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The Unreliable Guide To… Age and Aging

By Nat Shepherd on April 3, 2019 in Other

Smoking keeps you young apparently, by Joanna Lumley.

The Unreliable Guide suffered a significant birthday recently and it got us thinking about age. We are obsessed with aging: by 2021 the charlatans peddling botox, tucks, lifts, silicon and liposuction are predicted to be milking worldwide insecurities for more than $465 billion. That’s a ton of dough, especially, as writer Kaz Cook notes, that “given the choice of doing nothing or cosmetic surgery, we’re all going to have to choose between looking old and looking weird”.

But if youth is so desirable, why do we spend our early years wishing we were older? There’s no perfect age; society has rules for everyone. Eight year-olds aren’t allowed to drive, no matter how good they are at reverse parking, 38 year-olds can’t get youth travel discounts and 88 year-olds are rarely allowed to live without state meddling. Biology is equally bossy about what age things can happen, especially for women. Worst of all, we willingly conform to culturally prescribed ‘age-suitable’ behaviours. But fear not, The Unreliable Guide has some tips and tricks on how to beat the clock…

Lie
The character Patsy Stone in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous knew full well that she would be inappropriately pigeonholed because of her advanced years, so she was eternally “Patsy Stone, 39”. One of my friends has been 47 for the last 12 years. If they can do it, so can you. Choose an age you fancy and be that for as long as you can get away with it. You could even go the other way and say you’re 10 years older than you are – people will think you look amazing.

Rewrite the Rules
Apparently 60 is the new 40, 50 is the new 30, and 30 is probably the new foetus. This redefining of landmark birthdays proves how angry we are at being sidelined just because we’ve enjoyed a few dozen birthday cakes. I say go further: make 60 the new 25, 80 the new 43. Try this simple test: at the next birthday bash you are forced to attend, carefully study your peers. A couple of them might still look amazing but several will probably look and act much older than you, so forget about age and just be you.

Shag Someone Much Younger or Older
It can be wonderfully invigorating shagging someone much younger than yourself – you’ll probably go out more, do a wider variety of things. This can be great for a while but you might end up completely knackered and feeling every year of that age gap. Plus, the pertness of their bits will only make yours seem saggier. Conversely, while someone much older than you might not be as lively as you, or as lithe, they’ll think you are young and gorgeous. This is a great boost to the ego. Moreover, older people tend to have more cash – always a bonus.

Finally, The Unreliable Guide suggests you forget about age and just enjoy yourself. You are, as the proverb says, a long time dead. Just being alive is pretty damn fine, so make the most of it.