I suggest the writers of the poison pen missives sent to me today, go take a look at today's #RIPCarolineFlack hashtag on twitter and ask themselves if their spite towards me is really necessary? Do they feel better for having made me, a complete stranger to them, feel bad? Are they hoping to go full grim reaper and push me over the edge? Does that kind of pain bring them joy?
Well sorry to disappoint you, I get knocked down, I get back up again, and when I get back up again, I'm stronger - and meaner. I won't be publishing your unkind, malevolent posts ever again, no matter how long you have been reading (stalking) my blog. And btw, if your life is so great, why do you spend days and nights trying to torment me?
I remember a time when the age of 60 was so far away I never gave it a thought. Didn't even go so far as to wonder what I might look like or how I might act. Probably because it was a given, within the family, that I would become one of those old glamour puss ladies from Hollywood's golden age, wearing silk turbans, knocking back martinis and chain smoking through a foot long cigarette holder. Nutty as a fruitcake, obviously. And when I say Golden Age of Hollywood, I mean more 'I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille' Norma Desmond than 'I want to order 6 bottles of scotch and 3 bottles of gin' Baby Jane Hudson. Where did I end up? Somewhere between the two.
I jest of course, I still aspire to the first one, but I'm not quite ready to spend my days dressed in silk pyjamas and 3 sheets to the wind -as much fun as it sounds. For one thing the body objects, while the mind is saying another one wouldn't hurt, the body is saying wanna bet? Happily, these two entities have reached a fair and not unreasonable compromise. You will see I have omitted the third entity, free will, because that's gone with the first glass. The body has agreed 2, 3 at a push, glasses of (low alcohol) wine, accompanied by a high speed experience of all the joys of being drunk. Chattering incessantly, having devastatingly brilliant ideas, laughing at my own jokes, crying that the first boy I loved, loved my best friend, singing along to Bridge Over Troubled Water (badly), eating copious amounts of peanut butter on toast and passing out while watching Ted II. Bizarre I know, but a bite sized happy memory of the days when I could get high and party and talk all night.
Strangely, there was no actual transition between 50s to 60, or even much of one between 40s/50s. It kind of creeps up on you and catches you unaware. In your head you still think as you always did, you're wiser, more self assured, but your character is the same as it always was. Stronger, because it is no longer driven by libido, thank you menopause. If you are the kind of person who would always go that extra mile, or push yourself to be the best you can be, that stays, what grandma hasn't served up her best dish, what grandpa hasn't thrown a chess board up in the air? Yeah, old people can be competitive. If you were the kind of person who couldn't bothered, then you probably still are now, but more so.
The can't be bothered, have never really been my cup of tea. They cast a dark, miserable shadow over all and every idea put before them, sadly they come in and out of my life, but now I just avoid them. By contrast, one of my favourite replies ever, is 'yeah, I'll be up for that', especially if the one saying it has no idea what you are suggesting. If you've got a mate who always says that, hang onto them.
So what is 60? or should I say 60 something, lol. What should I be now? The lady who steps back and allows the young to step forward? That was my philosophy, but along came Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi. All in their late 70's and still going strong. I had, it must be said, hung up my boots and bought a couple of kaftans and hairbands. With Elaine Paige singing 'Memory' in the background, my own days in the sun too long ago to remember. I had had my dreams crushed, too long and too painful to go into now, but I had forgotten my own philosophy - the only power I have is over myself, how I react. Facts I cannot change, but I can change how I react to them. No-one can crush my dreams, except myself, and I am ready now to pull them out of the bottom of that forgotten drawer, dust them down, and put them right back where they should be.
For the moment, I am still Cristobell Undecided, in that I don't quite know which direction I want to go in. Perhaps |I will do what one of my critics once threw at me 'just type', ha ha, write down every airhead thought I have. To be fair, these days it is mostly airhead, because I am still grieving the terrible surge to the right the entire world seems to be taking. I am glad the older generation, lol, the Jeremys, the Bernies et al are made of sterner stuff than I. I am also mightily impressed by the young 'uns, who seem to have the hearts of warriors.
Now that I have discovered cauliflower perms and polyester trousers from BonMarche are not compulsory on hitting 60, my entire outlook has changed. It seems I can pretty much carry on as I always have, who knew? I can keep going to my trendy stylist, I can keep buying makeup alongside 15 year olds in Superdrug. Not only are the customers to these counters, all ages and ethnicities, some are boys! What joyous times we live in. I still remember when the wearing of make up was looked down on, now it is celebrated and even baked, makeup affectionados will know what I mean. What brave new world is this that has not only the internet but a free pass to wear as much make up as you want. False eyelashes would have looked totally out of place in the 80's and 90's, but now they come in every shape and size and everyone is wearing them. I could write a whole book about the whole false eyelash experience, or just do a blog or vlog if I am brave enough. I may entitle it Philosophy, Politics and Eyelashes - see, undecided.