36 is looming. Within a few weeks I will be on the wrong side of my mid 30’s and edging ever closer to the big 40. I’ve recently noticed a shift in my mind age; not to be confused with my mental age, which hasn’t changed for quite some time. My mind age is the age I think I am when not faced with obvious reminders like my passport or a mirror. In my early 30’s I still saw myself as being in my twenties and could often be seen displaying sincere shock when asked to recall my year tally. Recently I’ve started seeing myself as a very definite 30 something. I’ve put this sudden shift in cerebral projection down to a higher frequency of age reminders.
Age reminders can now be discovered in the simplest of everyday activities; like a shopping trip. I have to take some responsibility as it was my choice to walk into the mecca of male youthful high street fashion, Topman. I have an addiction to denim, and in particular Diesel Jeans, but decided I wanted to try some other fabrics for summer. Unfortunately because the girth of my legs have altered since the age of 12, I don’t share Russell Brand’s taste in tailoring and I hope to procreate sometime in the near future, all of said retail store’s trousers were deemed too tight.
The process of awarding my drivers licence 3 gold stars, or what the police call points and handing me a £60 fine to boot quickly became another age reminder, when the officer who stopped me for a simple error in judgement, looked about 15 years my junior. When asked, ‘Sir do you know why I have stopped you this morning?’ I wanted to reply ‘possibly because you envy the sight of mature facial hair, as it reminds you how ridiculous the puberscent downy fleece under your Toffee Apple grimace looks!’ Of course I just described my offence in detail and apologised profusely.
I’m wondering when the next shift will occur. I look at my dad, who I’ve always seen as superhuman. I can see he’s getting older now. He’s by no means frail, he still works hard (in retirement) finishing his 10 bedroom home in the hills of rural Jamaica. He is however mindful of his years. He knows he isn’t the young building contractor he once was. I wonder when it last hit him; When he woke up one morning and realised another chapter has gone, and another begins.
I guess growing old gracefully is as much about knowing your fashion boundaries, as being ready to accept the changes. RIP Topman!