Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Age and the people who won't go in the box

I went to the hairdresser yesterday.
I haven’t been there for a while because I begrudge spending the enormous amount of money it costs. At 54, I decided to retire from live performances, so I no longer feel the pressure to spend as much time and effort as Madonna does on her appearance. I never spent the same amount of money on it as she did, anyway: but I did give it some attention, since it goes with the job, like having to wear suits if you are in the government, or ties with nasty patterns on if you are a newsreader.
I can’t deny that there is a great sense of release, knowing that I can please myself and be myself, and relax into whatever it is I will become when I don’t hold my tummy in.
I followed a link to a super site Not Dead Yet and was shocked to catch myself thinking patronising thoughts like “How wonderful, what a lively site for someone who is getting on a bit.” And why shouldn’t someone be sharp, witty, active, creative and lively, whatever their age? I suppose that age is just another category, like race and sex, and we like to put things in boxes all the same. Don’t our heads have enough room in them to tolerate the complexity?

Hold up your glasses please.

I would like to raise a toast to the people who won’t go in the box!

I am now open to that prejudice that we old people attract. I asked the hairdresser to streak my hair to look as natural as possible, expecting that she would hold back a bit on the bleach and let the dark grey, brown and other murky stuff shine forth. Instead, she coloured the whole lot as white as Porridge’s fur. She must have thought it was the natural colour for my age.

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