I'm not as young as I used to be. I'm no longer blonde, I left school decades ago and I can't drink more than three and a half units of alcohol before calling it a night. It's not that bad in lots of ways but in other ways it's unbearable.
I'm not coping very well with the ageing process, it has to be said. I have more grey hair at my current age than my dear grandmother had at the age of 83. Hair dye keeps the Cruella De Ville-esque streak at the top of my head at bay but the lines around my eyes are growing deeper and it's safe to say that my thighs are not what they used to be.
I can cope with all that, though. What really bothers me is the relentless onslaught of AALE syndrome. Some of you may also be sufferers without knowing it. It creeps up gradually then attacks with terrifying speed. It saddens me to say it but I will have to submit soon. It's just a matter of time.
What do you mean, you've never heard of it? Surely you're familiar with Arms Aren't Long Enough Syndrome? You know, someone gives you something to read and you have to pull it out of their hands and away from your face. You wiggle it about a bit until you can focus properly. It worsens in restaurants and in poor light. It makes you look old. Really old. You consider getting glasses but the thing that puts you off is a different kind of vanity. Nothing to do with men never making passes at women in glasses (which apparently isn't true) but rather that you don't want to be the person who has to fish in her handbag to locate her spectacles before she can look at the wine list.
It's alright for short sighted people. They wear their glasses for most of the time. For them, it's not an age thing, it's a seeing thing. Some of you reading this right now are probably short sighted and wondering the hell I'm going on about. I don't blame you. You're not the ones who are struggling with the fact that your current personal space is expanding by the day just to allow you to focus on the person talking to you.
I'm fighting a losing battle, dear readers. It's just a matter of time before I have to drag myself to the opticians and get myself a pair of specs. I just hope I don't have to pick up a tartan shopping trolley on the way home.
Anthony Bourdain's macaroni cheese
4 weeks ago