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When friends start showing their age....

(23 Posts)
Soutra Thu 05-Dec-13 13:09:46

It saddens me when my contemporaries start showing their age, getting absent minded, a little confused, inflexible in their thinking, recounting their various ailments, losing confidence in their ability to do things etc .Of course what I am sensing is a reflection of myself - if not now, maybe very soon. Of course this does not apply to GNetters who are a doughty bunch, forever abseiling down skyscrapers while whisking up a sponge and changing a DGC's nappy with their free hand, or kayaking down the Amazon (as opposed to buying books from them!) or jetting off to exotic climes and writing a book about it. You guys are an inspiration, the ageing friends more of a memento mori or "there but for the grace of God." tchsad

Nelliemoser Thu 05-Dec-13 13:20:09

soutra How I feel about this remark will depend on whether you are older or younger that I am. wink

Soutra Thu 05-Dec-13 18:00:41

I definitely see you as one of the intrepid abseilers, nelliemoser - Magimix, Pampers, insect repellent and all!!
But does nobody else share my experience of friends ageing? I find that I am most often the one to offer to drive especially at night, to remind them about things we had planned (as happened this morning when a friend had completely forgotten 3 of us were going to Film Club, I had offered to drive and she was in a tizz because she has "so much to do before Christmas" and was "too busy".) Or maybe yours don't? I wonder if my younger friends feel that way about me? It is a bit like having a glimpse of yourself and when I am aware of this in others I am that bit more determined not to start down that slippery slope myself!!

Mishap Thu 05-Dec-13 18:13:15

I was chatting to a friend of mine just yesterday and could not help noticing that she has suddenly become rather wrinkly. It came as a bit of a shock, but no doubt she was looking at me and thinking the same!

janeainsworth Thu 05-Dec-13 18:15:27

I can't say I've experienced that with my friends soutra, though it was certainly very painful to see my mother and a dear aunt become confused.
I have to say though that I live in fear of forgetting some social arrangement myself, and I find my iphone calendar very useful to put things in as soon as the arrangement is made, rather than coming home and then having to remember to write it in the diary!

Ana Thu 05-Dec-13 18:31:09

What I find disconcerting is when you bump into a friend or acquaintance you haven't seen for a couple of years (perhaps they've moved away, or you've just lost touch) and you think "My goodness, he/she's looking OLD!".

Then you realise they're probably thinking the very same thing about you...tchhmm

Aka Thu 05-Dec-13 19:12:29

Some friends I've had for 40 years. Yes, we're all past approaching our sell by dates, but there is something interfering in a 'lived-in' face, at least I think so. It says, this person has lived a life.

Aka Thu 05-Dec-13 19:13:04

Fat fingers... interfering interesting.

Ana Thu 05-Dec-13 19:47:32

I prefer 'interfering'...tchwink

Aka Thu 05-Dec-13 20:50:27

smile please

kittylester Fri 06-Dec-13 06:52:58

I agree soutra. My dearest friend is a great 'tutter' which reminds me of my nan! One of my brothers (younger) refuses to have anything to do with computers.

But, others, put me to shame, doing really adventurous things similar to the ones you mention. I suspect most gn members are young at heart despite their trials and tribulations

MiceElf Fri 06-Dec-13 07:10:29

On the whole, I think they've all worn well, but the biggest change is the increasing frequency of hospital visits and too many conversations about various illnesses. It's good to have friends who will sympathise, but it's a shock when you realise that you've spent upwards of an hour talking about various aches, pains, surgery and the state of the hospitals informed by direct experience.

mollie Fri 06-Dec-13 12:01:38

The biggest shock for me is seeing people on the TV who were in their prime when I was much younger and now they are hitting old age with wrinkles and all that goes with it. I hear myself saying 'isn't she/he looking old!
' in a truly shocked way then in almost the same breath I realise that I'm remembering them when they were twenty, thirty, forty years younger and of course the same has to be said for me!

And of course another cruel trick is catching sight of my elderly mother in a shop window or a mirror and realising that it's me! How did that happen?

KatyK Fri 06-Dec-13 12:19:04

My friends all look great (mostly in their 60s like me) - more Joanna Lumley than Mrs Brown. However I have noticed they (and me) are all getting a bit what my OH describes as 'dippy', forgetful and crochety. grin

PRINTMISS Fri 06-Dec-13 12:29:12

What I hate most, although this does not happen as much as it used to is - 'You haven't changed a bit', when I probably haven't seen that particular person for twenty years or so - yes that really gets to me, I have worked hard for all these wrinkles which I am sure I did not have twenty years ago. Getting back to the subject, I feel sad when we see friends deterioting, but we all seem to be in the same boat, so are quick to help where we can.

Kiora Fri 06-Dec-13 14:00:08

Molly we are singing from the same Hymn sheet I try really really hard not to look in mirrors

mollie Fri 06-Dec-13 14:18:34

You have my deepest commiserations, Kiora! Lol!

Nelliemoser Fri 06-Dec-13 14:57:59

It's when people seem to get a lot less confident I start to worry.
Actual mechanical deterioration is one thing and does obviously stop people doing what they would like to.
But its the attitude of mind that seems to think "I don't think I can manage that" I find worrying.

My mum really did develop that lack of confidence but my father was at 86 still up for anything.

In that year he drove himself and my decidedly ailing mum from Cheshire to Leicester to pickup her 83 yr old sister and then off down to Sidmouth for a holiday, via my sister in Bristol.

It was a bit of a disaster because my mum was very unsettled and anxious but nothing much stopped my dad.

The total age of the occupants in that car was around 250.

TriciaF Fri 06-Dec-13 15:43:51

The obsession with health and hospital visits brings up the opposition in me.
At the back of my mind I think that after 70 all the bodily systems start to go downhill, but I resist this. My friend of just younger than me talks about health and hospitals a lot, and I don't want to know!
One remedy, often mentioned, is to always have something to look forward to and plan for in the future. It's natural to look back, but keep looking forward too.
I need to make the effort.

FlicketyB Fri 06-Dec-13 15:51:19

My DF was still driving himself over to France to join us for our Easter break there the year he died - at 92. He lived near Portsmouth and our house is just over an hour from Cherbourg. He lived independently and he still hadn't reached the 'vulnerable old person' stage when he died.

I am philosophical about it. The difference in age between me and my DGD hasn't changed since she was born. The progress of age and aging is inexorable and the same for everyone - and she looks much older than she did six years ago.

Soutra Fri 06-Dec-13 17:04:08

You have "got it" *nelliemoser"! As for the litany of ailments, we refer to it as the "organ recital"! tchgrin

Deedaa Fri 06-Dec-13 20:45:01

Although my three old school friends and I have various minor physical problems I don't think we've changed too much. We're certainly aging better than some of our celebrity contemporaries! Our husband's aren't doing so well, one with cancer, one with meniere's disease, one with Huntingdon's and one died young. Obviously the one with Huntingdon's isn't as sharp mentally as he used to be, but the other two are still coping.

annodomini Fri 06-Dec-13 23:26:09

Cliff is on the Graham Norton show and his eternal youth is beginning to fade noticeably. He is almost exactly the same age as I am and has more crows' feet!