A few years ago, I think it was in my 40th year, I was in a coffee shop slurping on a latte, when the chap sitting next to me started engaging me in conversation. During the course of which he said that I looked young: 16 years old, he said. I spat out my latte with a snort of laughter and he continued assuring me that I looked like a teenager.
Now, before you all snort out your own coffee and judge me for being a sad old cow, who takes compliments from elderly men (oh, had I not mentioned that he was old…) and spouts them as gospel – I didn’t. I thought: you joker, but I’ll take from it that I don’t look too old and wrinkly just yet. I did, however, return home and whoop away to partner how someone in Neros had said I look 16 and when he asked how old that person was, I had changed the subject.
Ever since that day, periodically, partner has made a sarcastic comment in passing about me, ‘only looking 16.’ It generally comes up when I remind him that he is nearing 50 and is older than me and so on – it’s his weapon of mass sarcasm.
This morning on the dog walk we got chatting to a fellow walker and she was asking about the ages of our kids. “You don’t look old enough!” She exclaimed. “You only look 37”. When we’d parted company, I looked at partner and glowed. I grinned like a Cheshire cat and I couldn’t help myself saying to him: aren’t you lucky to have such a young looking partner!
Crikey, he replied. From 16 to 37 in 5 years. You’ve aged 20 years in that short time. Life has been hard on you!
That’ll teach me to gloat.