I know it's been a while, and I've a hell of a cheek just breezing back into your lives like the prodigal daughter returning to the fold upon hearing the news that Mum's started talking to the plants but still knows how to cut a cheque. I can assure you that I am back for good; (not my favourite Take That song, but Prey doesn't fit the theme I'm going for here. Once my personal life is in such dire straits that I feel the need to beg a deity to pimp me out, Ill use it). If you'll forgive me a small digression, I have an announcement to make. While the title will remain the same, so as not to alienate my phenomenally loyal readers, I'm changing the theme of the blog ever so slightly. Make no mistake, I'll still be offering my observations on dating past thirty and contemplating the deep mysteries of life, (i.e. bitching about Internet dating sites and asking rhetorical questions like 'Why does this dress make me look like an overstuffed Kranski when it looked so gorgeous on my twin Lily Allen'), but I'll be broadening my subject matter so as not to do what I did last time and run out of stuff to say.
And with that odyssey of a preamble over, cop a brain-full of the following.
I sometimes get the feeling that time isn't so much marching on as it's dancing Gangnam-Style across my face in steel-capped soccer cleats, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I sometimes wish I'd been born a decade later so that I'd be young enough to sit on Zac Effron's knee instead of the other way round, but that doesn't mean that I hate being forty. Although I have amassed a collection of complexion preservation products that would make Cleopatra dig her nails into the wood of her sarcophagus, I'm not interested in turning back the clock. Believe it or not, fellow quadregenarians, there are perks to being born before Mark Wahlberg dropped his pants for any reason other than to go potty. Today I shall list but five. Feel free to post me your own.
1. People not only tolerate embarrassing behaviour - they expect it. Remember how mortified you and your best friend were at your first parent/teacher night, when your mum's voices bounced off the auditorium walls as they giggled enthusiastically about your maths teacher's cute rear end? (Or was that just me?). Guess what? I've discovered that the hormone-enriched fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. Another mum and I were chatting while waiting to receive our kid's third term reports when a teacher passed by who was, to grossly understate it, very aesthetically gifted, and we remarked on it - rather more audibly than we'd intended. Inexplicably, the teacher in question merely smiled and kept walking, as seemingly unaffected by the hungry eyes burning into the back of him as my maths teacher Mr Kenny was in 1985.
Coincidentally, that was also the closest I ever came to passing that subject.
2. No one cares what music you listen to. Trends come and go, and tastes change with every generation, but the youth of today are still bound by the same unwritten rules of maintaining positive public perception as we were at their age. Publicly declaring your love for a 'Naff' t.v. show, or a song that came out more than a week ago is still akin to being seen in Sesame Street pyjamas, (a fashion faux pas declared null and void once one hits their thirties, according to Bra's 'N' Things online catalogue), but when you turn forty, it works the other way. Next time you're using public transportation, take a sneaky peak at a young person's iPod when they're scrolling through their playlists, then compare it to your own. While the dub beats or wrist-slashing emo ballads that make up your fellow passenger's iTunes library seem perfectly in character for them, for us, owning a Nano filled exclusively with My Chemical Romance or Skrillex tunes would probably be cause for brief-wetting laughter, if not downright suspicion. My mini pink space Walkman boasts playlists like Arse-kicking Alternative, Hot Dance, and Rock Chicks (and yes, I do realise that makes me sound like a seventies DJ - shut up).
3. You don't, I repeat DON'T, have to look perfect. This is something my brain has managed to absorb only recently. If you have a job, a marriage/relationship, a family, or any combination thereof, it's a bonus when you get any free time, so why on Earth would you want to spend it standing before a mirror, obsessing about how huge your arse has gotten lately, or wondering how long it will take to burn off that Tim Tam you took from the packet you have stashed away in the back of your wardrobe like contraband at a Turkish prison? As long as you're healthy, you don't find yourself clutching your chest when you walk, and you can leave the house without the aid of a crane or a winch, who gives a rat's if you go on the odd choccy binge? And as for those of us in the Southern hemisphere who have three months of beach weather coming up - the sarong was invented for a reason.
4. We know how to use Social Networking to network...socially. The whole point of sites like Facebook is to connect with old friends and make new ones through conversation. This seems to have escaped the younger generation (oh god, did I SERIOUSLY just use that phrase?). We wouldn't walk down the street screaming 'LIKE ME! LIKE ME!' It's even less likely that we'd respond to a friend's long but hilarious anecdote with a toneless 'LOL,' and if another friend shared some fantastic news with us, we wouldn't dream of ignoring them completely out of sheer laziness, then expect them to go off like a frog in a sock when we reveal our own Earth-shattering revelation. The only explanation I have for this is that if we wanted to talk to a friend when we were their age we had to, you know, TALK TO THEM! If you can't carry on a friendly, co-operative conversation in real life, how the hell are you going to type one?
5. Sex is WAY better. It is a biological fact that women hit their sexual peek around now, and I could go into a big, scientific explanation as to why that is, but I honestly wouldn't be able to understand it myself, all I can say is that the genius who came up with the theory that women lose interest in sex with their partners as they get older completely fudged his findings. It's also worth noting that his research was conducted several decades before the invention of X-Box and the Internet.