Why I Go On Holiday On My Own

It’s been that time of year again when I go off to wherever on my own, for the  past 3 years it’s been Ibiza but I’ll be looking to go somewhere different next year and it will definitely only be a week as 11 nights was a bit too long for me, but of course the same old inevitable question was asked, “Why do you go on holiday on your own?” Older people my age seem to have a bit of a problem with this, someone at some point will sidle up to me while their partner or group of friends look on to try and see what the poor sad single woman is going to say, and usually I’ll make some flippant remark about it should have been my honeymoon and I got stood up. or my partner ran off with the Jehova’s witness who apparently knocked on our door 6 months ago, just to see the embarrassment on their faces as these people are never the ones to say “On your own? Come and join us!” No, usually theses are the people who feel sorry for me, as I clearly have no friends if I have to holiday alone right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my age some of my friends have their own apartment elsewhere that they like to holiday in with their partner, family and grandkids, or a caravan that they like to take to different places, not everyone likes my idea of a holiday which consists of lying in the sun all day, couple of glasses of wine, reading, people watching then more wine. I’ve never been one to get involved in groups of women who all get together to go off for a weekend to Barcelona, my mouth always seems to get me in trouble if I take a dislike to someone (and vice versa) so it’s easier not to get involved, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a get together with a group but holidays are a bit different.

But I must admit that sometimes I wish someone was with me to see the likes of Carol kicking off in the hotel restaurant when they didn’t have any vanilla ice cream one day and demanding to see the holiday rep to complain. Carol with her clip in curls that she wore around the pool with a sun visor on with the curls peeking out the top and her sunglasses perched on top of the visor, think she might have been channeling her retired tennis player look but I was more concerned with the fact that her husband wore more jewelry than she did. Or Sharon and Gillian who were on the next table to me one evening telling me all about the operations they’ve had which quickly became a competition between them both as to who has had the worst time. It turned out to be Sharon who had had a swab left in her throat after an operation but they were kind enough to give me the name of a really good consultant should I ever need a hip replacement. Or the woman who fell off a 2 foot high stage in the karaoke bar one evening and broke her ankle. I wasn’t the only single woman in the hotel though,there was another single lady I’d say 50 ish who provided some entertainment for all of us as she got off with the guy who did the quiz in the hotel one evening, did the walk of shame more than once straight into breakfast (you can imagine everyone absolutely LOVED that) and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool when everyone was going into the restaurant for dinner, a sure way of getting everyone’s attention, look at meeeee.

There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone, there’s pros and cons of course but for me it really boils down to this. I have a week off work booked and I can either,

1. Sit at home on my own in Manchester and look out of the window and watch the rain.

2. Sit on a beach on my own wherever I choose feeling the sun on my face.

Decisions decisions.

Now please could someone pass those clip in curls to this sad pathetic older woman.

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When Do You Decide To Wear Beige?

Travelling back from town on public transport, a gorgeous young girl got on the bus and ended up in a seat facing me. As she looked me up and down she gave me a sort of pitying look as if to say “Why have you let yourself get old?” Granted I wasn’t wearing my Sunday best but looking at myself through her eyes she might have had a point, but this made me smile.
Young people always think that they will never get old.
It will never ever happen to them, they will fight it all the way maybe even thinking that scientists will discover a magic serum that will keep them looking young (it’s called Nivea) because god forbid they end up being invisible, unnoticed,ignored, unworthy,and all the other negative connotations associated with the word “old.” But it’s not as cut and dried as you think. Getting older is an insidious process, it creeps up on you when you’re not looking and doesn’t happen overnight. One day you’re happy to wear outrageous clothes, hair and make up but a couple of years later you might think it best to tone it down a bit if you want people to take you seriously and you just never go back. Instead of shopping in all the quirky shops that sell the things you used to love, you start shopping in different ones and finding a different style but one which still reflects the “real you.”
Things might change again once you’ve had a family and you’re trying to juggle kids, house and work.Easier to just buy things that are easy to wear, comfortable and you can just throw in the wash so the days of buying fabulous items that are dry clean only go out of the window, and let’s face it, where are you going to wear them these days? You tend to spend more on the kids clothes than you do on yours (even though you were never ever going to be that woman) and maybe start spending less on makeup. Obviously you’re still making an effort everyday, especially on the school run as we all know the bitching that goes on at the school gates, but something’s changed. Doing the weekly shop in the supermarket it’s easy to just throw something in the trolley for yourself in the clothing section, not exactly Top Shop but it’ll do.
Once the kids become teenagers you might start to question your choice in what to buy in clothes as you’re entering unknown territory. Too old for a lot of the fashion but still far too young to give up. If you’ve still kept your figure it’s tempting to still try to keep up with the fashionistas but you don’t want to be that woman who people point the finger at as “mutton dressed as lamb.” While you’re open to trying new styles it’s difficult to hang on to your identity as the girl known as the trendsetter back in the day now shops in Debenhams. Instead of Radio 1 it’s now Radio 2. Instead of the latest hairstyle it’s now a shorter one that you wanted to “try out” a few years ago and seemed to have settled with.
Once you’re over 50 you may as well turn to dust, game over. No one is in the slightest bit interested in what you wear, say,look like or have an opinion on. It seems to be one step away from Bon Marche and everything that goes with it. Or so people think. While some people like to say “50 is the new 30!” let me tell you no it’s bloody not. By this time our bodies have slowed down, health issues start, most of us are wearing glasses, we tire a lot easier especially if we’re working a physical job but our minds still like to tease us by making us think we are younger than we are. And this is where it’s easier to buy clothes  that reflect how we feel society sees us, bland, insipid, plain clothes that make us feel safe and easy to just fade into the background. But some women might try to make one last stand, running the risk of being ridiculed by wearing skirts too short, tops too low and wearing clothes that draw attention but for all the wrong reasons. So in a way I can understand why the older men/women in their 60’s/70’s end up buying beige. To stand out is to have confidence and not many older people have that as life has a funny way of knocking it out of you. It would take a very brave older person to stay true to their younger self and wear what they’d love to wear.
But let’s not forget. Youth is wasted on the young.

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