Toothpicks and hand cream and freshly washed linen, lens wipes and flat shoes, that’s just the beginning. You know you love them so join as I sing, because these are a few of my favourite things…
Forgive the ear worm (you’ll be humming Julie Andrews all day), but since I realised how some things which didn’t even register with me when I was younger, now bring me great joy, I felt compelled to share them with you. This either makes me the saddest of old crones, or someone who finds delight in life’s small pleasures. You decide:
Hand cream. I remember standing in my Grandma’s kitchen whilst she weaved her fingers together, rubbing in the pale unguent. She’d smell the scent of her hand cream with a smile on her face, reminding me not to tell Grandad how much the stuff cost. Since the hand-washing frenzy which accompanied the post-baby years, when the skin at the sides of my thumbs would dry and split, I’m with Grandma. I have hand cream in every room and every handbag, because life is better with digits that don’t smart.
Toothpicks. I only recently found out the term long in the tooth means receding gums. As we get older, our gums shrink and so our teeth appear longer. Consequently, more food lodges in between and we spend the aftermath of a meal prying animal carcass from betwixt our molars. Oh, the glamour. My mum carries paper clips with her which she straightens out to give her teeth a good poke. I’m more of a toothpick girl, but either way, necessity dictated I learned to appreciate a narrow, pointy implement. Always in private, obvs.
Lens Wipes. Yes, you read that correctly. Two years ago, I accepted that my arms weren’t long enough to hold things far enough away for me to see, so I reluctantly got reading glasses (arm extensions might have been cheaper). Prior to this I had no idea of the struggles spectacle wearers face. I’m not the type to happily peer through a smear, so when I discovered you can buy two million lens wipes on the internet for three pence (approx.), I was cock-a-hoop. The satisfaction of looking at my computer screen through a newly finger-print-free lens is truly satisfying (You’re coming down on the sad old crone side, aren’t you? *Sighs)
Matte makeup. My main criteria for makeup these days is stoicism. I think brands would do well to incorporate the words ‘staying power’ in their advertising for high end products to appeal to the over 45’s. I don’t want a shiny eyeshadow which will, inevitably, shimmy its way into the crevices of my wrinkles. I want something matte which can withstand the leakiness of my ageing eyes. Same with lipstick – I haven’t started dribbling yet, but colour bleeding into the creases around my mouth is almost as undesirable. Face paint needs the tenacity of Teresa May after her forth Brexit Bill defeat (but I would prefer it to look better on the dancefloor).
The Flowers in my Garden. I’m no Monty Don, and I watch my friends with newly acquired green fingers with nothing more than mild curiosity, but the relish I feel for a budding peony can be compared with the delight I used to experience watching the condensation run down the side of a pint of lager in a pub garden. The flowers in my borders bring me soaring joy, as do sunsets and unusual cloud formations. What surprises me most is that I didn’t always feel this way. Perhaps it’s the reading glasses.
Flat Shoes. I snapped my Achilles tendon once whilst dancing at a wedding (yes, I did dance with that much energy. Not anymore.) and since then I’ve been wobbly on heels. Even if that hadn’t happened, I think I’d be giving up on the shin snapping, toe crunching, designed by the patriarchy instruments of torture by now. They look pretty, but heels are actually stupid, right?
I’ve tried every type of flat shoe available, because despite my protestations, I loved my heels and have struggled to find a flat or low-heeled shoe that doesn’t make me look like the Queen from the ankle down. Thankfully, I came across some Super Dry pumps which look cool with trousers and skirts. My kids groan when I wear anything approaching a trainer outside the gym, but I think I’ve accidentally become trendier by wearing flats. (Indulge me. Deep down I know it’s not true).
My Bed. I don’t need to expand on this, do I? I love clean sheets, early nights with soft lighting and a good book. This is my idea of heaven and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees, because they’re lying, and honesty is another thing I’ve come to value more as I’ve grown wiser, but that’s for another post.
When I first had the idea for this piece, it was to complain about the increased value in items which I saw as irritatingly necessary as I get older, but when I started to write, I realised that’s not how I feel at all. As I typed, my words morphed into a celebration of some of life’s mundanities despite my initial plan. This may be because another surprising and unexpected thing I’ve grown to enjoy in the last few years is a renewed sense of positivity, and I think that’s probably my favourite thing of all.
Feature image by Pixabay