So... I'm 39 today. Should I be worried?
Thank God for a generation of Baby Boomer women throwing a collective wobbly and getting their way. While Nights in Rodanthe was a dreadful, dreadful movie, it does at least show that older women can still be romantic leads.
(We will not mention Nicole Kidman and her amazing porcelain features that look almost human - she was preserved eternally with a mixture of Botox and mortician's wax several years ago. This is why she wears the exact same expression whether she's a cabaret singer dying of consumption or a fugitive from pod people.)
To hell with Robert Redford and Jack Nicholson, who insist on female leads that are at least thirty years younger than them (And man, are those men unattractive; RR appears to have melted over the years, while JN just... ick).
I could be deep about growing old, but people are always deep and introspective on their birthdays, and I simply don't care. So here's a poem, with apologies to Jenny Joseph:
When I am an old woman, I shall wear black
and elegant clothes that suit my figure.
And I shall prove that it is not neccessary
To wear velour jogging suits and short hair
Just because I am past child-bearing age.
I shall grow my hair long, and allow it to go grey
without dye - unless I choose to dye it because I like the colour.
I shall refuse Botox, and refuse to be invisible
or "interesting", or "eccentric".
I will continue to care about clothes
and inspire younger women.
Old Age is not for the weak,
and those women who do what everyone expects
and cut their hair short, and wear red hats,
and pretend they don't care about getting old,
but fight it all the way with cosmetics and surgery
will fall beneath my black-stockinged, high-heel shod feet.
When I am an old woman I will be beautiful
because old women are beautiful
with all a lifetime in their faces
that should not be erased by surgery, or poisons
injected into the cheeks, filling the "creases".
I like my creases. They speak of me.
I shall be elegant, and old.
I will dispense advice, and have opinions,
I will be loud, and I will be heard.
And I will continue to learn
about all the things still waiting patiently
to be learnt.