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  • Writer's pictureEliza

Ageing at 32

It has been a month of facing up to my age. It isn't old, per say... I actually had to work it out. I think I am 33, no hang on I am 32. That's younger than I feel honestly. I've been waiting to retire for years already.

I had a glasses dilemma. The style of the hip and cool are what I can only describe as old NHS style glasses - big, thick, plastic rimmed round things which sit unashamedly on the nose of some poor soul who couldn't argue with their Mother enough to get the glasses they actually wanted. The Mother's, it seems, have had the last laugh. They are everywhere - the magazines, TV shows, billboards and....... insert advertising, brain washing system in space.

I have resisted for a while but my previously top trend colourful square glasses are now sadly more geek than chic. I went into the store. A dangerous move because they are just so darn lovely in there. I just walk in and want to whisper 'take my money' just for being so unbelievably friendly.

Fast forward two weeks and here I am. Round, plastic, NHS style glasses. Not at NHS subsidised prices may I add. I feel mixed emotions of cool and conned.

This evening my reflection in the mirror is giving me an existential crisis. Am I too old for these? Am I past the wearing older styles in an ironic kind of cool way? Am I just older and wearing older styles. Is there even anything so very wrong with that? Who decides what is cool anyway? Am I really just a sheep following the consumerist hype. Hmm yes, a bit.

Things came to a head today in particular. World Book Day in teacher land means wearing a costume of some description. After seeing the standard costume prices and tutting at the poor quality now-a-days of clothing.... oh dear. I opted for a longline dress Jane Austen style. I figure it can be recycled for various characters and if nothing else will make a decent long summer dress. I wore it today and I don't mind admitting I loved wearing it. Those long dresses just feel pretty and I am at a stage now where I feel confident enough to wear things more because I like them than what others may think of them. I swished around all day.

All was well until I walked past the mirror this evening and saw the new glasses. It was clear that a period costume and old school glasses were not the one for damsel vibes. I stared and pondered if I was being forgetful or if Jane Austen characters, at least in film adaptations ever wore glasses. I couldn't recall any. I could at this very moment see why. It was a real combination of old style and old trying to be young style merging together to leave an interesting creation.

It makes me feel a little frustrated at my own self writing about it. What is even wrong with looking old? Come on - am I so ageist that I cannot embrace that good style does not just revolve around looking younger? I can't blame myself too harshly - it surrounds us. Anti-wrinkle this, hair dye for greys, nip and tuck, botox, shape wear. All an attempt to hide ageing.

So I will smile at my image in that mirror. Beautiful in its own wonderful way. Different and interesting, Old and young combined. Precious and worthy. Wearing what feels good, looking that way too. Growing enough to see the fallacy of the world I live in and making my own (as much as I am aware) informed decisions. I will be me, ever more, until I am fully aged - un-gracefully.

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