Seven days until my little sister’s wedding.
We’re all sorted, organised and briefed. I have my orders, know the schedule and have even dry-cleaned my macintosh. It’s all fine – perfect, in fact, apart from the physical, bodily – phenomenological, if you will – side of things.
I look in the mirror and see wrinkles – lots of them – small, crinkly ruts just sprouting from nowhere, seemingly overnight, certainly within the past year or so. They splinter over my skin like a river system, forming valleys and troughs along the way.
My hair has a good two inches of darkness crowning its birdnesty summit and my whole body feels like it needs to be high-pressure hosed, the urban tan (grey, wintery, polluted) scrubbed away under controlled conditions. I’m white, a little tired and a bit cold a lot of the time.
It’s looking up though and as the magnolia buds on our front patch unfurl to pink, sepia-toned floppiness, I realise how much I am looking forward to the big day!
We’ve downgraded our bridesmaidy footwear from the mooted 4-inch weapons of mass destruction to sleeker, lower ones and I am heading to the miracle worker tomorrow to have my roots duly attended to.
But there’s nothing I can do about the wrinkles. I wonder, in a moment of cosmetic-perfumed revery whether their arrival means that I’m set to miss out the in-between bit – jumping straight from dewy, youthful springiness to saggy, aged and past it in one fell swoop. Is this what my mother has always knowingly feared as she desperately hypes beauty sleep, moderated alcohol intake and not smoking to her four daughters? Will I look back and see old-age as starting at the time my younger sister (and baby of the family) got hitched, leaving me with only one unmarried ally?
It’s all a bit scary. But at least I won’t go grey overnight, shaken by impending spinsterhood – the bleach should put paid to that.