Thursday, 1 February 2007

Growing old disgracefully

There's a poem by Jenny Joseph which makes me laugh, and I think we can all learn something from it.

I for one, already hoard stuff in boxes, but then I have crazy genes.

So here it is:

*****

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


******

I think the reason this poem really makes me smile is that it really reminds me of my mum, who is increasingly behaving in this way. It's the sign of the beginning of the role reversal of parenting. When it's my time, I fully intend to do the most bonkers of things, and I'm putting in some decent practise already.

I'm feeling a little bit tired and sentimental today, I think I'm missing Steve more than I'd care to admit. I know this as I had a big blobby tear trickling down my cheek when my train went through Penge West, his childhood stomping ground.

I'm such a loser!

3 comments:

Dan said...

I sincerely doubt that passing through Penge West has ever elicited such a reaction from anyone else before…

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