What is Middle-Aged?
How you know you're Middle-Aged
One of the things I used to love about watching Men Behaving Badly starring Caroline Quentin, Lesley Ash, Martin Clune and Neil Morrissey was how they created humour from exploiting clichéd stereotypes. I remember an episode where the characters Gary and Tony were horrified about the idea of Dorothy moving in with them. The fear was that Dorothy would make their place too girly and fill it with cushions. Sure enough, at the end of the episode there were` Gary and and Tony sitting on the sofa, beer in one hand, and cushion in the other, begrudgingly accepting of their changed circumstances.
Humour was also derived in the sit-com from mocking old people in their cardigans and slippers, and not being able to get up from a chair without emitting something between a sigh and a grunt. (If you’re over 40 you’ll know what I mean, if you’re not then listen to the next person over 40 you know as they stand up from a chair.) I laughed along merrily, little knowing that, it would be but a blink of an eye before I became that middle-aged cliché, showing my age! For example:
- I spend a substantial part of every day communicating to my nearest and dearest the state of my current aches and pains.
- I frequently use clichéd sayings such as ‘these days’. ‘living the dream’ and ‘showing my age’.
- I am consciously aware of constantly using clichés but I can’t stop.
- So long as I’m within an 8-mile radius of home, with good parking facilities, the idea of coffee and cake in garden centres excites me.
- I genuinely love Marks and Spencer’s jeans and can’t think of a better present than one of their gift vouchers.
- I have started buying Christmas cards and wrapping paper in the sales. I now use phrases like ‘stock up in the sales’.
- I try to keep up with technology, but frequently need to call on the younger generation to fix glitches, load apps, and explain text abbreviations or modern sayings, which I then can’t bring myself to use. (Apart from ‘spilling the tea’ – that’s a great one Bets!).
- I try to embrace the energy, self-belief and confidence of young people but find myself frequently irritated by them. I do not like being ‘invisible’ and being seen as ‘having nothing left to offer’. I am not afraid to set people straight on this though it seldom ends well. The recipients usually give me one of their ‘it’s a difficult age for her’ sympathetic looks!
- I’ve got a new respect for oldies who have already got all the experience I have and reams more. I’m mindful, if not aways successful, of not being patronising, as the ‘young ‘uns’ sometimes can be towards me! What goes around comes around (damn these clichés!)
- I’ve countered all my middle-aged anxiety, angst and anguish wisely and maturely by buying a Porsche Boxter (S) sports car.
- I’m too scared to drive my sports car. Actually it was bought by my husband, Saint Mick, not me. Incidentally it is a shade of grey that either is ‘understated cool’ as Mick claims, or befitting our joint 50 somethingness.
- I’m mindful of being thankful for the good things in life and keep a daily ‘grateful’ record. A double whammy – mindfulness and gratitude all in one!
- I am prone to day-time napping.
Are you Middle-Aged too?
So, yes, without a doubt I’m ‘showing my age’ with a few quirky behavioural traits. Empty-nesting also reveals the same about me! Are any of them familiar?
Sal (self-outed as fifty and proud!)