M and I dined Saturday evening with friends of
long-standing, Peter and Jenny, and the table conversation at one point turned,
as it so often does these days, to age and ageing.
The consensus around the table was that we are all
growing old rather gracefully, the ladies especially so. Some of you may regard that as
self-regarding, or possibly delusional.
But we are all in decent nick health-wise – other than my tendency to
corpulence, which I’m addressing by dietary means, and my wife’s hip malfunctions,
which she has addressed by surgical means – and we all – dare I say it – look
younger than our years, again the ladies especially so.
Peter and I, if you must know, are both nearly 71, our
wives are approaching 67. (I may be in
trouble for the latter revelation, but it’s pertinent rather than impertinent.)
Our friendship goes back thirty-odd years. Obviously we’ve changed over that time. But the change, I like to think, is of the
kind that embellishes fine wood, which through usage and an occasional
polishing, develops a fine patina.
I hear someone muttering, “Who are you trying to kid,
No question it’s the ladies who impress most. Everyone who knows them is impressed. People meeting them for the first time are
impressed. And so they should be. I’m impressed.
On Saturday, I was proud to declare – to the
inevitable modest disclaimers and jokes about macular degeneration – that they
both looked, in a word, stunning. Both remain,
as they always have been, strikingly attractive. Their faces are virtually unlined and, one
must add these days, cosmetically unaltered.
Their figures have retained the curves in all the right places.
But it’s more than well-preserved natural attributes: they
dress with impeccable taste and lack of ostentation, and carry themselves with
rare poise. In short, they present a picture
of elegance that many women of a similar vintage would envy.
“What are you after?” I expect to be asked when M
reads this. “Absolutely nothing,” will
be the honest answer. We are far beyond
the need for flattery driven by incentive.
It’s just something I thought I’d like to mention.