Tuesday, June 23, 2009

At a Certain Age

You find a certain kind of Laydee at Stately Homes. We found them at the Globe Theatre in London, too.

They're ladies of a Certain Age, and they like doing things involving Culture, and they're not short of a bob or too, generally. So they volunteer to help visitors to stately homes and so on. The Globe Theatre has thirty volunteers for every performance.

I'm not quite sure what I think about them. They like to feel part of it all: in the Globe's case, they like to feel part of Showbiz - though the one whom we met there did seem keener on keeping the lower classes (that'd be Silverback and me) out of there.

They're usually slim, well-dressed in a nice-tweed-skirt-and-pearls way, and with immaculate Standard English vowels.

So Silverback and I went in through the main entrance of Blenheim Palace last week and were greeted by one of these ladies.

Now, there's a play by Bertolt Brecht - possibly The Caucasian Chalk Circle - and you keep getting told "Hear now what the little goatherd (or whatever) thought, but didn't say."

So there we were, greeted by Volunteer Lady in nice skirt and pearls. Hear now what Daphne thought, but didn't say.

"Hello, and welcome to Blenheim Palace" said Volunteer Lady.

"SHE'S GOT A BEARD!" thought Daphne.

"First of all you can look round downstairs," said Volunteer Lady.

"A HUGE BEARD! WHY HAS NOBODY TOLD HER?" thought Daphne.

"You just follow the red carpet to the right - - "

"BEARD! BEARD! I CAN'T STOP LOOKING AT IT! BEARD BEARD BEARD BEARD BEARD!" thought Daphne.

"and then when you've been round all the downstairs, come back in and you can visit the interactive exhibition upstairs - - "

"DOES SHE NEVER LOOK IN THE MIRROR?" thought Daphne.

" - - and I hope you'll enjoy your visit to Blenheim".

"WILL THIS KIND OF THING HAPPEN TO ME ONE DAY?" thought Daphne.

I couldn't look at Silverback. He misses nothing, so I knew he'd have noticed.

It took me a whole corridor before I stopped thinking about it.

How does this happen? Presumably, when she was, say, thirty, she'd have been horrified to look in the mirror and see such a thing.

So I guess that something happens to you at a Certain Age which makes you stop noticing. One day you're looking in the mirror and any spot or stray hair fills you with horror. But suddenly, the next day, you look in the mirror and you just think "Yes, fine!" and off you go about your business.

I suppose there must be clues. And perhaps they are when you start thinking "Hey, those thick beige stockings are rather attractive" or "I'd like to get my hair permed so it resembles a sheep as closely as possible."

That's the top of the slippery slope. I'm worried that I'm only a few yards away from it, and getting nearer all the time.

8 Comments:

Blogger Ailbhe said...

Heh, and I hope I have the courage to leave my facial hair as is when I reach that stage.

My mother was told off by one of those ladies for picking up an iron in a house in Bath. She'd used one like it in her yoof - the kind with weights you put in the fire and then drop inside the body of the iron.

8:07 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

NOOOOOOH! You NEVER have to get like that!

9:11 pm  
Blogger Dizzy said...

At a certain age the eyesight gets so bad they can't see what's happened to their faces!

9:48 pm  
Blogger Kim said...

well if it makes you feel any better I can promise that if you ever develop a lady beard I shall let you know.

Mind you I would quite like a beard as long as it was a gandalf type beard not a teenage boy / lady beard :P

9:59 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

Oi beardy.....who are you calling lower class ?!!!

That's no way to treat a senior.

Cheek !

10:32 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Well given your mating calls to the local tawny owl, your foot is already in the door of bedlam and you will surely be getting yourself measured up for a nice tweedy twinset and pearls before the year is out. However, I don't think a beard would suit you...a waxed handlebar moustache maybe but a beard - no way!

12:43 am  
Blogger Debby said...

OMG I am laughing! Ian told me about her and I'm amazed you could keep from doing something embarassing! I hope I never reach that age!

2:43 am  
Blogger J.J said...

There is a bearded lady works on the deli counter at our local Morrisons. It tends to distract from the delights of the sun blushed tomatoes.

1:43 pm  

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