The older I get (nearly 67 now!) the more I am baffled by the world and its wiles. Here are some of the things currently baffling me. Feel free to add your own.
One of my A level students has recently had her eyebrows 'enhanced', by whatever process this happens. She now has what looks like 2 furry caterpillars crawling across her face just above her eyes in a Frida Khalo sort of way. It makes her face look all 'eyebrow' and I find myself addressing the whole lesson to them by default. I have noticed that a lot of the assistants in Space NK are similarly eyebrow-enhanced. And people I pass in the street,
My eyebrows have been slowly shrinking for years and now consist of a pathetic straggle of greying hair that I attempt to corral into some sort of arch with an eyebrow pencil. The right hand one always resembles a switchback as I can't draw with my left hand.
It is a sad truism that the older one gets, the more one needs some sort of facial enhancement before leaving the house. Failure to use make-up results in people asking if you are feeling OK. Or crossing the street. Or both. Too much makeup, and the elderly face resembles a cake left out in the rain: overfilled cracks and hollows, damp and patchy areas and, if one has unwisely applied rouge, what I call the Refugee from Clown Class look.
One has to find the balance between crone and casual. It is not an easy thing to achieve, believe me. What amazes me is the amount of stuff I am supposed to put on my face in order to look as if I haven't actually put on any makeup. Cleanser (can't use soap any more apparently. Too drying), followed by toner, followed by serum, followed by moisturizer, followed by sunscreen, followed by colour corrector, followed by contour cream, followed by insanity.
There are a whole range of products just for making up one's mouth! If I religiously followed the 'correct' procedures, I'd probably never get out of the house pre-lunch.
I read the 'Style' sections of the Sunday Papers with a sense of growing dread. Not only is there nothing I'd ever want to wear, it is all at eye-watering prices. A small bracelet that looks like it's been made of paperclips: £2000. Seriously? Does anybody buy this stuff, let alone wear it? And I DO resent the 'drape it on some willowy older model and then we can claim it's a universal look' thing.
Last week, the Sunday Times Style featured a pair of gold hoop earrings at a price that might buy you a small terraced house in Doncaster. And chip your front teeth every time you suddenly turned your head. As for jeans ~ don't get me started. Mind you, women of my age are not supposed to wear jeans in the first place. Or any place. Not even the retro-sixties ones that are now back in fashion, and that we wore in the real sixties. Step away from your youth, sister. It no longer belongs to you!
So here I am, a castaway on a small unreconstructed island, watching the ship of style sailing away into the distance. I am browless, fashion-free and improperly made-up. Do I care? Ah, well, that's another story!