Are men really so naïve?
What is it with men?
It all started when my aged retainer, aka my husband, admired Felicity Kendal. For those of you who don't know her she is a British actress, a star of an iconic and much loved sitcom of the 1970s and who, it seems, is wearing rather well.
Go on, I bet you all Google her now ... or you could just skip to the video of her below.
Despite being 64, she flung her arms (not a trace of Bingo wings) around a young dancing partner and entered the Strictly Come Dancing programme on British television. Well, chapeau off! She certainly carried it off wonderfully and very flexibly. My joints ached just watching.
The best of the older gals.
Are you kidding? C'mon, of course I'm jealous. I'm 64 and I look like something the cat threw up so you're darn right I'm jealous.
But what makes me madder than a bag of frogs is that men seem so naïve about what it takes to look like that.
I don't need some thoughtless goon murmuring appreciatively about how wonderful Felicity Kendal looks for her age when it's obvious he has no idea of what it costs to keep looking that good these days.
I'm here to tell you that it takes a lot more than the odd fiver I get to guiltily spend on myself. How can us ordinary bods compete?
The cost of looking good in later life.
Okay, it seems likely that Felicity may not have been under the knife. Bless her, this is a very British actressy thing to do and only serves to make her even more admirable.
It is also smart thinking as it enables her to get those hard-come-by character parts and so become a well-respected 'actor' rather than just a star whose career wanes with their looks.
But let's face it it must be easy to stay looking young if you have the money to keep a plastic surgeon on stand-by to constantly shore up the collapses. The only downside to this is that you have to keep at it.
And then there is the incongruity angle. No-one likes the thought of enhanced breasts standing perkily proud over folds of the rest of the over-tanned, drooping flesh that is impossible to enhance or correct..
Cripes, I wish I hadn't just thought of that. I've probably scarred you all for the rest of your lives. If you are men reading this, tough! If you are women, sorry!
Face cream claims ... true or false?
So if we ignore the expense of surgery and the more minor procedures such as botox injections and the duck-billed platypus pout from lip-filling goo, what are we left with?
I'll tell you. We are left with the highly-expensive face creams that make more and more extravagant claims.
Who knows, some of them might even actually do what they say on the pot. Again though, they are only for the well-off.
I have a fit if I have to spend more than five pounds for a face cream. I feel bad about spending even that when the electricity bill is outstanding and we need food but if I didn't my face would fall off completely and my expression would be more wizened than ever.
So, there is no getting away from it, maintaining your looks into old age is expensive for women.To quote Dolly Parton 'You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap'.
To look classy, I expect, is even more expensive.
The loyalty of women when their men get old.
Men are more fortunate when they get old as women are not nearly as shallow. They love their men despite the sagging stomach, the bald patch and the face full of wrinkles. A great many men even look much better when they are older, damn them!
But for men, in their unacknowledged vanity that they deserve a young-looking woman who is desired by other men, women are supposed to look eternally young and nubile and most of us are dumb enough fall for it. It is our natural, but possibly subservient, desire to oblige.
It is this uneasy wish to please that the cosmetic companies depend on, this is the fact they exploit.
Should women try to retain their looks at all costs?
A horrible warning ...
So, as there is no way that I can compete with Felicity Kendal et al, I will just have to act as a horrible warning about ageing ... or think of another strategy.
I could become philosophical and remind myself that my husband would be totally, and I hope brutally, scorned by these beauties. This would indeed make me feel much better.
Or I could absent myself from the room when they are disporting themselves so shamelessly.
Or I could send him out to work so that I can take the money to spend on beautifying myself (believe me, I've known women who do that).
Or I could just kill him and have done with the aggravation.