Of Trolls and Rolls

Image result for old age cartoon

My husband is a clever man. I mean really clever. He has a Master’s degree in Musicology and half a PhD. But for fun he has been known to sit in his Man Cave, playing GTA and cackling to the Red Neck humour of The Cable Guy, having the cheek to tell me he looks like my game ranger cousin. Of course he also loves more edifying humour like QI and laughs at The Trump and Clinton Comedy Show, despite the chilling consequences of the election of either to the presidency of the USA. He relishes the debates of Mehdi Hasan and delights in provoking conservatives. Bigots who don’t enjoy his stirring the pot call him a troll.

Andrew’s Music pupils adore him because he is cool. In fact he has a ‘Cool/Uncool’ Wall in his office. He is on Snapchat and rocks it. He is in with the gamers in the house and up to date on urban slang.

But he has a thing about his age, which is really funny, because besides …um… having an ‘extended crown’… he doesn’t look old. But he keeps on pretending to be younger than he is. And people believe it. If you present the evidence of his passport or ID document, he will tell you there were administrative errors when they were issued. If you plead with his mother to indicate when he was born, she confirms his actual age, but he blandly says you can’t ask her because she has Alzheimer’s (which is true, God bless her). So that is his secret: denial; denial; denial.

In a world where women complain that men don’t have issues about ballooning beer boeps, grey hair or sagging ‘stuff,’ it’s quite refreshing to see that actually they do care/ have insecurities/ feelings/ issues.

As a woman, for example, I have never had to worry that I might go bald (well – until I realised I might – if I keep pulling out the silver strands from my fringe); we can skip over the articles on prostate cancer and console ourselves that in general we outlive our spouses. (Hence my devilishly clever move to cougardom (only just though, hey.) We don’t need knee surgery from our days on the rugby field or feel the need to pretend we’re not aging and make a down payment on a fancy car and keep pulling in our stomachs when the new secretary sashays in (hell, we have girdles and full body stockings to slow down our undulating Sunday lunch excesses. And even Kim wears one – I read it on the internet so it must be true.)

In fact, if anything, women are opting for less hair – some even go all the way to Brazil to ensure that they are smooth (not me of course, but I do know someone who does); our surgeries include popping out the uterus and goodbye monthly worries. And we: Just. Do. Not. Care. We can laugh until our mascara runs; we no longer worry about embarrassing ourselves and in fact have perfected the art of mortifying image-conscious teenagers. We laugh loudly and heartily in restaurants without worrying that our double chins are showing. We have learnt to stand up for ourselves and not buy into society’s nonsense.

Sure I wear make-up to fill in the odd crinkle or cover the sunspots. It is depressing that I’m not thin after starving myself of chocolate for three days, but I am really not too phased.

However we have survived tight skinny jeans before there was stretch denim (and still managed to go on and have babies!); we were raised on Queen and Journey (with Freddie and Steve Perry); we had to actually break up in person, not on Whatsapp or Skype. We grieved with Demi in Ghost and watched American shows dubbed into Afrikaans. We have earned the accolades of the youth.

Besides which, I have an ageless man and we all know what they say about how old you are…

He is not the only clever one.

These are a few of my [least] fav’rite things:

Just in case I am ever interviewed as a celeb on a TV show and asked that lovely banal question of ‘What are you pet hates?’ here they are, with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein:

Jik spills on pant suits and dog hairs on black coats

Bright lights when sleeping and smug winners who gloat

Gym folk who nick the disabled parking

These are a few of my least fav’rite things.

Underwired bras which break loose and poke in you

Muzak and payback and too-tight cute shoes

Teens who ignore the damn phone when it rings

These are a few of my least fav’rite things.

Girls who’re exploited and folk who spread hatred

Drone strikes and jeeps which are vanity plated.

Smart cars and mutton all dressed up with bling

These are a few of my least fav’rite things.

When the zip splits; when the nail breaks

These both make me sad

I simply remind myself Bieber can’t sing

And then I don’t feel so bad.

Taxes and lying and naked ambition

Maintenance arrears and bad punctuation

Gangsta low trousers and fat pinky rings

These are a few of my least fav’rite things.

Petrol price increases; school terms that drag

Too many wrinkles and buttocks which sag

Drug dealers peddling their filth at the swings

These are a few of my least fav’rite things.

Internet hanging and cold feet in my bed.

Nobody listening to what I just said

Seeing my children’s first break-ups begin

These are a few of my least fav’rite things.

When the car quits, when the bug jumps

When my darlin’s mood’s bad,

I simply remember the US has Trump

And then I don’t feel so mad!