Let me start by saying that this isn’t a whingefest about being old.
I like being older.
I like the fact that I have my own apartment, a husband, a career. I like that I know how I feel about things.
I like that I know I love Aldi and I am painfully loyal to certain products they sell and will try to convince you of their delights at any given opportunity. I even like the fact that some younger folk may think that is the most boring sentence they have ever read. They may have a point, but I don’t mind.
Watch: Advice for 5-year-old me with Deborah Mailman. Post continues below.
I like that I am able to get older, when so many people suffer with ill health or huge life challenges, I am aware of my good fortune and I hold on to it.
There are a couple of things, though, that I don’t particularly like about being older. Small, gripey things.
Like the fact that I am invisible.
I don’t just mean to the male gaze, though that is part of it. I know Mamamia Outloud spoke about this a while back and while no woman in her right mind wants the wolf whistles or the cat calls, to feel unsafe walking anywhere or to feel threatened in any way, but the cloak of invisibility that I seem to wear in bars where 20-something men are serving and 20-something women are buying is quite the thing.
It’s a large, thick cloak made of coarse material that as well as rendering me invisible, also makes me feel like I’m intruding. It also means, in bars where 20-something women are doing the serving, that middle-aged men who want to get their attention have been known to literally push in front of me.
It’s a horrible cloak.
I must wear the same cloak in clothes shops, too. Like if I’m buying something in General Pants, for example, I seem to always have it on. Either that or I seem so out of context to the 20-something girls who work there that I somehow don’t exist to them. I surely can’t wear the low-slung jeans or the gossamer camisoles with my midlife body so I am not really there at all.