remember once when I was about sixteen, standing in the open doorway of my best friends living room. I was leaning lazily with my head against the door frame, chewing in a carefully cultivated 'whatever' sort of manner on cola flavoured Hubba Bubba. Her mother (who can only have been about thirty two herself - younger than I am now) was watching a Tina Turner video. We were contemptuous, my friend and I. After a short discussion we came to the conclusion that Tina Turner was failing abysmally in her duty to "grow old gracefully." I couldn't for the life of me work out why my friends mother was so annoyed.
I keep waiting for the day to arrive when I feel like a proper grown up. Perhaps it will be the morning of my thirty fifth birthday. Perhaps that will be the day when I wake up and suddenly, doing the correct and responsible thing will have become second nature and I won't have to think about it anymore. I won't have to think to myself, "Hmmm, what would a responsible adult do in this situation? O.k. I'll try that then" because I will have stopped feeling like a beginner trapped in an experienced adults body. And just perhaps, on that fine morning, it will all start to feel a little less fraudulent. A little less of a confidence trick. Perhaps eh.
In the meantime though, it seems that there are a whole host of other things to do with the aging process that I should have been worrying about, only wasn't. A few recent happenings have conspired to make me begin to suspect that this is the case. The first was a conversation that I had with my friend and neighbour, a woman in her late twenties with three young children. She worked as a hairdresser before she had her kids and the other day she said to me ( while simultaneously flicking her long straightened hair over her shoulder) something along the lines of:
"Of course I'll just have to make the most of having my hair like this while I can still get away with it."
Me, in typically intelligent fashion: "What?"
Her: "Well you know... once you get to a certain age......
The second was my six year old son rolling his eyes at me in the car today and saying: "Not Lady Gaaaaagaaaaaa again mum. Can't we listen to some David Bowie?" Now I am not generally a lover of pop music but I do love Lady Gaga unashamedly. She's actually a very talented woman I think, a proper musician, and also she's a bit strange. What's not to like? But today, looking at my sons expression which seemed clearly to state that he considered it best just to humour me, it suddenly struck me that perhaps it really isn't appropriate for a nearly thirty five year old woman to be driving along with her stereo on a bit too loud singing Pokerface at the top of her voice. Perhaps my fellow villagers think me unseemly. Oh dear.
The third thing is all this talk of what to wear to Cybermummy. What to wear? I was going in the hope that somebody might be able to teach me how to work my bloody computer. And in anticipation of meeting some interesting, like minded women too of course. I hadn't given that much thought as to what I was going to wear. But here's the thing - amongst all this talk of what to wear, the main concern seems to be that one doesn't end up looking too "muttony", which I'm presuming is a derivative of the expression 'mutton dressed as lamb.' Now my every day get up tends to be a t-shirt and jeans tucked into a pair of slightly battered biker boots. It's comfortable, I like it, and it's probably what I would have worn to Cybermummy, only now of course I'm starting to worry whether it might not be a bit "muttony." It's definitely a bit scruffy. Perhaps I will find that I'm able to 'network' so much more successfully if I wear something.... well I don't know. Something else.
Of course I'm tempted just to say what a load of old bollocks. Mutton dressed as lamb is an appalling expression (is there an equivalent saying for men? Thought not.) But if I said that I wouldn't be being entirely honest, because the fact is I do care about how I come across to other people. So in the absence of a meet and greet photo post which I have noticed others putting up on their non-anonymous blogs in time for Cybermummy, I will simply say, on the day just look out for a woman who's completely inappropriately dressed and trying desperately to act her age. That'll be me.
;-) See you there.