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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The path to old gitdom

I sometimes see John's teenage children looking at me in That Way...you know, that somewhat bemused, occasionally exasperated way that teenagers have of looking at you as if you're a historical relic. Not surprisingly, it's a look you see more often when you're trying to be young and trendy and you're maybe talking about your other self on Second Life, or the latest musical offering from the Towers of London.

I've never been reticient about revealing my age (look at the title of my blog) or saying that I'm middle aged, although I always secretly hope I don't look my age. I remember thinking n my teens and early 20s that someone who was 37 was well past it. I remember Giz lamenting the fact that a divorced friend of hers never met any new men. I thought scathingly, "well she's 37 - no wonder!" I used to think that having a mortgage was the absolute epitome of Old Git-Dom, meaning you had conformed and sold out big time.

Of course over the years more and more symbols of Old Git Dom get added to your arsenal. Slippers, for example, and not the frou fou marabou trimmed type either. The desire to wear comfortable shoes when out on a shopping expedition. The embarrassing retention of facts from the 70s. One's partiality to a scooner of sherry (try telling everyone it's actually trendy to drink sherry chilled....). The strange discussion held over the Sunday roast, over what type of joint it is ("silverside" "British?" "No, Irish".)

But the most important thing that comes with age is confidence. I'm confident enough to wear slippers and tell you all, and not give a stuff. When you're young, you think you're cutting edge and trendy but really you're just following everyone else like a sheep, wearing the same outfits, using the same phrases.

I shudder at the tyranny of being young and trying to avoid the agony of being an outsider, an eccentric, old-fashioned, square or whatever. As you get older, you don't worry about what people think of you. You're proud to be different. And the great thing is that everything always comes back into fashion. So the high waisted jeans that I've had for five years, and kept wearing when everyone else's were showing their knickers and muffin tops (not a very flattering look, but that's sheep for you), are now high fashion again. Cool, huh? I won't hold my breath about the slippers though.

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