It’s my birthday, and I’ll dress young if I want to


So,  I had a little,  teensy-weensy birthday last week.  I have now reached the grand old age of 47.  Cue trumpet fanfare.  Thankfully,  it doesn’t concern me that another year has crept up and taken me in a strangle-hold;   I am not the kind of person who worries about growing old.  No!  I don’t care.  Because,  although my bones may creak,  my youth  (in spirit,  anyway)  continues to soar.

No, the problem is not getting older.  My problem is not  realising  that I am getting older.

To start off with,  I have recently started jogging.  Okay, that’s not too bad,  I hear you say.  In fact,  at my age,  it is probably even admired.   The problem is that when I catch a glimpse of older women out running,  I never associate myself with them.  No.  In my mind,  I look like the young 20-something  who runs along effortlessly,  with the agile limbs of an impala,  raising not one drop of sweat for her troubles.

Positive thinking?  Or,  downright delusional?

Well,  considering that  in reality,  I know that I resemble a puffing,  tired,  crimson-faced elephant more than I do an impala,  I think we can say that it veers more towards the delusional.

I don’t want to be the wizened old crow standing at the bar in her leopard-skin mini-dress, imagining  that she could give Rihanna a run for her money.  Or holding onto a bottle of tequila while her peers are holding on to their Zimmer-frames.   Yet, at the same time,  I am not quite ready for granny-jeans and comfy shoes.

Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t about vanity.  This isn’t me thinking that I am still super-fabulous. This isn’t about me wanting to be super-fabulous,  at all.  This is about me being seemingly unable to picture myself as a 47 year old.  That is,  until I catch an unsuspecting glimpse in the mirror and see my mum’s face staring back.  Then,  boy,  it’s undeniable.

Another thing that is undeniable are photos.  Ever looked at yourself in a picture and thought “that’s not me”?  I do it all the time.  So does a friend of a similar age.  When going out for a night on the town,  we both look in the mirror and think we look great.  Then,  when we see photos of the night,  the reality is harsh;  we realise that we didn’t look quite as amazing as we’d thought.  It’s kind of like a reverse body dysmorphia.

So, no. I am not worried about getting old. I just worry that I am starting to look ridiculous.

I want to buy a pair of Converse.  I want a girly pink or light yellow.  But, the more I think about it,  the more ridiculous I feel.  I have seen a cheap pair of Levis,  and I want them.  But,  when is it no longer acceptable for a woman to wear Levis and Converse?  If I was a celebrity,  I am sure these are not questions I would ever consider.  Sadly, I am not.  I am Mrs Suburbia,  from Every-day-town,  who is rocketing towards 50 like there’s no tomorrow.

I have long hair.  Another conundrum keeping me awake at night.  At what age should a woman snip it all off?  We’ve all seen older ladies with long hair;  and come on,  it ain’t pretty.   Long hair just looks wrong beyond a certain age;  but,  I don’t want a grey bob.  Please,  not a grey bob.

So,  what do you do?  How do you dress age appropriately,  if “appropriate” clothes feel wrong for you?  Is it okay to dress how you feel,  regardless of how old you are?  Or,  should you get a grip,  face facts,  and stop deluding yourself?

Ah.  No doubt these are age-old questions,  deliberated throughout the generations.  I guess that I will continue in my jeans until someone throws a pair of elasticated nylon trousers at me.  Then, and only then,  will I reconsider.



Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /