Today, I reached the age my Grandma was when she married her second husband.
When my mum informed me about Grandma’s upcoming nuptials, I was horrified. The shock was so immense, I still clearly remember the moment. ‘Old people do not get married, marriage is for the young, everybody is going to laugh at her, everybody is going to laugh at all of us’, I sobbed, to my mum’s bemusement. I was seven at the time, and all I could think of was that Grandma was very old, which meant her getting married was beyond embarrassing, because she would die soon, which would make me sad, because I liked Grandma a lot, she made the best chicken soup ever, and she could speak French, which was like the best magic trick ever, but old people die, so I didn’t expect her to live much longer.
As it happened, Grandma lived for another 35 years, and went to her bridge club as usual a couple of days before she died.
Still, I think I will avoid eye contact with seven year olds from now on, in case I catch them feeling sorry for me for being so very old, especially that there are a couple of things that tell me that I am, in fact, getting on a bit.
One example is my birthday date itself, 24/7. I remember the time when it was just that, a date, with no other meaning attached to it, because nothing was open and available 24/7. The world of my youth used to close for the night, and wake up afresh the next day. I know, right?
And finally, I am one of the fewer and fewer people on this planet who can say that they were alive (only just, but still) when England won the World Cup. History doesn’t get much more ancient than this.