The Age Around My Eyes

I am at the age when hair production has moved from the top of my head to other regions. As I kid I used to laugh at ‘old’ people who had toothbrush heads growing out of their nose and ears. Now that I have reinterpreted what ‘old’ is, I am no longer in the mood for laughing.

I was in a large chemist a few days ago when I found myself spending far too long looking at all the ‘products’ available for men.

“Why don’t you get some moisturising cream” suggested the wife of my youth as she past the isle, smelling of newly sprayed perfume.

“Moisturising cream, Pa!” I said, as I headed for the safety of the batteries and other electrical items. “Most men, use it these days” offered the heavily made up sales assistant joining in with our debate.

Most men! It annoys me when someone tries to get you to do something because ‘a lot of other people do it’. I am an individual and I don’t need to follow everyone else. I have never used moisturising cream. I am male. I am northern.

“You have chosen a good brand!” said the girl at the till as I gave her £6.99 for a bottle that claims to deal with climatic aggression. Soft skin and good weather – can’t be bad.

I may be male and I may be northern but I happened to have looked a mirror above the sunglasses and noticed the age around my eyes. After that my protestations where useless signalling a complete change in my approach to life.

It was always said of the footballer Rodney Marsh that, while other players went to away matches with several cases of clothing, he would go with just a toothbrush in his top pocket. I like that. I want to be that kind of guy. I didn't even carry a wallet until a few years ago needing only a few screwed up- fivers in the small pocket of my jeans and a credit card for emergencies. In a similar way I have always prided my self on travelling light. I can get up and go within a few minutes of walking out of the shower.

But now at both ends of the day this new-born metrosexual applies his product and hopes to stop the reduction in my skins elasticity. I also have to pluck and snip my way through a newly grown forest and take a variety of potions forced on me by a kind but misguided doctor.

Oh for youth! Whilst my daughters skip their way through every exciting adventure that their season brings them, my wife and I try to have conversations to the accompaniment of our clicking joints. They race to be first on the computer and play games on the trampoline, whilst we celebrate the miracle that is 'horizontal'.

Not too long ago we had a get-together for some of our ‘old’ friends. We tried to encourage our daughters to stay in for the evening and meet our visitors. All of the girls looked horrified at the suggestion and, amidst the youthful groans and sighs, our third daughter spoke up for the group when she said 'please don't make me stay in and speak to old people'.

They formed an escape committee and left for the evening whilst we settled down with our guests to compare notes on hairlines, operations and food allergies. (Three of us could not eat pastry past eight o’clock and four people could no longer digest cucumber in just case you were wondering).

After they left we were faced with a choice between watching a late film or going to bed with a cup of tea and a book. I woke up half way through the film having dreamt that I had already gone to bed. So, after clicking my way up the stairs and applying my time reversing potions I lay down to dream that Rodney Marsh had written to say he was disappointed in my choice of moisturiser.

I woke the next morning to the good news that the age around my eyes, although still there, is much softer than it once was.