Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Older the Better


A thought-provoking week at Hedges Towers, which began with my best friend E having one of those encounters that keeps the iron of revolt firmly embedded in my soul. She was queuing at the checkout in Waitrose with her lovely young daughter, who has Downs. Because daughter does not do waiting patiently, E with permission from the understanding checkout staff, always gives her a small handful of those green counters to post in the Community Matters slots while she bags and pays.

She had just handed over the counters when one of the hard-faced women I refer to privately as Harpies (portmanteau word Harpenden + ladies) tapped her on the shoulder and informed her coldly that her child was only allowed ONE green counter. Now E is a Canadian with a tongue that could remove paint from walls, but as she said, 'It was holidays and the store was full of kids.'

So she took a deep breath, called daughter over, and proceeded to prize the green counters, one by one from her reluctant fingers. By the end of the exercise, daughter was sobbing, the queue had reached epic proportions, and Harpie was so red and rigid you could have used her to stop traffic. Sadly, this says all you need to know about my town and many of its older inhabitants.

Meanwhile closer to home, I decide BH needs a new aftershave as the one he wears is getting on my nerves. Ever mindful of the Estee Lauder Youth Dew Incident*, I wait until the weekend when he is around, to test drive products. (*This was the infamous Christmas present that I was given quite early on in our marriage, because a woman where he worked wore it and he thought it smelled very nice. On her, maybe. On me it smelled like week old cat litter. Money completely wasted but hey, a lesson usefully learned.)

Arriving at John Lewis on Saturday, I head straight for the 'Men's fragrances' a place BH dreads almost as much as a visit to the dentist - apparently it's the word 'fragrances' coupled with the scary ladies armed with bottles, fixed smiles and slightly more teeth than expected - and spend a happy time getting various strips of card sprayed before meeting BH outside the coffee place. Over coffee, I persuade him to sniff, smell and critique the various colognes. He says they all smell exactly the same and he doesn't like any of them. Just as well, as I'd forgotten which one was which anyway. And they all seem to cost a ridiculous amount of money in the first place.

So I have thrown the elderly bottle of aftershave away, leaving BH to smell of BH, which is actually quite nice for a change. See, that's another good thing about strolling gently towards one's dotage: there are so many things you no longer need: expensive cologne, eyelash curlers, mini hair-straighteners, eyebrow threading kits, waxing strips, designer sunglasses, hair extensions, false nails, fake tan and selfie sticks. The older I get, the more low maintenance I become. Nowadays I just that check I'm not in my slippers, can still remember my name and destination, and I'm good to go.

16 comments:

  1. Oh perfumes - I always forgot to put them on, so abandoned them. And always preferred my husband smelling of himself than some chemical compound. Bodies need nothing more exciting than a good wash - young or old!!

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  2. Just amazed at the ''grooming aids'' for men! Everything from perfume to skin cream to makeup. What is the world coming to!

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  3. Life definitely gets more simple as you age, takes the pressure off a bit. Until someone invites you to a wedding or some such, then its panic stations!

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    1. True..or you have a couple of book events planned..and as always, have nothing to wear

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  4. As I was saying to husband the other day, I've been taking 'selfies' for years, but I didn't give it a name. My mate Linda and I used to do them all the time in about 1981, always the best way of making sure you get decent photos of yourself!

    I still love perfume and wear it most days, but false nails are for chavs, I have never needed hair extensions, and my husband won't let me wear fake tan because it stinks. Wax and hair straighteners are essential so that I don't look like a mad old woman with crazy hair, though. But back to the original subject of the post, my husband thinks that all that is for puffs.

    As for Youth Dew, my sister was under the impression that I liked it, so bought me a large bottle of it. Two years later, I'm still trying to work through it.

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    1. Y'know, I was regaling some shoppers with the Youth Dew story as we were in a queue, and believe it or not, one of them had a similar experience ..and now you. What is it about that perfume? Apart from the lovely Debbie, does anybody really really like it?

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  5. It does smell nice but it seems to cling and never go away! it's one of those that is nice in small doses but you don't want to smell all the time, which you can if you are foolish enough to have a quick squirt on the wrist!

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  6. My husband calls the perfume area in department stores The Gas Warfare Department.

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    1. Funny how gentlemen of a certain vintage don't like it...mind, we should be grateful, his fathr didn't believe in Deodorant....and as for those 19C gents...POOOO!

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  7. Chuckled at your post Carol. I remember when the only choice of aftershave was between Old Spice or Brut.Depending whether it was for your dad or boyfriend.

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    1. Teenagers still use Brut! Ugh! can remember having to open classroom window after Year 11 English group

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  8. Wonderful post altogether, CarolStar. Your friend E deserves a medal. I'd have been cheering her. I hope the harpie suffered severely from a case of extreme embarrassment. As for you and BH, I think you probably both smell wonderful without chemical additives. Being older (hardly in your dotage judging by this post) has many advantages!

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    1. Unexpectedly so .... as we find out. The best is being able to slide seamlessly into our 2 Grumpy Old Sods roles..which have been waiting in the wings for years

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  9. Chuckled at BH buying a perfume as it smelt nice on somebody else. I'd wondered how Mr A made such dire choices... just off to quiz him on it!

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  10. I hope Karma slaps the harpie in the face...with a chair...several chairs actually, one for each token removed! Regarding perfume, there are certain scents we are each eventually host to, one being ammonia...the other being formaldehyde. This is why it's best to keep at least a little perfume, in reserve.

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