On Being a Baby Old Lady

by Georgie Watts

In the earliest hours of your 40th birthday something happens. You start again. It isn’t the dreaded day you had been, well, dreading. Since the age of 37 you had been thinking of this day. You had been thinking about how all the men you like and don’t like will suddenly become blind to you and no longer give you any kind of attention whatsoever. Great service at the KFC drive thru? I don’t think so old-decrepit-knickers! You will be overlooked in the queue for some whipper-snapper half your age, with an impossibly large bun on her head which signifies her fertility status from space. So when the big day arrives, rather than curl up on your bed crying and hoping it will all go away, you realise that the zero part doesn’t mean you are nothing, but that it means you are starting again. You are being reborn, you are as anew… and this time not as a baby but a Baby Old Lady!

Baby Old Ladies are tricky. If they’ve always been whiny cunts, this will not change very much as they descend into madness moaning about how they look and making everyone younger than them’s life a living hell. If, however, they are cool, they generally stay cool, apart from when they get hot. But that’s kinda the point. The hormone changes that start happening make them feel very uncomfortable and they start to rage at injustice in the world as well as in Tesco. They rage at things they wouldn’t have necessarily raged at before, but things that are still valid all the same. Whilst loved ones and bystanders are agog at the terrible thing that just happened to the person who dared be rude to them or give them bad service, or catcall (yes they still get catcalled), or overlook them, they stand victoriously over the dead body. Sweating quite abit.

As a Baby Old Lady, at some point you will be hit by what I like to call ‘anti-puberty’, a reversing of fertility, the perimenopause …but it’s all with added wisdom of course! The girl you used to know has grown up inside you whilst you were busy bringing up humans and getting a career and keeping relationships going. But she is now an absolute behemoth, kicking what’s left of your ovaries and womb with a pair of size 8 Doc Martens. The bitch!

And quite rightly so. She is there giving them a kick to remind you that you are not your fertility. You were you before all that and she’s decided to give you a kick to start something new, start afresh, start being you, whatever that is. She’s also giving you a heads up that you better get used to being an old lady, because if you’re lucky, you’re going to be an old lady a hell of alot longer than you were a young one!

Like being a baby the first time round, you will not find any of this even remotely easy. Rather like when you got frustrated when you couldn’t quite get your thumb in your mouth to give it a good suck by yourself, you’ll also scream when you can’t remember Rick Astley’s name. Right now you know it, of course you do. I just told it to you. But at some point in the future, you will need to know his name and it will have fucked off out of your mind completely. If you have children, they will begin to leave you one by one making you feel absolutely useless and empty inside. If you have elderly relatives with care needs that you are responsible for, you will be feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. Other things will frustrate the shit out of you and for a long time you will have very little control over the functions of your womb, brain and maybe even your bladder or bloody hell, your arse! *SQUEEZE!*

You need a big cuddle about all these things. If you can find anyone to cuddle you, get them to. Any stranger will do if necessary. Just warn them about it first.

Yet eventually, all this will pass and you will have become good at being an old lady. You will have learnt how to return one stale hot cross bun from a pack of 4 for a full refund at the supermarket, without even the slightest flicker of anxiety or guilt. People will watch you go by with such awe and respect, wondering where you got your gold trainers from.

You my dear, will be an ethereal, magical, long icy-haired oracle to which all may flock, for advice, a laugh, a cuddle, some sexy-time or just a toke on a fat one. You will be the coolest MATRIARCH OF ALL TIME!


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