Sunday, 19 July 2009
I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now
I remember being quite upset on my 20th birthday when I couldn’t wear my ‘Bored Teenager’ badge any more. Instead, I made myself another home-made badge out of a newspaper headline from the NME. It said ‘Too old to pose’ (yes, I do remember the news item it came from but that would be one trivia step too far). This came back to me the other day while talking to someone at work about feeling old. I am old enough to be her mother (in fact, I am older than her mother). But in comparison to someone who has just left university, she is now a grown-up. Which means adjusting your self-image, probably just as much as I’ve had to in the last few years as a middle-aged person. Maybe feeling old, like feeling poor, is only to do with comparing yourself to other people. So if it seems unfair to me when people under 30 complain about their great age, that means I can’t say anything about feeling old in front of friends who are closer to 60. There is a time - probably around the age of nine and three quarters - when you actually want to be older than you really are. Maybe the rest of us should just forget about birthdays.