My 16-year-old son looked me up and down. “Dad, you look like such a ... a ...” he struggled for the right word. Then it came to him. “You look such a dad.”
I’ve been called worse.
“Is it the slippers?” I ventured. I was forced to admit I was not sure what’s ‘on-trend’ in the bedtime footwear fashion stakes, but I guessed it wasn’t the tartan ones I was sporting.
“Hmm, yeah” our Bradley agreed. “And the jumper.” Before adding the killer blow. “The whole look really.”
It was strangely comforting.
In a world where everyone’s flogging shortcuts to a ‘younger you’, whether that’s wonder creams, exercise regimes or cosmetic surgery, I was content with the ‘Dad’ label. I doubt, however, it’ll be the next fashion look.
We’ve had Heroin Chic, but Mug of Cocoa and an Aspirin Chic is unlikely to appear on a catwalk near you soon.
I have to admit I struck out on turning 50. While women’s magazines proclaimed that 30 was the new 20, and 40 the new 30, by the time I turned 50, turns out 50 had become the new 75!
Only this week a report was released advising the over-50s to avoid caffeine after lunchtime. Why could that be? Is it because caffeine affects their ability to windsurf or puts extra strain on their hearts when rock climbing? No, the over-50s should avoid drinking coffee after lunch because it could stop them getting a good night’s sleep. Is that really news?
Charity Age UK released the report - written by the Global Council on Brain Health - offering tips for the over-50s on getting a good night’s sleep.
I don’t mind Age UK dishing out advice on sleep, but I take particular offence at Age UK speaking on my behalf. I’m 51, not 101.
The tips dished out by Age UK on getting a good night’s sleep include: Get up at the same time every day; don’t sleep with pets in the bedroom; and wear socks to keep you feet warm in bed.
The Global Council on Brain Health sounds highfalutin, but I question the calibre of their membership with advice like that. Was it Harvard’s professor of advanced neuroscience who suggested wearing socks as cure for insomnia, or the bloke on reception? My money’s on the latter.
I mean, if it’s worry that’s keeping you awake at night, this is what they advise: “Schedule about 15 minutes each morning as your ‘worry time’ rather than becoming stressed at night.” I think they have little understanding of the nature of worry.
If it’s that simple, why not schedule your ‘worry time’ for three years hence? You deserve the break.
I don’t need Age UK making me feel old. I get enough of that at home.
I mentioned the ‘dad look’ to my wife. “Do you think it was the slippers?” I said. “I mean, is tartan that far out?”
She skewered me with her answer.
She said: “Slippers … full stop... are out, grandad.”