A couple of seasons ago I was watching a reality TV cooking program that probably rhymed with Fry Bitchen Mules and was blithely referring to couple of mature aged housewives as ‘The Old Birds’ when my husband pointed out a harsh truth.
“You know they’re your age, don’t you?”
“Rubbish,” I thought as I Googled furiously, scrolling through the contestant bios to prove him wrong.
And it turned out he was wrong. The women were not my age at all. One was actually a full five years younger than me. Which made me – in my own words – an Old Bird.
That’s the funny thing about ageing. Even as the years creep by and the wrinkles etch themselves into deeper ravines around your eyes and your smiles lines sag into jowls, you still think “I look pretty good”.
In your mind’s eye you are a glamorous 25-year-old – or maybe 30 at a pinch.
What it’s like to be an attractive woman [via the ladies of Reddit]. Post continues after video…
This complete blindness to the way you look to other people means when you are sitting in the parent teacher interview across from a hip 27-year-old art teacher you are thinking ‘this woman and I could hang out together – we could even have a squad – if only she if she didn’t hate my daughter so much’.
And later, when you are having a similar conversation with an older teacher, you politely call her Mrs because you think she is your mum’s age, until your daughter informs you she is also two years younger.
Most of the time we are very bad at judging how we look. We even start to get confused about what others look like. Sometimes I see young people and can’t tell if they are 18 or 28. And it’s not because my vision is going. It’s because you just lose track. How old is Helen Mirren anyway? 50? 80? Something.