OPINION | The hidden oddities of age

As I grow imperceptibly and ever-so-gracefully older, I have started to notice a few things (not so much in myself of course, but in my unluckier peers). They are things that no one speaks of, that are so subtle and/or shameful that they are hidden from public view.

They are the unexpected consequences of no longer being in the first flush of youth, the ones for which no one prepares you.

I mean, everyone knows about the obvious things - the lip wrinkles, the tummy flab, the increased interest in whatever's on the ABC - but what of the more obscure ailments and foibles of age? In the interests of forewarning those who are a little younger than me, I wish to reveal them so that you will not be shocked when they occur.

Earlobe wrinkles: These are sometimes coupled with a lengthening of the earlobe, so that they flap a bit when you move. Charming.

Weird skin things: You name it, it's crept out of my epidermis. I used to wonder why my older relatives didn't get things cut out. Now I realise there'd be no skin left if you did that.

Standing up is hard: I try to hide it, but it truly takes me a moment to straighten my back when I get out of a chair. At least I haven't started making a noise - that old person grunt - while I do so. It'll come.

Tastes change: Red wine and dark chocolate are suddenly more attractive. Ditto strange herbal teas. Food that gives you indigestion is not as tempting as it was.

Not all greys are the same: There are different shades of grey hair and some are apparently more desirable than others. A white streak in dark hair is good; muddy speckles through mouse-brown, less good.

Decreased patience for everything: Life is too short for high heels, uncomfortable clothing, boring meetings and so on. Hence I am heading toward a future of elasticised pants and sitting at home on the couch.

I know I have some way to go in this ageing caper (if I'm blessed with the life-spans of my long-lived forebears), so there'll be more to learn. But I think if I can adjust to earlobe wrinkles, I'm ready for anything.

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