Apart from the health aspects and increased general risk of dying, I really don't know why people worry so much about getting older. If you are lucky enough to keep your health and mobility (and I know many don't) then I've noticed it's actually very liberating.
I keep meeting women over 50 who are just, well, loving it. They are freer, wilder - have a little sparkle in their eyes.
OK I am scared about my potential menopause (lets face it - me and hormonal drops don't mix. Current evidence has it that they result in me going 'proper batshit crazy' as I'm sure the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn't phrase it....) but that aside I'm looking forward to being able to get away with ever more random and outrageous behaviour without anyone so much as rolling an eyeball.
I have had plenty of evidence of this in recent times.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I met in a sophisticated 'bar restuarant' for 'absolutley two glasses of wine as we both could NOT get drunk or risk hangovers'. You know how this ends don't you? The night of course peaked with me shouting into the ear of a terrified looking DJ potentially young enough to be son that he wasn't doing a good enough job and if he gave me the decks I'd 'take the roof off' (more like create an electrocution incident and plunge the club into silence) before going home and cooking an entire bag of Quorn sausages. Naked. I know I was naked because the next morning I found all my clothes folded up in a pile next to the frying pan. I can only fathom the thinking behind this was 'time saving' and I decided to get naked whilst cooking meat-free sausages. I'm sure Freud would have something to say about that but hey it could have been worse. I could have tried to put the bins out.
Anyway, whilst we were behaving like, erm, fools and having a lovely time we couldn't help notice that many of the young 'uns weren't. In a pub with live music all the hipsters were sitting around looking serious or at the most nodding, while we leapt around and errr, had a good time. In another bar young couples sat silently picking wax off candle holders (why waste the money on drinks? I wanted to shout at them 'for god's sake just go home and have sex - NOW - before you have to get up 5 times a night to clean up wee and answer questions about black holes and potential hauntings) while me and my friend laughed until we had mascara running down our respected cleavages.
I for one am glad I'm not a 20-something again. It's was all so, well, complicated.
The next set of evidence for 'Life After 50' is my mum. And her friends. They are frankly bonkers. But in a way that you can't help admire.
Take this genuine conversation my mum and her friend (who we shall call Pam for reasons for not wanting to name her) had today.
My mum says the following:
Oh Pam, hello
13 spots you say?
I'm not sure
I don't know. I thought the spots were more hexagonal in that case?
How are you going to do that?
Well yes, Google it first.
To be safe, yes.
Call me when you know.
In France you say?
Mum gets off phone. What's going on I ask (fearing Pam has perhaps caught some kind of rare venereal disease whilst in a tent in Brittany).
Well she says, you're not going to believe this but Pam has found a ladybird. In her conservatory. And it's got 13 spots! THIRTEEN! Anyway we fear it's one of those new ones - the intruders - the Harlequins. Well of course if it is a Harlequin then Pam will need to kill it. But she's struggling with the concept. We decided if it needs to be done she's going to wrap it in toilet paper and flush it down the loo. So she's not actually having to kill it. Just cause it's demise, so to speak. Anyway she's off to fire up the computer now and she's going to use Google to suss out whether or not it needs exterminating. But it will take a while as her connection isn't very good so we shall have to wait and see. I'll update you later!
Me: Riiiiiiight (befuddled glaze). Anything else?
Mum: Oh yes - her daughter in law's Grandmother died. The funeral is in France. Unfortunate.
I reach for my 14th cup of tea and ponder life the universe and my mum.
Later I got home and Googled 13 spot ladybird myself and guess what? They are some ultra rare finding thought extinct, a small colony of which was found in Devon last year after 50 years of being extinct.... Great moment in the history of ecology and all that.
I've called my mum but nobody is in. I'm now panicking she's over at Pam's reading Last Right's over the toilet and flushing away an important biological specimen. I've left a message on her answer machine telling her she could potentially have been involved in the extermination of the insect equivalent of the Sabre Tooth Tiger but she hasn't called back yet.
So we shall just have to wait and see.
See - being over 50 - a whole new kind of fun........