I’ve always been a late-comer to the party. Nowadays they have a flash new term for people like me, we are ‘late adopters’. It takes me longer than most to see quite what the point of something new actually is. Particularly when the something new comes with a hefty price tag. And my resistance is even higher when I appear to have lived my life quite happily and safely without it. Whatever it might be.
Confession time. Well, they say it’s good for the soul, don’t they? I must be one of the vanishingly small percentage of people who don’t have a mobile phone. Well, I have a mobile phone, of course I do. However, it only ever sees the light of day when I’m setting off on a longish trip to visit friends. And only then because I’d die of shame and embarrassment if my car broke down and I was unable to contact the nice man with a tow truck.
I dread becoming one of those people you come across in the supermarket glued to their phone, bellowing at full volume that they are in the frozens aisle and just what kind of peas are they supposed to be buying? Simply awful. Or turning into a phone-zombie. A risk to my own safety as well as everyone else’s as I weave my erratic, unseeing path through the crowds. My eyes and ears fixed so firmly on my mobile that I am totally oblivious to the existence of others. And to the existence of signposts, litter bins and yes… traffic, come to that.
I realise that I’m missing out on the joys of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and heaven knows what else but truly, I’m happy in my ignorance. I’ve never taken a selfie in my life. In fact for a little while I thought a selfie stick was another name for a back-scratcher. Leave me a message on the house phone and I’ll get back to you. I’ll always reply to emails or (and here’s a weird idea) write to me via snail mail. There’s nothing nicer than receiving something thoughtful and personal in the post.
Or take houseplants. Which are now having a moment, apparently. Not so very long ago the only thing I could confidently grow was mould on bread. The few houseplants which crossed my path all met with a swift and sad demise. Drought stricken or drowned – either way the poor things soon met their wretched ends. Then something clicked, or maybe I grew green fingers but now houseplants are my thing. I find I can grow anything which is reasonably tolerant of the long, dark winters which we endure up t’north.
Fashion fads and fancies follow exactly the same rule. I read about a new trend in the magazines or see it on TV or in the flesh. The new trend starts off being worn effortlessly by the bright young things and I fall about laughing. Or hoot with scorn. And I vow never to be seen dead, much less alive, in anything so utterly, dreadfully unbecoming. And then the occasional slightly (ahem) older lady like myself adopts the new look and very slowly I begin to see the point of it. I begin to see that the new trend is quite attractive and that actually yes, it is rather wearable. And that (whoever would have thought it?) it’s a trend which might suit me. And then I have a go.
And what about trainers as wildly fashionable day wear? No way. Far too reminiscent of sweaty gyms or school sports days or leering lorry drivers whilst cross country running ever to be acceptable as smart casual footwear. But wait a minute… they are blissfully comfortable, aren’t they? Oh go on then, put me down for a pair. Make that five. Trainers as evening wear? You must be joking! But hang on, add a few sparkly bits here and there and yes, even I can see that they really do work. And did I mention how blissfully comfortable they are?
And take jeans. Or rather, don’t you dare to even try taking my jeans! Who, of our generation thought we’d still be happily, confidently, stylishly wearing jeans in our 60’s? Not me for one. When I was thirty I honestly thought that I was in my last jeans wearing decade. Now I positively live in them. Longer length jeans with boots and sweaters in winter and cropped jeans with tee-shirts in summer. And lots of seventy plus ladies I know are wearing them and looking totally fabulous. In fact, if you’ll allow me a little casual sexism here, I often think that older ladies look better in jeans than older men. Just saying.
So, as soon as the weather turns more spring-like expect to see me in a floaty, floral midi-dress and trainers. Although the current fashion for ladies of a certain vintage to sport shocking pink or purple dyed hair is never going to happen. No really, that is one fashion fad which better left to the bright young things. Although, as none other than Mary Quant said, “Good taste is death. Vulgarity is life.” So who knows, maybe I’ll get round it one day and if I do I’ll be sure to take a selfie!