Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: Age cannot wither me

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  • giovanni tiso,

    So Douglas Adams was wrong... you can make jokes in base thirteen!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    It's better to get to 40 than not, but I'm with you on this one... I enjoyed turning 30 but 40?

    Brrrr.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Jolisa, I hit 40 last Sunday, so I have considerable sympathy for your predicament. Like you, I also found myself pondering the big "what the hell am I doing with my life ?" stuff.

    Regarding my age, rather than saying I'm older than I am, I'm often lucky enough to have people think I'm still somewhat younger. However, the notable emergence of grey hairs around the sidies has made this somewhat less of an occurence. :(

    However, I took considerable solace from a story that was all over the media last week. According to that bastion of cutting edge journalism, Cosmopolitian, the hottest men in the world are all over 40.

    Unfortunately, this has yet to result in a queue of nubile, stunningly attractive, young women at my front door, seeking to have their wicked way with me. But I'm sure it'll happen any day soon... ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Lx,

    My friend's partner took her to Paris (from NZ) for her 40th. This turned out to be a Very Good Move.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Sigh. I just turned 34 and have started to panic about turning 40 already. It's going to be a long six years.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Aw... fuck it. I'm thirty six; there was patch when it didn't look like I was going to hit thirty. And perhaps that useless classics major isn't so useless in this respect: You're reminded that you live in an age where pregnancy being lethal to both woman and child isn't just accepted as a fact of life any more. Assuming cholera, plague, indifferent (if not actually nonexistent) sanitation and the general unpacific nature of the world didn't knock you off first.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    oh please - it used to be that 40 was the new 30 -not any more - these days it's 50 that's the new 30.

    Mind you I'm biased having just clocked 50 - my partner is 6 months older than me - I'm not allowed to agonise about this stuff - by the time I get around to it it's old hat and we're over it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And perhaps that useless classics major isn't so useless in this respect: You're reminded that you live in an age where pregnancy being lethal to both woman and child isn't just accepted as a fact of life any more. Assuming cholera, plague, indifferent (if not actually nonexistent) sanitation and the general unpacific nature of the world didn't knock you off first.

    Craig: we all know that if you had lived in Greek or Roman antiquity you'd have been a troublesome stoic political philosopher, hence your most likely cause of early death would have been suicide mandated by the sitting emperor or ruling faction.

    Sigh. I just turned 34 and have started to panic about turning 40 already. It's going to be a long six years.

    That's just mean.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    A friend of mine, while in his early 20s, lied upwards about his age to impress an older woman. He said it was very difficult, and involved inventing five years of a plausible life history.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    That's just mean.

    I wasn't trying to be! I'm just pondering my uncanny ability to worry about something trivial for six straight years before it happens. I'm going to end up with an ulcer fairly soon, probably.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It's nothing that can't be fixed with a pair of sexy leather boots, some caramel cupcakes, a great deal of champagne, and the good wishes of sweet friends and dear family.

    And a tattoo.

    Aw... fuck it. I'm thirty six; there was patch when it didn't look like I was going to hit thirty.

    Ditto. Hmm.

    At the moment, I approach forty with mild curiosity. Though it may turn out that as I get closer, it's something I'm less sanguine about.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    At the moment, I approach forty with mild curiosity. Though it may turn out that as I get closer, it's something I'm less sanguine about.

    I find that ruthlessly planning my own enjoyment gets me through birthdays quite well. My 40th birthday party started at 1pm on a Saturday and wound up at 3am Sunday on K Road.

    Actually, a lot of my parties seem to go like that ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    40 was easy. I had the second best party ever. (Actually maybe the best, but I have to count the one where I met my husband as the best.) We went to Bodega California, partied for several days with 30+ friends and relations, swam in the pool, walked on the beach, drank the local wine, ate the local food... I'd turn 40 all over again for that.

    I'm hoping the global economy has picked up enough and air travel is still affordable when I hit 50, this time I feel Europe beckoning. Sun drenched wine dark seas. It's great having a birthday in July, that way I can insist on traveling north for summer warmth.

    Live life, enjoy life. Drink good wine, eat great food, talk to people, travel. Love youself and others. I can't get enough of this life but I'm not trying to stop the clock. (It does help that the hair is still grey free - haha.)

    Remember that at 30 you're still only a third of the way through your probable life. Under half way through the good times. At 30 your best adult years are just beginning. Imagine being as gorgeous and happy as you are now and having pots of dough because you were sensible all through your 20s and 30s and saved and invested sensibly. That's what being 40-50-60+ can mean. Woohoo!

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Imagine being as gorgeous and happy as you are now and having pots of dough because you were sensible all through your 20s and 30s and saved and invested sensibly.

    Er, yeah, I'm imagining it. When can I open my eyes?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Er, yeah, I'm imagining it. When can I open my eyes?

    Yes, while Dinah is busy pushing ninety in comfortable wealth, I would have been dead and poor for thirty years to uphold the family tradition. Yay!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig: we all know that if you had lived in Greek or Roman antiquity you'd have been a troublesome stoic political philosopher, hence your most likely cause of early death would have been suicide mandated by the sitting emperor or ruling faction.

    Awww... that's sweet. And disturbing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Russell you silly billy, you obvioulsy had a misspent youth. Jolisa clearly isn't.

    Giovanni, you don't have to do everything your ancestors did. I'm planning on making it beyond half of my grandparents and at least as far as the other two. Of course I could always get struck down by a jelly fish while snorkling on my 70th, or choke on an olive on my 80th.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Jolisa,

    I've been reading your blogs for years, and have enjoyed reading about busy-(not-so-much a)-tot and the others... mainly because you are just six or so months ahead of me on the child-rearing path..... so many times I've seen a new development in my young boy, and thought... oh-yes, I just read about this....

    Anyway I'm now thrilled, and consoled to discover we are near equal in age too.... although your birthday is technically nearer than mine... the Herald gives me a daily front-page count-down to mine... which is quite foreboding in its own way.

    Apparently the politicians are all trying to gain my favor, and the entire nation is waiting with bated breath for my 40th.... and some other thing :)

    I feel I'm supposed to be worried about another entering decade, or at least the election results... but mainly I'm just getting excited at the prospect of a party with good friends and family from overseas...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Lying about your age never works. In fact, if you're truthful about your age and others lie about theirs, it actually works to your advantage.

    If lots of women who are 50 say/imply they're 40, then we come to expect that the physical look of 50 is "40". So if you're really 40 and are open about it, then you'll look much younger than what people are expecting.

    Gloria Steinem's a big advocate for being truthful about age. I saw her on Oprah recently - Oprah was all "You look so amazing for 74!" And G was all "This is what 74 looks like."

    Meanwhile, I'm 33, which is a peculiar age, neither here (young!) nor there (old!). I'm really looking forward to 35, when my fertility will apparently start fucking up.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Aah, the fellow-feeling is fair wafting off the page. It's good to know there are so many of us in the same boat, as it were.

    And excellent advice from Dinah, Robyn, and Russell. I shall save my pennies, resist the urge to lie, and start planning WAY more elaborate parties.

    @ giovanni
    It's a doddle, as long as you are not triskaidekaphobic.

    @ Grant
    Aah, the Clooney effect. I'm sure it will kick in soon. Keep us posted.

    @ Fletch
    Thank you! Bet you had a hard time finding a school hall for your bang-up birthday party?

    @ Lx
    I trust it involved a sports car, and the warm wind in her hair? I had dreams of an exotic trip as well (Paris, Tokyo, London) then realised I'd done all that in my 20s while unencumbered. So we made do with Maine, last weekend, which was gorgeous in its own unassuming way.

    @ Emma

    And a tattoo.

    Hmmmm... tempting. What do you reckon is the most age-proof spot? So when the young 'uns say "Show us yer tat, nana" they'll still be able to make it out?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Hmmmm... tempting. What do you reckon is the most age-proof spot? So when the young 'uns say "Show us yer tat, nana" they'll still be able to make it out?

    I'd've had to think about this, but I wrote this book a couple of weeks ago... Plane of your chest above the tops of your breasts (ie where mine is) or back of the shoulderblade.

    Though when I'm old I plan to look like Helen Mirren.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I have to say, the fearlessness with which people are outing themselves, age-wise, in this thread is an impressive index of the generally robust PAS psyche.

    It's also causing me to revise a few long-cherished mental pictures. Craig in particular - your old fogey persona is impeccably maintained, I've routinely added a decade or so to your age. To think that a glowing peachy complexion complements that hand-knit cardie and those old slippers!

    Danielle, don't fret! You are young and lovely and will stay that way for at least another decade. (BTW I found denial a very useful strategy for the countdown you're facing.)

    And Paul, you always give me hope. I hope to be you in 10 years' time. (With the groovy repatriated tenagers and all).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Though when I'm old I plan to look like Helen Mirren.

    Oh, woof! No complaints there.

    Ta for the tattoo advice, although I'll probably go to my grave unmarked. It's not the pain that I fear, it's the possibility for second thoughts. Speaks the woman who has tried on approximately two dozen pairs of boots in search of the perfect pair, and still isn't completely convinced I've found them.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    A friend of mine, while in his early 20s, lied upwards about his age to impress an older woman. He said it was very difficult, and involved inventing five years of a plausible life history.

    This is fascinating... Maybe it's just because I'm a late bloomer, but I still have the same problem.

    I sense a business opportunity there for someone, photoshop and certificates and all, to account for the missing years more comprehensively than just "I was in prison" or "I was on tour with the Grateful Dead." Is www.fakematurity.com taken already?

    I do like Robyn's point about how all the pervasive lying about age makes it easier for the rest of us to seem all the more fresh-faced and fabulous. And yeah, go Gloria S! Gorgeous at any speed. When I get really old, not just half old, I want to be like her, or one of these guys.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Margaret Mahy has a little tattoo of a skull on one of her shoulders. So if she's having tea with the Queen, she can easily cover it up with a nice top without having to get out the Thin Lizzy. And then if she wants to get bad-ass, she can just roll up her sleeves.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

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