Sunday, October 19, 2008

Youth of Today

The man behind the ticket desk at our local station recently had the gall to ask if I was eligible for a reduced fare!

Surely it was obvious to him that I was at least five years too young? I mean - I’ve always looked masses younger than I am and everyone has always said so. Always…

Something bizarre is happening now, though; some hideous reflection of modern fixations, no doubt… For example, last week a saleswoman in the hypermarket made a beeline for me, to tell me that her "Lifting" products were on promo. As well as her treatments for age-freckles and the "difficult eye area".

"SO?" I wanted to shout at her. (I didn’t shout. I just muttered "Not today thank you," and shuffled away thinking, She could do with some Retraining).

But something about her concerned gaze made me glance in the mirror at the ReadyReader Specs counter. And something about that made me rush to google ‘eyebags’ as soon as I got home.

What could have caused the insidious emergence of these generous little pockets? The usual culprits, it seems: stress, tiredness, caffeine and alcohol. So All is Lost. Although drinking seventeen gallons of water a day might help, apparently.

Google also suggested giving That Woman’s creams a go or, and this seemed interesting and rather less extortionate, trying a nice lie down with a frozen teabag on each eye (preferably green tea).

I happen to like green tea with mint, so I shoved a couple of used bags in between the Baby Peas and the Rich Chocolate Chip, and retrieved them later for a relaxing and rejuvenating spell with The World at One.

They felt like lumps of coal! Never mind; I pressed them coolingly to my eyes and laid down on the rug with a happy sigh. After ten minutes I rushed to assess the results: I looked like I’d gone three rounds with Mike Tyson before dipping my head in the dregs of the teapot. Perhaps the ordinary ‘fridge would have been cooling enough. Or perhaps I should go the camouflage route and decorate my under-eyes with a nice mural.

The day after this depressing failure, I got into conversation with a pleasant woman at the cheese counter – her family roots in Italy, her gifted and multitudinous grandchildren… Then, she went and asked me how old I thought she was. Always tricky, this – too young can be silly; too old can be mortifying… She looked about fifty-eight, and obviously thought she looked forty-eight, which is what I’d normally have suggested. But I was fed up, and suffering to boot from self-inflicted Hair Colour Calamity.

"SIXTY-THREE!" I yelled across the goat cheeses, and smirked off to the tills.

No, I didn’t. Of course I didn’t. I gritted my teeth (better grit while I've still got them), and said "Forty-Five?"

(Old Boot)!

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