Thursday, May 10, 2012
Mrs Waiting To Be 47
I’ve known of Mrs Waiting To Be 47 for quite a few years now. Every minute, every second, every waking moment of that time, she’s been waiting to be 47 like there was no tomorrow. It’s her life, her raison d’être, her petit poisson avec beaucoup du soleil.
When she was younger, Mrs Waiting To Be 47 looked so much older than everyone else, like a middle-aged hospital matron spun at speed in a time-twisting wizard’s twister (then covered in a thin veneer of shaved bushbaby pelt for that touch of extra softness to her skin). She behaved like she was much older, too. But not in the bossy, domineering way favoured by the kind of girls who later expect to be paid for such talents after denying men sex. Rather, Mrs Waiting To Be 47 exuded a knowing authority, complete with the curled lips of I told you so and the mocking eyebrows of next time maybe you’ll listen to me; I’m a grown up.
As I passed Mrs Waiting To Be 47 yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that, in all probability, she must be 47 (or maybe even slightly older) by now. She’s reached her peak, her prime, her goal, her dream, her escargot chaud sûr le chien acrobatique. What now for the girl who probably popped out of the womb wearing sensible shoes? Will she adjust her world view and assume the mantle of Mrs Waiting To Be 59? Or wither away like a balloon pinned up on an office party wall, a tired sack of bagginess wrinkling to nothing in a forgotten corner?
Whatever path she chooses (or is chosen for her by a cruel god), she’ll always be Mrs Waiting To Be 47 in my heart. Clad forever in brown, and artexed with more tan slap than a posse of gay cowboys, she is my touchstone of dry sensibility in a world spinning out of control — the Rule Follower Sublime, the Slayer of all Hysterical Flap, the Archmaiden of Tut Tut.
Mrs Waiting To Be 47, I hail you.