Saturday, 28 September 2019

Redefining yourself. And possibly having to accept (relatively) old age.

Our middle granddaughter, the teenager who has just started sixth form college, has spent part of today in rainy Manchester with some friends in an escape room. More specifically they have been trying to escape from the escape room. As I understand it, they are voluntarily locked in a room and have to seek clues in order to open doors, progress through corridors and the like and eventually get out. All this is to celebrate one of the group’s 17th birthday. They did the same thing a few weeks ago. Apparently this is the activity of choice for adolescent girls as a birthday celebration. Or maybe it’s just this particular group of friends. At one time it was all paintball sessions. Or maybe that’s just boys.

We have been watching a curious metamorphosis in our middle granddaughter. Always a little shy and bookish, more likely to chat with her friends on Facetime than to actually go out and do things with them, it’s as though she has taken a decision, with the change in educational establishment, to remake herself. And suddenly she has a social life, a proper social life, and warns that she might be late home from college as she and a bunch of friends are going to hang out in the town centre.

Along with this has come a style change. She has always been her own person as to what she would or would not wear - usually something black with leggings. And comfort was always the principle decider - the number of items of clothing that have been rejected because they did not feel right is astounding. Also labels had a tendency to disappear, clipped out because they were “annoying” and thus causing washing havoc from time to time. Now suddenly she wants bright colours, well, brighter than black anyway, and she is wearing jeans. About time!

Most of my friends and I waited until we went away to university to remake ourselves, in my case cutting several inches off all my skirts! I guess everything happens earlier these days!

As for me, today I went off to the local doctor’s surgery in the rain to get myself a flu jab. I had an appointment for this so there was no problem but some people, probably remembering last year’s drop-in sessions were turning up and finding themselves disappointed. One lady was indignant and shoutily angry because they would not fit her in. Today they were dealing with the 70+-year-olds not the under 65s. Boy! Was she cross and unreasonable!

I found myself shunted through to another room in the clinic after my jab. Records showed that it was time I had my blood pressure checked. Fair enough! No problems! But I had to be subjected to a litany of questions:

Did I consider myself very fit? Quite fit? Unfit?    Very!
Did I get much exercise?    Yes!
Did I take medication?   No!
Had I had any falls recently?     I beg your pardon!!

Have I really got to the age where they start to think I might fall down? Just randomly tripping over stuff?

Oh boy!

But then, yesterday there was a ring at the doorbell, which proved to be a very fresh-faced young local councillor canvassing for the Labour Party. He asked if we were thinking about voting in the (possibly/probably) upcoming elections. Yes, I told him, we were thinking of voting. A bit mean on my part but I couldn’t resist. I reassured him that we are mostly on his side and we chatted amicably about this and that before he went on his way, leaving me his contact details, in case we discovered things we wanted to raise.

Phil looked at the stuff he had given us, complete with a picture of the young man and his name. “I used to teach his dad chess,” said Phil. Not the young man himself, but HIS DAD!!

 Oh boy oh boy!

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