A good friend of mine is about to grind, with a shrieking of hinges, into her forties. Her husband, also a good friend (I have to be especially careful to say this as he is in the airforce and I am worried that he may one day ‘accidentally’ ‘forget’ that the big, red button that drops the cluster bombs is armed and may accidentally drop the payload as he is flying over Switzerland on his way to bomb a country back to the stone-age so that they can better understand ‘democracy’ – all because I forgot to send him a thank you card…or something) thought that as she is an avid reader of my blog (without her my blog would sink into obscurity like The Darkness or Keith Chegwin) she might like the surprise of reading a post about life after forty.
The thing is, I reckon it’s different for chicks as pulling off that gnarly, Clint Eastward look as a woman only succeeds in making you look like a crone. I don’t exactly know what a crone is, but just the sound of the word isn’t good. Think Loose Women holding sticks.
So, what has she got to worry about:
- Skincare You think you’re spending a lot on skincare now? Want to keep those youthful looks? Well, there is a whole industry waiting to sell you serums, balms and creams that will make you look ten years younger or your money back. Let’s be honest, though. There comes a point when you could sleep, submerged, in a wheelie bin filled with Ulay with only the rhythmic sound of your respirator to keep you company and it won’t make a huge amount of difference. Accept that you’re, at some stage, going to have skin like the vinyl seats of an old Granada or get ‘some work done.’
- Clothes You will feel the urge to walk into East. It will be like the Death Star tractor beam. You must resist because like the Death Star it is full of people who mean you harm and wear dresses that cover their feet. I don’t know why it is important when you are older to appear to move as if on wheels but it FREAKS ME THE FUCK OUT. Also, remember that vintage clothing from thrift shops looks great on young, cool people on motorbikes but if you are above forty it makes you look like you can’t be arsed anymore…or skint.
- Hair I don’t know about women but my hair used to be lustrous (which kinda sounds like it goes cruising for…wigs, or something) when I was a young man. It was shiny and it was a uniform colour. My hair now has various shades of brown, light brown and grey and resembles more the pelt of a dog than actual human hair. So, I reckon at least a 1/3 of a bottle of conditioner a day should be budgeted for.
- Shoes Your heels will get progressively shorter. Not because your legs are getting worse (women’s pins have longevity, normally) or that you find them uncomfortable but that you worry that you are going to fall over a break a hip.
- Antiques You’re reading this and thinking: antiques? What’s he on about? You hit an age when self-assembling your furniture is just not done any more and you want proper furniture, made by craftsman that won’t fall to bits. So, you buy an old oak kitchen table one day…and a retro lamp the next…and retro medicine cabinet to keep your CDs in (also antiques) and before you know it your house is chock full of things that don’t require an allan key to dis-assemble and are at least 20 years old. You’ll chuck words like retro…and vintage…and re-production but don’t kid yourself: you have started collecting antiques and you didn’t even realise it…fool. I bet you watch Antiques Roadshow as well…with an ironic sneer (obviously).
Don’t worry about being 40, Maria. It happens to everyone (well, except Marc Bolan…Jimi Hendrix) and it’s no different. You realise your joints ache a bit after skiing, you always have wind (belly farts – when the fuck did they start?!?! No one told me about those.) and you actually think about wearing sports sandals (don’t do it!).
Enjoy your day and drink like a 21 year old.