Five Things They Don’t tell You about Getting Older

When you’re young, skirts and trousers with elasticated waistbands are just ‘old lady clothes’ and you take it for granted that they need the comfort, while knowing that it will never happen to you. Wrong. Elasticated waistbands are manufacturer’s way of making some money from older ladies who are not catered for by designers. They fail to cash in on the silver pound, sticking instead to the young, slim or even emaciated because they make their clothes look better. What they fail to take into account is that even really slim women change body shape with age. You can be small but still have a bug tummy, no waist, no bottom and that hip spring – the difference between waist and hip measurement – decreases from about twelve inches when you are twenty five and a size twelve or fourteen to about six inches when you are fifty even if you still have thirty eight inch hips! So your choice is  whether to  buy skirts or trousers that fit your waist and balloon out like a parachute around your hips, never, ever do your top buttons up, or . . . elastic and crimplene.

Your eyelashes start to disappear, what happens is that they grow inwards. They creep down through some special internal follicles until they reach your upper lip and chin where they multiply like cell division and burst out forming a lush growth to warm your face in winter.

Old ladies can’t wear pretty brassieres. Pretty ones are aimed at young women whose breasts have not yet become matronly. Matronly bosoms appear around your late forties. Oh yes they do, even if you always wore a 34A you will suddenly need a 36F, and the wide straps that go with bras in those kind of sizes. Woe betide those of you who successfully seek out The Thin Strap, because you will have deep chasms in your shoulders. Nope, to contain your new found pitta breads you will require inch wide straps and side scaffolding.

Now, we expect to gain some lines on our faces don’t we? They are lines of wisdom and character of course, and a way of keeping the beauty industry going with our futile attempts to stay young. But what is this crepe like thing happening to my forearms? No one told me about that. And why don’t the magazines recommend that you wear gloves twenty four seven, to stop your hands looking like some haggard witch’s? Because they get paid to advertise hand cream!

Granny shoes. How could they wear such ugly things? This generation didn’t invent ridiculous – oops I mean delicious – heels, platforms and wedges that you need a mounting block to climb into. No, I had them too and could walk miles, dance all night and then walk home again in them. I didn’t live in them, I loved flip flops too. They were never as lovely as the ones around now. I have some gorgeous jewelled and sequined ones, in fact several pairs; I keep buying them in the hope that some will be comfortable enough to walk miles in. If I try that, the impact of every step I take resounds its painful way up through my calves and knees, leaving me hobbling slowly the next day. So, it’s nice comfy cushiony soles for me, little heels on occasion, but even then they would have to be Footgloves. What’s happens to our feet? Well apparently we lose subcutaneous fat from our soles as we get older, who knew that? What I do know is where mine went. Around my middle.

If anyone can warn me of any other little surprises I have to look forward to I would be deeply thrilled to know. Meanwhile, where is my foot spa, my feet are killing me.

23 thoughts on “Five Things They Don’t tell You about Getting Older

  1. Well Gee, there could be a number six and that is that you just don’t give a monkeys and get on and enjoy wonderful life!! You made me laugh when i needed it! thanks

  2. I love your explanations of where everything migrates to! Though I have to agree with interiorwoman – I don’t really care that much these days, except for the maddening difficulty of shopping and coming home with anything I can wear!

  3. 😀 Great post, Gilly! This had me laughing all the way home on my train ride. You capture these frustrations with such humorous aplomb. 🙂

  4. If it’s any consolation… I think us guys also notice the passage of time and I suspect that we’re less able to handle it than you ladies 😉

  5. HAHAhahaha …. I was laughing the whole time I was reading it because it is all so true.
    I must admit that I feel the way the others who have commented. I usually don’t give a hoot.
    BUT – when my knees ache or feel like they are not my own because of the pain – OH, YES – another issue … I must admit, I cringe when I remember all those wonderful days I danced the night away – or – all those fabulous days on stage or when I was in my dance classes and could bend my leg behind my neck like it was made of clay. It makes you want to say to aging, “Hey, why didn’t you tell me this was going to happen so I could have enjoed it more?”
    BUT – alas – I am retired and can do what I want … go to bed when I want … eat what I want … vacation all I want and love my man like I never had time for, all I want …. SSsssoooo …. it can have other benefits.
    Good write, Gilly. You always have some thoughtful posts.
    Issy xoxo

  6. Brilliant observation and hilarious irony, Gilly! Thank goodness we can laugh about our ageing bodies and be more be comfortable with them than our youth, when looks were everything and gaining an extra pound became a major crisis! By the way, I’ve solved the elastic-waisted trouser dilemma (comfort v. style) ~ Gok Wan ‘jeggings’, from Tu @ Sainsbury. The man’s a genius! 🙂

  7. the earlier commenters have said it all … so true … hilarious and at times just a bit frustrating when bits of flesh seems to be in the wrong place … thank heavens we can laugh and live in the freedom of not having to conform to any fashion standard … more than wearing purple, we can wear what we like … brilliant writing gilly!

  8. Oh! do I understand. Nobody told me. Let’s just call them signs of wisdom, knowledge and survival. Enjoyed your post.


  9. Did no-one tell us about these happenings because they thought we couldn’t handle them? I could care less about these details nowadays. I’m settling in for the long haul, Gilly. It’s easier than fighting it. You can’t win. Fabulous post. So right.

  10. Hilarious Gilly, and so true. Strange that we can’t find designer clothes that fit us, when we can actually afford to buy them!! I can of course take refuge in the folds of a sari for formal occasions. The description of what happens to our eyelashes cracked me up 😀

  11. No, you really DON’T want to know about everything lying ahead —
    On the physical plane, that is. On the spiritual and intellectual and even just plain happiness barometers, I’m glad to inform you that The Trend is Your Friend!
    Truly!!!!!!! (And I’m way way up there.)

  12. Getting (really stupidly, over the top) mushy. Like really mushy. As in bawling your eyes out at the “Mom” Proctor and Gamble Olympics commercials much to the chagrin of your NOT old kids and heartless hubby 🙂

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