That Better Not Be a Wrinkle

I’m 28. It might not sound very old, but the thing is that it’s around this age that you start noticing that things are changing as you get older, and not always for the better:

Crinkly Lines

As I was putting on mascara the other day the dog was jumping up and down trying to catch a fly that was buzzing about just above his head. It was quite an entertaining sight and it made me smile. As I was smiling I turned back to the mirror to finish what I was doing and….SHIT. I nearly had a stroke. For there, around my eyes, where once there was skin as smooth as Vin Diesel’s freshly buffed head, were little crinkly smile lines. When the hell did that happen? I swear they weren’t there the last time I looked, but then maybe I just don’t look that often. So I went out and bought a ridiculously expensive eye cream which has of course made bugger all difference to anything except my bank balance. I fear these little lines are here to stay unless I get myself botoxed and since I’ve never been a fan of the resulting ‘slightly startled’ expression, that is unlikely to happen. Crinkly lines eh? I’m ancient. I’m going to wake up next month, look in the mirror and discover that I’ve become the witch in ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’.


When I was younger people (mainly members of exceedingly tactless extended family) used to make jokes about “So, when are you going to start having babies, eh?”. Now they aren’t joking. One person even informed me that as I was 28 and married, I’d better make a decision soon – tick, tock, tick, tock, and all that. Honestly, how rude. Do I walk into their living room and ask them when they last had a screaming orgasm or whether they’ve had a dump this morning? No, that would be far too personal. So why is that just because I’m a married woman in my late 20s, people feel it’s okay to make enquiries about my reproductive plans? And the next person to ask me why I bothered to get married if I’m not planning to have babies is going to find out exactly why my wrath is feared throughout the land. Sometimes I feel like going out wearing a badge, “I’ve not decided not to have babies, I’ve just not made my mind up yet.”

The other distressing thing is if you haven’t had a baby by 28, it would seem that you are an island of barrenness in an ocean of fertility. In other words, all your friends have got themselves sprogged up. There are now 4 of us, determinedly clinging on to the old ways and keeping hold of our child free status and for us, the world of childbirth, breast feeding, weaning, and potty training, seems like an alien and terrifying place. It’s so much easier just to have a dog. Social Services don’t object if you leave it in the house while you go to the pub and it’s easier to know what to say in a conversation about dog training. I have no idea what is the correct comment to make when someone informs me that little Johnny did his first solid poo today. What? Eh? Is that ood? A friend of mine did for a while take to sending me text updates on how her babies bowels were functioning and I never did work out why.


It wasn’t until someone I went to uni with made a comment the other day that I realised it’s ten years since I started uni. Where in the hell did TEN WHOLE YEARS go? It doesn’t feel like ten years, I still remember some of it (the less drunken bits) quite clearly, so how can it be ten years? But it is.

1998 I started at Lancaster. Holy crap, I’m turning into my grandmother, “It seems like only yesterday when I was in the WAAF,” she used to say, “Don’t be ridiculous, it was 50 years ago,” I used to think. Scarily, I am beginning to understand where she was coming from.


This is one of the most telling ways to work out if you are getting old. Take the latest boy fashion – those jeans that hang so far down their arse that you can see at least three quarters of their designer boxer shorts. Do you think, “Wow, great boxers, he’s wearing those really well,” or do you think, “For goodness sakes, young man, pull your bloody trousers up, you look ridiculous and you can’t possibly be able to walk properly with the crotch of your trousers round your knees.”.Anyone care to guess which category I fall into? Yep, you got it. I absolutely itch to hitch their trousers up to the proper level. And when you see girls in those leggings that are so ‘in’ at the moment. does anyone else think “Blimey, I remember the first time those were in, back in the 80s?” I am no longer in touch with the latest fashion it would seem, which possibly isn’t a bad thing, as I’m far too old to wear the latest fashion without looking like an escaped lunatic or a prostitute.

It would definitely seem that I’m getting older, and there’s nothing I can do about the fact. There’s only one thing for it – I’m going to have to grow old disgracefully. If you can’t beat it, you might as well enjoy it.

Last 5 posts by Vicola England