The young mobile phone salesman took me through my new contract.
‘‘Choose the name of a musician or group as a password and enter it here,’’ he indicated a space on the computer screen. I typed in a name.
‘‘Oh my mum loves them!’’ he gushed.
‘‘Really!’’ I said feeling slightly stung that my choice was not down with the kids.
‘‘We can transfer your data across from your old phone to the new too. You’ll be wanting your music for your Dr Dre moments,’’ he smiled, then added, ‘‘Dr Dre is a DJ’’.
‘‘I know!’’ I smiled through gritted teeth. I’m not that old, I thought to myself.
‘‘Are you happy with black? It also comes in white,’’ he asked.
‘‘Is there a difference?’’ I queried.
‘‘Yes the white is faster!’’ he laughed youthfully.
‘‘I meant in price!’’ I said having to sit on my hands as the urge to slap this young whippersnapper senseless was overwhelming.
I should have left the shop overjoyed by the purchase of my new phone, instead I schlepped out feeling rather despondent.
It was honestly the first time someone had actually brought to my attention that they thought I was, for want of a better word; ‘old!’ On my way past a newsagent I noticed a magazine with an unflattering picture of Dawn French on the front and the words ‘I feel old and haggard’ emblazoned beneath.
‘‘I know the feeling Dawn!’’ I sighed.
You can be well aware that you’re maturing, but the first time someone else actually brings it to your attention that they think you’re knocking on a bit, can feel quite alarming.
Arriving home I switched on the music channel on TV and watched a middle-aged man moving stiffly along a street lip-syncing badly to a girl’s voice.
The guy was familiar looking but I couldn’t for the life of me think of who he was. Then I suddenly realised it was Tom Hanks! His face and eyes were puffy. He had aged a lot since I’d last seen him in a movie. Hanks, who turned 59 yesterday, was appearing in Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest music video.
It felt as though I wasn’t watching the ‘proper’ Tom Hanks.
The Hanks I think of in my mind is the black-haired, young, guy dancing on the giant piano in that scene from the 1988 movie Big.
It’s the same when I see groups like Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet on TV these days.
To me the ‘real’ Spandau and Duran Duran are the ones I watch on the reruns of 1980s Top of the Pops. These elderly versions feel like impostors.
Indeed when I listen and watch music videos from my 80s heyday I instantly feel rejuvenated, a kind of euphoria overtakes me and I feel just like I did back then, young and dare I say it, invincible!
Perhaps living in your heyday time warp could be the answer to eternal youth? According to research there is some truth in that theory!
An experiment was conducted a while back, where scientists discovered that putting elderly celebrities (aged 76-88) in a house kitted out like a 1970s time capsule, had an amazing effect on their physical and psychological health.
For the celebrity residents the 1970s had been a time of great success and happiness for them. They were made to dress in 1970s clothing, sleep in replicas of their 1970s bedrooms and watch TV from that era.
Amazingly, by the end of a week their memory, mood, flexibility, stamina and even eyesight had improved.
The experiment showed that by taking peoples’ minds back decades their bodies also positively reflected a change.
In some cases those studied had shed up to 20 years in their apparent biological age.
So, is the secret of eternal youth all in the mind?
I think for everyone, as we mature, there is an era that remains our golden age, a time that when looked back on, will always feel like our mind’s natural home.
For me it’s the 80s decade. I still like to retire there sometimes in my head, listen to the music of my youth and see familiar faces as they looked then.
Perhaps if I totally immerse myself in the 1980s again I too can trick my body into feeling younger, it’s worth a try!
I’m off to dig out my legwarmers and deely boppers and possibly do a little redecorating. I wonder how hubby would feel about a dado rail? 1980s here I come!