They say that as you get older you get wiser. If you saw my dad with his mates on a Tuesday night at last orders you might question this theory.
Anyways, whatever they are, these life experiences whether good, bad, embarrassing, bum twitching, hair raising, hair and skin removing, cringe worthy, eyebrow destroying, terrifying or sad, shape, prepare and arm us for further down the line if similar scenarios happen. Some even like to call it hindsight.
With men you learn quickly to avoid those with commitment issues, itchy crotch areas – I will leave why to your imagination, bad teeth, severe body odour, bad footwear, egomaniac tendencies or an apparent white mark to the second index finger of the left hand.
When considering suitable friends, girls with reputations like yoyo drawers, lounge lizard (when referencing the use of their tongue), single white female, the omen or descriptions similar to any of the above are again to be avoided like a dose of the bubonic plague.
Work scenarios are perhaps the worst. It’s often a wall to wall idiot convention where everybody has ideas above their station and a desire to ‘climb the ladder’. The boss’s son. That annoying, male chauvinistic, rugby playing all round nobhead of a colleague. The short skirted girl who is over indulging on the Botox and wearing far too many hair extensions, shagging her way around the office. Heck even the bog cleaner. Basically anybody who is competing with you for the big boss’s attention and maybe a lucrative pay rise, will always take the credit for your hard work or alternatively not piss on you if you are on fire in the stationary cupboard.
When buying shoes, you learn to always go a size bigger as your feet will definitely swell when wearing shoes which are either ridiculous or uncomfortable in their design and price tag.
But what about death? What hind sight is applied here? It’s an interesting one.
I encountered death fairly early on, my mum died very suddenly when I was just 19 years of age. I was a first year student at University, ready to party, piss my student loan up the proverbial wall in Topshop, steal some road signs, traffic cones and other such useless items and frequently get comatose on cheap booze whilst simultaneously getting a good degree. Death was not in this already busy schedule.
So what did I do? Well I shelved it. Made it a little like my approach to shoe purchases, a no return policy despite what your common sense and lack of toe nails tells you. I said to myself she is dead, done, dust in the ground, FINITO. I do not know why I thought this was comforting as like the shoes which need to be a size bigger it is not a comfortable prospect in any way, shape, or horizontal form with your feet severely elevated.
But this is the interesting bit. Where active imagination meets a need to not feel over whelming loss. Where an adult realises that to think of her mother as truly being as extinct as a dodo, is just not something which is going to be bearable.
Where I once said she was dead and gone, a bit like my favourite shoes which recently went to the hell that was a large industrial sized wheelie bin due to a snapped heel. I now say she is actually still with me, watching me from above whilst drinking a large Cinzano and lemonade (her favourite tipple).
When my roses grow despite all my efforts to kill them off I say she is working her magic. When my husband and I were ‘courting’ I imagined she had somehow, and trust me she was very determined, made him fall in love with me. All a bit Paul McKenna. When I recently had to watch my father in law face death in front of me I comforted my mother in law with the beliefs, and I verbalised them accordingly, that my mum would be ready and waiting to show him the ropes.
Where they go I only like to consider as a bloody great place. Think the very best all-inclusive five star holiday resort. Necker Island has nothing on it. It is beautiful. It boasts free food and drink in the guise of whatever you really fancy on any given day. Great music plays continuously like a Sonos system is supposed to. Any tune, any time, just think of it! Sunshine is a given. And of course the occupants are all the wonderful people from your past who just left the party down here far too soon.
It’s like the ‘Cocoon’ movie series, but so much better and minus the alien intervention.
Is it a load of old soppy crap? Maybe. It’s almost childlike in what you want to believe. Hind sight is you could say complete bollocks in this scenario.
It could all be true and let’s hope it is. I mean what’s the alternative for happy thoughts and a life without them? Trust me there is none. This is the only way. So indulge and get happy, imagining your loved ones having a bloody good time somewhere up above.
So does age bring wisdom? Yes it does. The wisdom sometimes to ignore the facts and choose to believe what you want……..even if that does mean a loss of numerous toe nails in the process.