(as well as a moron, of course)
Big Brother is not only watching us but keeping lists of all our birthdays: as soon as I hit 50 – some years ago now – I started receiving catalogues full of strange, loose-fitting, shapeless garments, edged with ruffles or crocheted borders, in yucky, neither-fish-nor-flesh colours. Of course, they’re in man-made fibres because “machine washable” are the two most important words in the language for us “oldies”, aren’t they? I must be a freak: I prefer natural fibres.
My sartorial style doesn’t make the headlines but there is a limit.
There’s also a lovely choice of comfy slippers in super-wide sizes to accommodate one’s bunions. Oh, and bra-fastening extensions. The only items I quite like are the big knickers – thongs are not for me: I don’t wear cheese wires on my bottom.
Those catalogues also feature useful implements to cut one’s toenails without bending over too much and, look!, “real eau de colognes” (sic) in “violet, rose, lily of the valley, honeysuckle, lime or jasmine”. What am I doing drenching myself in a very expensive Serge Lutens fragrance every day? I’m obviously mutton dressed as lamb perfume-wise as well as fashion-wise.
Of course, the models smiling at me on the pages of those catalogues are all young women – not a grey hair in sight. It's just like those stick insects in catalogues for bigger women. Who are they kidding? These women would look good in potato sacks: they look very good in those machine-washable clothes, which come mostly in very large sizes because it’s also assumed that all 50+ women are huge even if, like me, they’ve been very thin all their lives. I have acquired a pair of love handles and “monster thighs” in the course of the menopause (that’s where my last reserve of oestrogen is stocked apparently so I shouldn’t get rid of them), but I’m still a UK size 10.
Thirteen years ago, when I stupidly decided to stop dyeing my hair, I went from being a fiery redhead to a silver-haired “invisible woman”. I aged twenty years overnight. I wouldn’t make the same mistake now and I certainly wouldn’t dream of adding to my handicap.
A slap to the manufacturers of clothes most of us wouldn’t want to be seen dead in, let alone spend 30 years wearing!