Actually… it’s not.
I felt compelled to document the latest weird occurrence I have witnessed…
OK, yes. It was at a festival.
It seems I have entered possibly one of the most disturbing episodes in my life without even noticing.
Creeping up on us. Slow at first… you know it’s coming… then BAM!
It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming. I love a big party so had been thinking about my 40th for some time. This year is going to be a big one in our house. We celebrate 20 years together, Daisy turns 10 and we both hit 40.
I’ve always thought 40 would be just like any other birthday. Perhaps with a few more candles, a couple more bottles of fizz, and probably a more painful hangover. But I’m starting to realise reaching 40 is NOT just another birthday.
Something weird is happening.
40 = hitting middle age. MEN in particular do something really quite peculiar…
…and completely out of character.
I still can’t quite believe how easily some of my longest male friends slipped so effortlessly in to women’s clothes this summer. Comfortable and content. The sort of men that would usually dodge the fancy dress thing completely. Men that do not do feminine.
We were at Shambala Festival.
Now Rob loves fancy dress but he has always tried to look a bit cool with it (or so he likes to think).
Yes, we had all had a few drinks. And yes, I possibly did have a suitcase full of dresses that Margot Leadbetter would have chomped your arm off for. But, with no effort or persuasion at all, as soon as someone spotted ‘ladies night’ in the programme, the men in dresses were fighting over accessories. Comparing outfits and swapping fashion tips and makeup for that perfect look.
‘But that doesn’t go with my dress.’
‘I still want to look sexy and not frumpy.’
Suddenly I have flash backs to the 80’s. I’m standing in the kitchen surrounded by middle aged men with handle bar moustaches in polyester French knickers and high heal fluffy slippers. They are drinking Babycham from thin glasses. My mum appears with a tray of vol-au-vents and is wearing men’s pyjamas.
Scarred for life. Just 10 years old.
I think it was my parents attempt at a Vicars and tarts party. We never spoke of it again.
So when did this happen?
Have we really all become our parents?
10 things men do when they reach 40.
- Home brewing. Not in our house yet but I sense it coming. Fortunately Rob doesn’t currently have the patience to wait for grog and there’s a ready supply from other keen middle aged Hollingdean brewers.
- Sheds (and lawns). Finding delight in power tools, labelling things, sorting, nesting and more worryingly, drawing round tools on the wall and freaking out when one goes missing.
- Harmonicas (and other annoying instruments). Don’t get me started.
- Drinking ale in slippers. Not actually drinking it from slippers, that would be weird. Just moving from regular lager to drinks called things like ‘frogs bottom’, ‘grannies knockers’ and ‘knob gobbler’.
- Exercise. Particularly, buying expensive running shoes, bikes and LYRCA and being happy to parade around in it in public, and even share pictures on Facebook.
- Socks and Crocs. I can barely type it without heaving.
- Singlets / vests. Wretches again.
- Regrowing youthful long hair. And just looking like a tramp.
- Dieting. Or blaming the middle-aged spread on wheat / gluten / dairy etc. (and not red wine and beer). Of course it’s the bread.
- Wearing women’s clothes AND enjoying it! Men in dresses?
How on earth did all this happen?
And why didn’t I see it coming?
Should we accept, even embrace this behaviour?
Or do we need to stand up to this middle aged male movement?
Your thoughts please ladies.