Ageing Disgracefully Part Two ….


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Part Two ….

Sunday.  07.47

Oh God.

Transfixed, I peer into our desperately unforgiving bathroom mirror.  I am looking at a giant, puffy, bright red, bulbous tomato.

It is me.  I am a giant, puffy, roasting hot, bright red bulbous tomato!  I shut my eyes and take a breath. Through half closed lashes I peer again.  I look like an emoji.  I really do, only less attractive.  Why, oh why? I give to charity.  I’m quite kind I think.  I’m nice to other people’s kids (albeit I struggle with my own). WHY??

I think of The Egg slumbering contentedly under the duvet on the other side of the door, blissfully unaware of this fresh new charade – and panic!  What if he were to come in suddenly for a pee or something? I consider how things currently look and wish I weren’t balancing almost naked on the side of the bath with a hugely swollen claret face, not least because I can’t stand the rollicking mirth that I know will ensue….

My puffy, piggy eyes glare back at me and for no good reason I am suddenly put in mind of the luminous, inimitable Marilyn Monroe – no no, not me! – there’s surely no one who has ever looked less like that iconic Goddess right now, but – according to reports she allegedly wore nothing in bed but a few drops of Chanel No.5 – and presumably a smile, damn her sexy alluring self!

I feel deflated – I mean, who can match that? – Meanwhile, I am not looking either sexy or alluring.  No – I am currently clinging to the bath with a big hot red face, wearing not classy Chanel but the sad sweaty remnants of yesterday’s Liz Arden Green Tea Spray (advertised, mind you, as ‘the fragrance that energises the body, excites the senses and invigorates the body!’ – all that in one little spray and only £19.99 in duty free – I call that a bargain!) – Oh yes – and also, my Sunday Knickers.

Which brings me to … my Sunday Knickers.

Yup. Big Sunday pants.

I realise I CANNOT let him see me like this! After eighteen years of being together he has never yet witnessed my Big Sunday Pants.  I believe he is completely unaware of them and I’d like to keep it that way.

They are my prideful guilty secret which I’m prepared to protect to the death. A bit holey, saggy in all the wrong places but I can’t throw them out – they’re so comfy – and Sunday is the day they come out.  This is because Sunday is the least likely probable risk of discovery due to the possibility of passionate amour being somewhat tempered by the Boy Wretches’ Sunday morning rugby/cricket training.  Not to mention us both normally being too hung over from the night before.  Also, and not least, there is the old adage of ‘you don’t want to be knocked down by a bus wearing anything other than your best knickers’ – and Sunday seems the least likely day for that unfortunate disaster.  So it’s logistics really.

Anyway, I think everyone needs a guilty secret.  I’m not talking hiding empty bottles of vodka in the wardrobe or anything, but a teeny little guilty secret here and there is ok I think, and Big Sunday Pants is mine.

Well, that – and watching Question Time in bed on a Thursday night whilst shouting loudly at the MP panelists.  Fiona Bruce takes a bit of stick now and again too (the Egg is a total saint considering) … But that’s about it generally, in terms of guilty secrets. Not too much to worry about.

Oh, and mugs.  I do like a mug.  I have over seventy and climbing at last count.  They handsomely fill a glass-fronted cabinet and make a double layer in our large swoop-out-glide-smoothly-in drawer – (totally love those drawers – sometimes I like to gently swoop and glide just for the hell of it).

Some mugs – embarrassingly – are not actually for drinking out of.  Some, like my set of ‘Carry On’ mugs are so prized I panic when a guest unwittingly picks one up from the display shelf to make coffee.  I have to stuff my fist into my mouth to stop myself babbling “Agh, no, sorry! – not that mug! You see it’s not actually a drinking mug ….”  I know – sad isn’t it.

The Egg says I have a mug to suit every mood so he’s understandably dismayed every time he spots a new one, which I fiercely either deny or defend as necessary.  I’ve taken to smuggling them in at the bottom of a Sainsbury or Morrison’s bag hastily wrapped and disguised.  (Note to the wise – Morrison’s do particularly nice, excellent value mugs.)  Anyway, if I’m quick I can get them into the washing up water and scrub the tell-tale sticky little label off the bottom, popping them smartly in amongst the rest of the burgeoning mug collection to avoid discovery like a pricey new pair of shoes or a brand new, eye-wateringly expensive handbag.

“What, that old mug darling? You’ve seen it loads of times – no really, I brought you tea in it only the other day ….” and so on. It takes skill to field him off sometimes.

Actually, I will admit my mug fetish may well be getting to critical proportions. I can’t seem to help myself – I’m at the “Hello everyone, my name is ….and I’m a Mugaholic” stage. But I suppose there are worse things …

Back to tomato face.

The inferno heat in each cheek increases, and I can’t help feeling a bit defeated.  And although I appreciate that it’s entirely unrealistic to imagine I would have goddess-like attributes with a single HRT application I can’t help feeling that on the subject of my recently acquired middle-aged appearance, I’d bloody well like my money back.

—— /•/——

I creep back under the duvet, tugging it to my neck.  The warmth in my cheeks spreads like warm jam to my temples and I await the crescendo of laughter from The Egg next to me when he finally stirs.

Thoughts play in my head – unwelcome interlopers – and I realise, not without frustration that I’ve once again attempted to conform to an impossible image.  Standards I’ve set myself that are quite simply unachievable.

How many women feel that we just don’t match up?  And if so, what are the lengths we will go to, to satisfy ourselves that we are actually doing alright just as we are?  That we are, in fact, O.K?

And I realise – I really am.

 

—-//—-

 

FOOTNOTE:

To anyone thinking of embarking on a new and exciting HRT journey who may now be wavering for fear of turning into something akin to a rabid balisha beacon, please don’t be afraid – dive right in!

Turns out I had a rogue pump, and after the first disconcerting attempts on Day 1 – when after years of peri-menopausal waning hormones my new pump projectile vomited nuclear levels of Oestrogen directly into my failing system – it has finally settled down and is behaving itself.  Subsequent pumps have emitted a far more modest tower of sticky poo-gel and are entirely rub-in-able.  My tomato face has settled down nicely, and overall I’m quite pleased.  Well, not pleased exactly, I’m still not looking like Nigella but –

I’m O.K.

 

 

Ruminations Of A Mad Cow

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June 27, 2023