After 100 weeks of being a Demented Home Worker, I’m now a Woman on the Verge who is shamlessly obsessing over Sylvie in the hit Netflix series Emily in Paris
• SO considering where we’re at on our pandemic journey, it’s been decided that I’m no longer a ‘demented home worker.’ I’m not entirely sure if that means I’m rid of the dementedness entirely (I need to read the small print), but I’m thinking it’s probably a good thing after 100 weeks, right? Instead, it’s been agreed that I am now on ‘the verge.’ Of what, I’m not exactly sure. It could be a breakthrough or maybe a breakdown? Something fabulous or something flipping disastrous? Era, let’s just go with it. It was time for a change!
• Anyway, I made it all the way around the sun again and celebrated my birthday during the week on a pretty standard Wednesday. To be honest I spent most of the day consoling the five-year-old that it wasn’t her birthday (apparently I don’t even have exclusive rights to my own birthday anymore), and making a rainbow cake that appealed more to her sugar addiction and colour aesthetics than my own. Literally, anything for a quiet life. Besides, I got plenty of well wishes (and not just on my Facebook page either, they hardly count); and also some lovely cards (even if it was a bit embarrassing how many of them had references to gin). I felt all the love, and it was lovely.
• In a rare moment of clarity (brain fog is a real thing if you’re entering Q3 phase of your 40s), I decided this is the year I’ll be ‘more Sylvie.’ I’m talking about Sylvie Grateau – the super sophisticated boss at marketing firm Savoir in the Netflix series, Emily in Paris. It’s quite telling how absolutely no one in my circle identifies with Lily Collins’ character Emily, but we’re all crushing big time on her boss Sylvie. Played by Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu she’s every inch the stereotypical French b**** who even, in this day and age, manages to make smoking look interesting, which is quite something. And as for her open marriage, she makes that seem like something at least worth considering (What? Just throwing it out there). Anyway, the effortlessly cool 58-year-old is the new style icon for me and my gal pals and we’re all killing ourselves trying to ‘out Sylvie’ each other. I spend more time than I’d like to admit googling her and found a recent interview where she said: ‘I think it’s important to really own this aging thing and not make it a problem, not make it something we can’t talk about. There’s no guilt or shame around aging. This is something that happens to everybody.’ Go Sylvie! Now, in the same interview, when asked to share her beauty secrets, she tellingly revealed she eats only grapes for two weeks every year to totally detox and reboot her skin. I feel pretty invested in her, so I might give it a go – I know for sure I can definitely handle drinking grapes for two weeks, so how hard could it be?
• I’m actually hyper-focused on my skin care regime at the moment. I was motivated by an incident a few weeks back where my daughter looked at me quizzically one morning, pointed at my neck and asked: ‘What’s that?’ ‘What’s what?’ I asked back. ‘Those things on your neck?’ she asked, with her face scrunched up as if she had seen something most unsavoury. Who could blame her. It seemed like overnight these two deep, parallel grooves had appeared really prominently on my neck, which as all females know, is where we age the fastest. I’m now on constant alert for the dreaded sagging turkey neck to appear, as it’s only a matter of time. When I’m not googling Philippine, I’m researching ‘how to treat turkey neck.’ The bad news is that you can’t apparently, not without surgery. So like Cher, if I could turn back time I wish I’d listened to the advice offered by Baz Luhrmann and wore more sunscreen.
•There was also an unfortunate incident in the playground last summer that is still very fresh in my mind. Now granted it was during lockdown, so I was looking spectacularly awful, but a woman who was clearly there with her grandkids (I heard them call her granny), struck up a chat with me as I plonked down beside her and said: ‘This is a perfect spot isn’t it for the grann….’ She obviously saw my face drop, but nope it was too late, the damage was done. I was outraged and literally spinned and whizzed around like a maniac on every swing, slide and roundabout in the place putting on quite the show for chatty granny, until eventually the five-year-old begged to go home, and I cartwheeled to the car (trying to ignore a serious twinge in my back). I’m still cross just thinking about it. It’s kind of like when in last week’s episode of Just Like That, Carrie is repeatedly called ‘Ma’am’ by her hipster neighbour, much to her horror. I totally get it. When someone refers to me as ‘a woman’ (eg ‘let that woman pass there’) something inside me sort of dies and I feel like screaming ‘I’m a girl, I’m just a girl God dammit.’
• Anyway, the bottom line is that a few slices of cucumber and a generous slathering of moisturiser aren’t cutting it for me anymore. I’m not thinking of going under the knife or anything (well not yet anyway) but in a moment of madness/weakness I did go online last week and ordered one of those LED light therapy masks which promise firmer, plumper skin in weeks (something like that). Victoria Beckham, Chrissy Teigen, Julia Roberts are all huge fans and swear it delivers red carpet-worthy, or in my case, playground-ready, results. I’ll let you know how it goes and in the meantime I just hope I don’t scare the child, dog, husband or postman as it’s very Hannibal Lector-like. I know I’m a year older, but sure I never said I was a year wiser!