Tag Archives: cougar

Older. Not Wiser.

older. not wiserI clung on as long as I possibly could.

On my birthday last week, I loudly proclaimed that, actually, actually, I wasn’t technically 41 until 8.04pm, so basked in the fading glow of my 40th year for most of the day.

I had a leisurely morning, a leisurely lunch with my mum and a leisurely evening with a friend. Very leisurely.

Anyway, after blowing out my candle (singular – I’m now too old to merit one per year) and making a desperate wish (nope, not telling), I scribbled a list of everything I would mightĀ achieve over the next twelve months, now I was of a Grand Old Age:

  • I will create a Capsule Wardrobe. A classic trench-coat, several well-cut pairs of trousers and a few silk blouses that hang just so. Plus some select pieces of discreet, yet classy jewellery and a couple of well-chosen scarves, which I would learn how to tie in many different ways, like all the French woman do.
  • Likewise, I would ditch the student wardrobe I’ve been cultivating for the last few decades. I would consign my ‘It’s Your Round’ t-shirt to the charity shop pile, along with my Gap hoodie, washed so many times, it’s faded from bright green to vomity-puce.
  • I will begin a proper skincare regime, with different creams for different parts and different times of the day. Day cream, night cream, afternoon cream, eye cream, neck cream, ear cream and hand cream. I would be slathered.
  • I will consider a National Trust membership, which will give me unlimited access to three thousand sites, ensuring a delightful day out every weekend for the next two hundred years. I will not go straight to the gift shop/ye olde cafe; I will instead join a guided tour and follow the held-aloft umbrella with all the other tourists. However, I will still buy a jar of honey/jam from the gift shop before leaving.
  • I will learn how to cook and love risotto. And a proper Sunday lunch, rather than going for a Carvery, along with a twenty-deep queue of other people. Who nick all the roasties before my turn. And steal all the gravy, tsk.
  • I will no longer hide the fact I highlight TV programmes I want to watch in the Radio Times, with my special fluorescent pen.
  • I may invest in a foot-spa. And one of those things that makes your bath ripple like a jacuzzi.

Yup, I have a plan. I already feel older than my years with this pesky MS – the cog fog, the pavement-watching, the dozing off in front of the telly. Should I embrace it?

Thinking about it, maybe I shouldn’t. I’ve just had a letter from the university I’ll be joining in September. A lovely invitation to Fresher’s Week. Really. Should I stay or should I go?

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Not Dressed Up, Nowhere To Go

cougarSomething disturbing happened the other day.

I was out with a friend, dressed casually, sipping a glass of wine with two hands in one of those faux-bonhomie wine bars with ‘ironic’ artwork and staff with obligatory piercings/sullen expressions/selective deafness. But I digress.

Two couples entered, both women in spray-on dresses, dazzling white teeth, teetering heels and big, big hair.

After looking longingly at their heels (sigh), I clocked that their partners were much younger. Nothing wrong with that. After collecting their drinks from the bar, they perched on the chairs next to us, so I couldn’t help but do a nosy.

The men (boys) seemed unable to sit still without squeezing the women every five minutes, in, ahem, not-totally-appropriate places. I’m no prude but this was seriously interrupting my fascinating conversation about my new Gorgonzola and steak recipe and I quickly lost my thread.

So we bar-hopped to the next place. Five minutes later, the same couples came tumbling through the door. To cut a long story short, I found myself in a place surrounded by eerily similar-looking twosomes, like some kind of weird parallel zone. ‘Yell at me if I ever get like that just to get a man when I’m that old’ I remarked smugly, casting my beady eye around the mayhem.

My former friend choked on his drink and said ‘they’re our age, look, that one’s got a ‘Still Flirty At 40’ badge on and that one’s definitely had Botox. They’re all in their 40’s. Like us.’

He was right. I sulked the rest of the evening, lying awake later that night pondering my Sad Single Situation. Is this the only way to date in my 40’s? As if it wasn’t hard enough being divorced with a grumpy Teenager, a rude cat and to top it all, MS, does entering my fifth decade condemn me to a life of body-con crash diets, hair extensions and laughing politely when my date burps the Welsh national anthem?

The only alternative seems to be joining an evening class in the autumn, perhaps signing up to Very Hot Indian Cooking, in the hope that I will find my soulmate over some poppadoms and mango chutney. I reckon the powers that be in adult education should start a brand-new class for ‘peeps who want to meet other peeps but have to pretend to be interested in Very Hot Indian Cooking or Yoga for Complete and Utter Numptys’. Heels and hair extensions preferred, but not essential…..

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