age

The Scrabble Test

The Scrabble Test

What's The Scrabble Test? It's simple.

Think about the person you're with presently (if you are with someone - if not, think about the person you feel you'd like to be with). Now imagine the future. You're seventy or eighty years old. Believe me, it's on its way - admittedly for some of us it's closer than for others. It's after dinner on a Saturday night. You're sitting on the sofa with them, vino in hand (hey, eighty doesn't have to be boring!)

Now.

It's time to... 

Whip out the Scrabble. And whip their butts.

The Scrabble Test

“The problem with growing up,” Quentin said, “is that once you’re grown up, people who aren’t grown up aren’t fun anymore.”

— Lev Grossman, The Magicians

I was listening to The Great Gatsby soundtrack yesterday and in particular the Lana del Ray song 'Young and Beautiful' - well, it would be fair to say, a bit incessantly. It's a great song, and it fits the mood of Gatsby so well - the reckless hedonistic abandon of the 20s and maybe/maybe not doomed love.

It also raises a question which we all think about in one form or another, whether we are single, coupled up or somewhere in between:

"Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful?"

It's something we all have to face. Time stops for no man, and it seems doubly so that it stops for no woman for some extremely unfair reason (case in point; grey hair looks better on men. I'm sorry, but it does). Growing older we soon learn who is willing to love us for us and not for pure physical appeal.

Even more importantly we learn whom we want to love ourselves.

I was talking about this with the still very very youthful and extremely beautiful Miss K the other day. We were discussing relationships (as one does) and she said 'yep, they have to pass The Scrabble Test'. And this is so very true when it comes to longevity in love.

What's The Scrabble Test? It's simple.

Think about the person you're with presently (if you are with someone - if not, think about the person you feel you'd like to be with). Now imagine the future. You're seventy or eighty years old. Believe me, it's on its way - admittedly for some of us it's closer than for others. It's after dinner on a Saturday night. You're sitting on the sofa with them, vino in hand (hey, eighty doesn't have to be boring!)

Now.

It's time to... 

Whip out the Scrabble. And whip their butts.

And laugh while you do it. 

Firstly I suppose, can you see yourself with said person at eighty? And if so, can you see yourself happily playing board games and reading together and snorting and pretty much being as much of an idiot as you are at twenty-five, or thirty-five, or forty-one?

That's The Scrabble Test.

You can call it the Trivial Pursuit Test, or the Backgammon Test, or whatever the hell you want, but my point is this; love is the sum of a whole lot of parts. And one of the biggest parts is like - and laughter.

And stupidy stupid. To quote Baldrick the Great. So make sure you bestow your affections on someone you still want to beat up over board games in years to come.

I bet they'll think you're beautiful forever.

Dye Another Day

“There is grey in your hair/Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath/When you are passing”

— W.B. Yeats, Broken Dreams

There is a terrible condition that many women my age seem to suffer from. It isn't strictly speaking medical, but there is definitely a psychological component attached to it. It can rule our lives on a daily basis - at least if we look in the mirror, and I am yet to know a woman who can get ready for the day without doing that.

I call it OCIHSMGH Syndrome.

What is this dreadful disease, I hear you cry? Is it terminal? Is there any relief to be had? Should I simply give up now and stay under the doona for the rest of my natural life?

The answers are respectively it isn't a disease, although it makes one want to take muscle relaxants (read: drink wine) on a regular basis; it's not terminal, although there is no comeback from it; there is definitely relief, although it's temporary... and as for the doona call?

It's tempting at times, but probably not. You would be missed.

So what exactly am I talking about?

Grey hairs.

WHY?

I have been going grey since my early 20s. If it was a nice, even, all over effort, I may even be tempted to just let it happen. But no - it's more like a piebald pony. Or a very strangely patched rabbit. So that means hair dye. Which means hairdressers. Because every time I do a home job, I stuff it up so comprehensively that I have to go to my lovely hairdresser to have her roll her eyes and fix up my mess.

What is particularly unfair is that guys the same age look great with the whole salt and pepper sprinkle going on. They don't spend zillions hiding the roots of all evil out of a need to look and feel like a normal human being rather than a 1,000 year old bog monster.

Silver fox indeed. Nobody ever says silver vixen.

And the worst part? I am weak. I like my hair looking nice. I willingly hide the damn grey, instead of embracing it. Much as I would love to say that I am prepared to totally give up and say 'sisters, rebel - we have nothing to lose but our peroxide', I know, for my sins, that tomorrow I will trot off to said hairdresser in anticipation of the rendezvous with the Dread Pirate and lustre up the locks.

I am so weak.

But in this instance, I will embrace my weakness.

And just be grateful that it's 2013 - and that foils, colour shampoo and my darling hairdresser Rachael exist.

Otherwise it would be head under the doona time until I popped my clogs.

Or lots and lots of hats.

*OCIHSMGH stands for, not surprisingly, Oh Crap I Have So Much Grey Hair. But you probably worked that out for yourselves.