Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Age! Part Two: Forty four and fighting fit!

As I get further into my forties, and I am still the right side of 45, just, and holding on there, it never ceases to amaze me just how much I suddenly feel that I am considered old.

Five years ago I was 39. At that time I was only 10 years past my 20's, and therefore still "young", or at least I still felt so for the most part.

My first entree into the world of "age" happened at the age of 36, when, on going to a job interview something cropped up about my school days. "Well, excuse me," came the repost, but that was a very long time ago. Now, given that I didn't actually finish formal education until the age of 23, I didn't consider thirteen years on from that to be a considerably long time, and although school itself finished five years before that, I still at 36 did not consider myself a dinosaur. I passed these comments off however and happily continued for the next few years in the belief that I was certainly not "OLD" - yet.

On my 40th birthday I prided myself with the fact that maybe I have a picture in the attic somewhere, and that I didn't look very old for my age at all. It was of course possibly my eyesight starting to go, so I didn't see what others did. But nevertheless, I did feel reasonably good, just four years ago. But then one way or another we have nearly always managed to live in houses that have gone up as far as the attic, so perhaps I am the picture in the attic. But then that wouldn't be a good thing in other respects. So hopefully not.

At 41 I was just past 40. So was o.k. still. 42, an even number. I've always liked even numbers. 43 - oh no. Hubby (who is just 6 days older than me giving me just six days to be a younger woman each year, which over the twenty years that I have been married means that I have gained almost four months on him) said that that we were now in our mid forties. "MID" I shrieked. Don't be ridiculous. We're only just past 42. That's got to be EARLY forties.

Then 44 came. Even I had to concede at this point that I was approaching mid forties and that I was hard pushed by now to classify myself as a young thing.

But there was still my voice. That is young when I do voiceovers I said to myself. And I have always considered voice overs to be my main strength. So, I entered for the competition to be "The Speaking Clock" run as part of the "Children in Need" campaign. To say that I was disappointed when I didn't even get to the shortlist was a bit of an understatement. It was a bit like that scene in "When Harry Met Sally". Do you remember the part when she says, "And I'm going to be forty". "When?" "In 8 year's time."? I was wailing to hubby, "And, I'm going to be 50" ........................in 6 year's time.

It was as if I suddenly realised that people in their mid forties an on are put on the scrap heap. Now don't get me wrong, it's not because I didn't win the Speaking Clock competition. I thought that the girl who did win, Sara "double barrelled" had a beautiful voice, and ironically quite similar to mine. And I do think that as they didn't choose me, then she was the best man for the speaking clock job so to speak.

It's just that realistically the chances to be "noticed" as "somebody" get less as you realise that all those who have been "noticed" as "somebody" are getting to be five, then six, then seven, then eight , nine, ten , eleven, oh no, twelve, twenty, even twenty five years younger than you.

So, when we went to Spain last week, I was quite pathetically dead pleased when they were doing a "making of" video of making the adverts. Eldest daughter's agent had even negotiated a fee for me too, as I was to appear in the "making of" video. Sadly however, he phoned this morning, and I don't appear on the final cut, so I don't get a fee. Now I am trying to be very sensible about this, because I do know that final cuts depend on all sorts of things, but it is so difficult not to rule out (given that I was on the set the whole time, 27 hours, due to being there in official chaperone capacity) that maybe I have been cut because I really don't look the part.................

So come on everybody. Can we have just a little space in our life for some slightly overweight but certainly not past it 40+ year olds? What do you think?


Debbie said...

You poor old soul! Imagine how I'm feeling with 45 looming!

Sally Lomax said...

Like me I should think! However with the logic that I applied to Derek, I have know you for 31 years, so the five months between us means that I have three years on you!!!!


p.s. You still look young to me though. Thank goodness we only see our friends as we always have. My Dad has always said: People don't change. They just get older. So true.....

Beccy said...

I still feel 21 Sally, it's only when I see old photos of me that I realise the ageing process is affecting me, so I don't look at them and live in ignorant bliss.

Sally Lomax said...

Excellent idea Beccy!