Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ageing disgracefully

I turn 31 tomorrow.

But don't worry - I am handling things ok. Well - better than I did when I turned 30 anyways. (Turning 30 essentially involved me having a complete mental breakdown and only a new designer handbag managed to pull me out of my funk. Pretty bag though - well worth the emotional distress.)

One thing that has been increasingly on my mind as I age though is whether the clothes that I choose to wear continue to be age-appropriate. Or have I turned into one of those sad women who desperately cling to their youth by wearing cut-off denim shorts, doc martins and getting new tattoos? Erm, actually - don't answer that.

I went shopping with my husband last weekend and was confronted with this question a few times. My husband LOATHES shopping but he does occasionally indulge me. I tell him that he has to come with me because he has such strong views about the things that I wear (shorts = bad, harem pants = evil).  So I make him sit on those horrible husband chairs in front of the change rooms while I try on various pieces and force him to make meaningful comments on each look. For example:

Me: How about this?

Him: Yeah, it looks ok.

Me: What does "ok" mean?

Him: I don't understand.

Me: Well, do you mean, "Ok, but you look kind of fat" or do you mean, "Ok, that is the one you should buy. We should also get you some cute new shoes to go with it"?

Him: I still don't understand.

Me: Ah, I see! Ok then. I look fat. Forget it. I'm not buying anything.

Him: I don't think I said that. Please don't make me do this anymore. I'm starting to get scared. (Actually, he doesn't say these things but this is kind of what his facial expressions conveyed. Oh, and panic.)

But last weekend, he did tell me what he thought about one particular dress - not until after we had left the shop mind you. Luckily I hadn't purchased it because, when I tried it on, he told me that it wasn't great and that he preferred the previous one that I had on. So I left feeling all happy with my new purchase and that is when he decided to tell me that he is glad that I didn't get the other dress because, realistically, I am getting a bit old for that sort of thing.

Surprisingly, I didn't get mad at him though because what he said kind of confirmed something that I had been thinking myself.  I have already culled a few looks from my wardrobe for fear that they should only be worn by those under 25 (short, short skirts, midriff anything, kilt skirts, knee socks etc etc). But while I don't want to wear things that I am too old for, I don't want to wear things that are too old for me either. I don't want to just wear "safe" things from now on just because I have hit this evil age starting with "3".  It is hard work making sure the balance is right and sometimes I just decide not to try things on if I think it is a bit too cutesy or too teen-agey. And then other times I think, "It's ok! I'm still hip! I can totally pull this kind of thing off still." and buy something odd in a leopard print or tartan.

So it turns out that I am actually happy that my husband didn't let me buy that black lycra dress with the bright pattern on it. (Yes, yes, ok - maybe it wasn't a great idea to begin with. I think I just wanted to prove that I was still thin enough to put it on...)

Hopefully my reaction to his comments (while I didn't get angry, I may have got more than a little depressed about it) hasn't scared him off from telling me the truth in the future... After all, it is kind of why I like him coming shopping with me in the first place...

1 comment:

Jody F Wall said...

You make me laugh. Men are lucky. Well some of us. Our looks don't change so much. We really just go from jeans, Docs/Chuck Taylor's, and t-shirts, to jeans, Docs/proper shoes, and a collared shirt, (sometimes). Our hair usually gets shorter, i.e. thinner, our waist line expands, and we get more critical of what young women wear, (those around our daughter's age usually). Women have the toughest deal. It's a pity really. Almost all men don't care what you wear, or how you cut your hair.

I'm sure a woman as indescribably cool as you (and alt cool, not douche cool), can still pull off any look you wish. But aging gracefully... I'd like to see that.