Thursday, July 15, 2004
The more candles on the cake I blow out, the less I think about how old I really am. Anyway, there are always enough queens around who will quite eagerly bitch about it on my behalf, and wonder loudly what an eighties reject is doing wearing Diesel rather than Debenhams, and drinking in bars where the combined age in years is rather less than the combined price in pounds for a round of alcopops.
Most times I'm fine about the anno domini thing. It doesn't bother me at all. No. Honestly. And pass me the La Prairie, why don't you? After all, shoot out the lights and blindfold the boyfriend, and I can certainly pass for a late thirtysomething. I've the energy and enthusiasm of E-bunnies half my age, and as for my emotional stability and personal hygiene, well, you won't spot much difference between me and your standard sixteen-year-old snotty schoolboy.
For some reason though, my approaching birthday at the end of this month has been making me more and more reflective. It's possibly one of the reasons I haven't been blogging much. Yet it's not as if it's a landmark date: it was only to have been my forty-seventh, after all. Perhaps it was the sudden realisation that most of my contemporaries were either paired off, mortgaged off, or, if they had any sense, carried off by coffin-car.
And then there was the sobering fact that by my age, several of my heroes had already done their little bit for immortality and were on their way out to that great big biographical dictionary in the sky. At forty-seven Kerouac was knocking back one last JD and coke, Nelson was sailing to Victory, and Judy was on her final trip down the Yellow Brick Road. Between them, they'd defeated the Wicked Witch of the West, written one of the best novels of the twentieth century, and kicked the merde out of the Froggies at Trafalgar. And the closest I've come to greatness, literary, artistic, military or otherwise? Well, I kissed Jilly Cooper once, but it was very quick and I don't think she remembers.
It was during this rather enjoyable indulgence of self-pity that it was kindly pointed out to me, by a friend far less neurotic and self-centred than myself, that I was actually born in 1958, which made me, by his reckoning, forty-six this coming birthday, and not forty-seven as I thought. Innumerate invert that I am, I honestly had no idea, and for the past six months or so have laboured under the delusion I was a year older than I actually was. I can only conclude that those many years of all-night benders have frazzled out whatever brain cells I once possessed. I've always been crap at maths anyway.
And of course there's an upside to the fact I'm now one full year younger than I was. It means I've just regained a whole whopping 365 days of my life, and been given another chance at putting down the Stellas and getting around to achieving all those Things I Really Should Have Done by my age.
So if you catch me slamming my ruby-slippered foot down hard on the gas pedal as I cruise down Route Sixty-Six on the look-out for a kiss from the nearest Hardy boy, just don't say I didn't warn you.