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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

24. Fabulous 40s

I tagged along to a “girls’ night out” a couple of weeks ago.  I say “tagged” because out of a group of 10 girls, I really only knew one of them fairly well.   Plus this was a little bit different to the kind of ‘night out with the girls’ that I was used to.  Translation:  I don’t go out much, not like this! 

To begin, dinner was non-existent and the night kicked off with an all-you-can drink event at a bar, and proceeded to a club.  The significance of the evening however, was the average age of this group.  Without going into details, at 40-something, I was essentially the ‘grandma’ of the group. PLUS the girls were all drop-dead gorgeous, and dressed in a way that accentuated their model-thin bodies and legs that went on forever!  Yup.  I was surrounded by pretty young things and I was feeling dowdy and old.  I REALLY need to start hanging out with people either my own age or older!  Kidding.

At 40-something, its been a LONG time since I embarked on these sort of nights.  You know, where you start late and finished later, surviving on next-to-no-sleep – AND  could dance effortlessly in skyscraper shoes!  Argh!  Talk about feeling my age!

And yet, way back then, some 20 years ago, when my energy knew no bounds and I hardly stayed in, life was just one big party after another – most of my male friends were fabulously gay and I never had to paid door charge or stand in queue!  Looking back, I cannot help but grin and wonder how I managed to not get into more trouble than I did! 

But that was then.  Then, came the flurry of babies and I had to expand my limited cooking skills beyond throwing together a salad or heating up a can of soup! What all my poor ex-boyfriends had to put up with, where the most enthralling meal I could scrape together involved a jar of “Chicken Tonight”!  Ah yes, I can STILL hear that haunting jingle…

But while I LOVED the tempestuousness of my crazed 20s, I welcomed my tangible 30s where, even though late nights out were substituted by unhinged sleep deprivation of a different sort, the hard work from the previous decade had started to pay dividend. 

And then I turned 40.  My eyesight is no longer as good as it used to be and my knees remind me how much I hate stairs.  I no longer bother weighing myself and I can only indulge in a conservative glass or two of champagne because of the bubbles.  Bedtimes past midnight are murderous and I only wear killer heels if no walking is required!

But its not all bad.  I am now much better at saying “no”, have honed my decision-making abilities, befriended my shortcomings and learnt to be more flexible.  Now, my favourite get-togethers almost always entails delicious food, great wine and wonderful company with captivating conversation.

I read somewhere that “forty is the old age of youth, fifty the youth of old age; and that age is a question of mind over matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.  So here’s to enjoying my fabulous 40s as I work out what to serve up at my next dinner party!


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