You know you're old when...
They say that age is a state of mind. If you are young at heart, the numbers don't matter. If you are open in outlook and free in spirit you can be 21 for the whole of your days. Alas, as I approach the big 4-0, I have discovered that "they" are a bunch of lying bastards.
You know they are lying. Yes you. You out there, smugly nodding with recognition that you have aged and you have tried not to and it has happened anyway. Did this stuff happen to you? It did. I KNOW it did:
1. You walk past the queue for a nightclub, lines of young and scantily clad women snaking down the street and round the corner. Where once you would have a cunning ruse, a flash of nipple, to get you to the head of the line, now your immediate thought is: "She'll catch her death!" You glance down at your cosy cardigan, and in a moment of matronly sympathy you almost offer it. You are genuinely concerned for their chests. You note with sadness that their night is beginning as yours is ending.
2. At home now, you cannot get off a comfy sofa without making that kind of "Ooooooommmphh!" sound that indicates genuine efforts have been made before you can be upright. You clutch at the small of your back and grimace. It is not pretty.
3. Out in the car you used to sing to the radio. Now you need silence to reverse and to park, without which you cannot concentrate and plough effortlessly into bollards and neighbourhood cats.
4. Your brain is aware of the many differences between your various children and indeed your various pets but your mouth simply will not accept this information. Now, when you require their attention, you speak, but it's a gamble as to which name comes out. They are interchangeable. The chances of you correctly identifying one first off are now pretty much nil.
5. You once thought policemen had started to look young. You've now noticed several bishops that are almost in your target age group when on the pull. You are not put off by this thought.
6. For years you've walked around in killer heels looking like a kick ass sex kitten. Now, you have to pop on comfy flats half way through the day, especially if it's raining. Or you are driving. Or doing the school run. Or in a hurry or walking the dog. Or if there's a "Y" in the month.
These were things you could have told me. Yet as I approach this landmark birthday, I realise that though true, they have been kept secret, and... it makes what I face all the scarier.
And you can stop that. Stop with the: "Oh goodness, what are you worrying about, you don't look a day over 30!" routine because you're way too late.
Now what else is about to happen that you haven't told me?