Today I am 60 years old.
When I was a young thing, bouncing carelessly through my days and nights, my greatest concern was that I looked like everyone else whose stocking seams ran in a straight line all the way up to their sensibly clad bottoms, and whose mothers approved of them.
I never managed it. In fact, it was rather fun to see just how many winds of seam I could wrap around my leg before I choked and fell over. When tights came in, everything went to pot on the wrapping fun, for reasons I am sure you can quite well imagine.
Those women of 60, to whom I looked up, or so they thought, and, to be honest, some of them earned an upward look, seemed ancient as fossils. They had looked like their mothers since they were 25 anyway, but somehow, at 60, it all set like concrete, in their attitudes, their faces and in their moral confidence. I can still roll my eyes and want to hide up a tree just thinking about them, as they pinged my mother’s doorbell and were allocated seats for luncheon. It was there in those lips pursed for ‘a small sherry’ and in the hush of gossip.
Is this now me?
No flipping chance.
I and my 60 year old peers are breaking that mould. We are no longer ‘mouldy’ nor are we up for being moulded. Although we may have become shape-changers, we are doing it our way. Not as a group, which is what the previous generation seemed to do, but as individuals. It is not necessarily easy nor simple this being an individual thing, but the more I speak with my daft female friends, the more determination I hear and because we support each other, not to be the same as we are, but to be whoever they are, through the filter of their own life, their own heart, I do believe we are about to cause chaos.
I can see that such a change might not be too everyone’s taste. After all, our mothers happily retreated behind mounds of fluffy scones at just the right time, allowing us to leap out of the conjurer’s hat and into a surprised world as the ones to watch from now on. Our mothers’ sensibly clad bottoms became just bottoms, when ours invited conversation. Their voices fell back into an appropriately domestic hum, whereas we say blow to baking on a regular basis (not least because our husbands might grow too fat), and the confident voice of the new olds reaches up and out and can silence a room of men.
Now there’s a thing!
So get ready world, for we are coming and worse, much much worse, our daughters are watching.