Tuesday 3 June 2008

21st century living

As I was saying, what does he mean by 'archaic'? Well, I say " how do you do?" when introduced to someone. The correct 21st century response, according to this styling guru, has got to be "Hi" or, at a push, "nice to meet you". The 40 bit of me is quite happy to be dragged in to the current century, but it doesnt seem to have particularly good manners.
Thinking back to clubbing I remember that I have been dancing, recently. At the wedding of a young friend, I was quietly drumming my walking stick along with the beat when I was yanked on to the floor by a cousin of hers, a gorgeous, sexy yorkshire lass. I was having a whale of a time, jigging about, bouncing the old knees to rest my behind on my ankles, as you do, and got within a few feet of them, too, showing off, when she asked me to show her how I would have danced when I was her age. "Can't do that ", I said. "Need a man for that". She thought it was the strangest thing she'd heard since the Immaculate Conception. Why would you need a man to dance? Made a note to find out her birthday and send her a DVD of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
Showing off is all very well, but is it worth how the back feels next day? This was one of the biggest shocks of being old: how it actually feels to have non-bendy, aching joints and stiff muscles; not an intellectual concept anymore but the impossibilty of running for a bus or picking up a sliver of something from the floor - thick is easier. Rain is the Devil. Try managing a stick, an umbrella,your handbag and your shopping. A conundrum isn't it? For a person who values elegance and grace, I have to see the funny side of the spectacle of me, determined, (obdurate) not to succomb to a plastic hood, catching my death, as my mother would have said,by abandoning the umbrella in favour of seeing where the Hell I'm going. Hair, as a result? Don't ask. Sometimes, people do stop and ask if they can help. "Thank you", I say, sweet old lady fashion. But the inner voice is telling them to buzz off and come back later, when I am older. However, I accept graciously and make them laugh all the way to my gate so that they can see I am just incapacitated; I have'nt had a humourectomy, and actually, it is quite a funny situation.

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