Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ageing Gracefully

I strayed the other day past a shop which sold classy and desirable homeware. I knew that it was classy and desirable because the soft items were patterned with Cath Kidston-style florals and the hard ones notched and lined with cracks and crinkles. Distressed furniture is the scientific term. The more distressed a chest of drawers, the more it is valued.  House guests are supposed to assume that the chest has passed through your family dynasty; that each scar, painstakingly applied by a craftman's tool, is a souvenir of a generation.

My body is similarly distressed. My chest, after four decades of family life, resembles the railway intersection at Crewe. A craftsman would be proud of the fine lines that pleat my face and I've grown three well-shaped liver spots on one hand. By rights, like that furniture, I should be highly prized by society.

Yet adverts urge on me hi-tech slime to thwart Time. Clinics beg to hack years off me with a surgeon's knife. And now I read that scientists are using stem cell injections to abolish wrinkles. Why? Why is an ageing cabinet desirable, but not an ageing matron? Why are carefully torn jeans sold at a premium, but a fissured phiz is an embarrassment.?

Me, I've always preferred the lived-in look.  For, as with all antiques, each mark tells a story. The crevasses around my mouth are from bawling out my children. They are testament to my selfless efforts to harden their moral fibre. The creases round my eyes are from squinting at my laptop. They illustrate  ten months of wild living on Twitter.  The fretworks on my forehead are mementos of nights spent swabbing infant vomit, the children's first solo trip to Co-op, the unwholesome episode with a pickle jar and a batch of burnt Le Creuset.

An unlined pensioner would look as sinister as a wizened toddler and so, while the gullible start harvesting their stem cells, I am resolved to crease and sag with gusto. I have blocked the Vicar's shaving mirror in with loo rolls to strengthen my resolve and I leave off my glasses when I epilate my chin.

Evidently my inner beauty shines through the cracks for, in a restaurant one lunchtime, the Vicar flourishes his iPhone and takes my photo. He seems to gaze raptly at it for a flattering while, then he shows me:




Very proud he is of his 'ageing app'. He can, he boasts, inflate my figure most remarkably with a different device. With a few deft strokes of the screen I am a 20-stone octogenarian and I no longer fancy the dessert menu.

This glimpse of the future has unnerved me. Inner beauty could never compete. Urgent action is required while there's still time, so could someone please tell me: where the heck do I start looking for my stem cells?









28 comments:

  1. There's something very creepy about that photo - I think it's the octogenarian dressed like 40yo. And it doesn't age your eyes somehow. I think if you looked like that at 80 you'd be well pleased.

    I tried to get a discount on some distressed furniture because it wasn't painted properly. I didn't want it, I was just making a point. Luckily they didn't agree.

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    1. Good for you. Hope you'll do the same with trendily shredded clothes.

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  2. Yes, yes, yes! Ageing disgracefully of course ;) I do think that App should be permanently banished though - it really doesn't help anyone!

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    1. Oh, it's caused hours of amusement. People beg to be aged by the Vicar!

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  3. You look gorgeous, petal. Kind eyes never dim.

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    Replies
    1. What a lovely thing to say. Had me peering at that photo with a magnifying glass!

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  4. That shop was obviously not a local one! Not sure about that app, I think it's very unkind of the vicar to do that. They do say look at the mother to see how you will look in later life and you have a very glamorous mum so the vicar will be truly blessed.

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    1. My mother will be thrilled. Not unkind - it was a hoot, if rather a sobering one! And no, the shop was in Fowey.

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  5. Great pic. Now upload the one in which you've been aged.

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    1. When I can think of a witty put down I'll get back to you.

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  6. How come he didn't take one of himself ageing?

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  7. Oh, this is so good. Sadly, though, I think this is what I look like without an ageing app. Bah.

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    1. That just shows, dear, that you need a new pair of bi-focals!

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  8. No need for stem cells - you look lovely, even if it is the work of an ageing app.

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  9. I did actually notice my own "laughter lines" around my eyes the other day.... Ok wrinkles then... ive had them since I was young but they are more obvious now as in you can see them when I'm not laughing ;-) anyway, for one moment I did consider botox, but then gave myself a slap !

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    1. Lines on men don't count. They are deemed to add distinguishment and character

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  10. Thanks to this post I have now added five more laughter lines around each of my eyes. Honestly Matron, turn down the humour a notch, or I fear I will be reaching for the botox. Fabulous post! :o).

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    1. Darling girl! No face is sincerely beautiful without laughter lines

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  11. Hi I enjoy reading your daily adventurous happenings. At first when you mentioned window shopping, I familiarised myself with the obvious womans prerogative - subjecting myself to a scrutinous dressing down as I catch sight of my silhouette in my reflection on the window as I walk past. Your vicar of a husband has a mischievous streak and certainly knows how to pull a prank on you., you are certifiably within your rights to get your own back on him lol.

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  12. P.s I meant to add that I thought your story was going to mention something similar along the lines of the window shopping & reflection, hence why I was familiarising myself with your story.

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    1. I've long since abandoned examining myself in window reflections - after seeing a scuttling, woolly figure which didn't look in the least like my idea of me!

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  13. You know that song by the Beautiful South - Prettiest Eyes? All about the wrinkles and how we come by them. I love that, it makes me feel good in my skin.
    But I do think the vicar is a meanie. And where on earth do those chin hairs come from??? I was totally shocked...!

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