Sunday, October 23, 2011

Age is just a number? Yeah, right

Today on Sunday, Sunday, October 23, 2011, Page 11, Speakeasy, Columns
Source Website:,-right
Alywin Chew, Assistant Sports Editor,, 04:46 AM Oct 23, 2011

PHOTO: Still working in their 50's and over. Still very beautiful, sexy and very talented.

You know there's a tectonic (from the Vulgar Latin tectonicus, meaning "building") shift of reality when all the women around you are getting pregnant.

Three of my ex-colleagues became parents around the same time last year. I became so paranoid I was somewhat convinced it had to do with the water in the office, so I drank only from my bottle until I found another job.

Turns out it wasn't the water. Shortly after, a handful of friends started spotting baby bumps too.

There was always this bittersweet feeling that lingered every time I shared in their joy. Though I was happy for them, it felt as if something more profound was knocking on the door - something immensely perturbing (Make someone anxious or unsettled) that I was trying to avoid.

Upon hearing the news, I'd launch a salvo of questions like, "How many months?", "Is it a boy or girl?" and "Does that mean you're not coming to ZoukOut any more?" - before I hug and congratulate them as we all jump about screaming like toddlers on their first day of school.

Moments later, I would find myself staring into space, suspended in disbelief as I mutter: "Good lord, she's going to become a mother."

PHOTO: 61 shortly and already "studies" elderly women "and how good they still look"

I don't doubt their maternal instincts one bit but it's difficult to imagine this lady, whose hair you once had to hold up while she projectile-barfed into a toilet bowl after one drink too many, becoming a, well, real adult.

Yes, becoming a mother does sort of initiate you into full-fledged adulthood. It's one thing to be responsible for your own well-being, your finances and your future. It's a totally different ball game being responsible for a life you created. Having to raise a kid, send him to school, buy him insurance policies, provide him with pocket money - it all seems so excessively responsible.

Then it all dawned on me this week when I was planning for my birthday party to be held at a club we all used to hang out at. I had wanted it to be a night of inebriated (become drunk or drink excessively) debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures), where we would scream, laugh and dance as if the apocalypse had arrived and we were the only ones left standing.

PHOTO: Age is only a number. Yeah, right.
Don’t have any of that – not the marriage, not the babies, nothing – but I want it all so bad I can taste it.

But a number of guests, notably the newly minted and soon-to-be parents, had politely declined my invite.

Trying to leverage on our decade-long friendship, I coaxed: "It's just one night. Can't you get a babysitter?"

"The babysitter doesn't do overnight shifts. Unless your party ends at 10pm," my friend replied. "Besides are you sure you can party the whole night, we're not 18 any more you know?"

That was when my world crumbled. She had smashed reality in my face harder than Manny Pacquiao can throw a left hook.

I realised that my apprehension over the spate of my friends' pregnancies was due to the simple fact that I was in denial of the two digits that dictate where we should be in life. Turning a year older is no big deal for many but this birthday marks my ascension to the front of the queue, right before that dreaded yellow line in front of the immigration counter, awaiting my turn to get stamped and condemned to the land beyond youth:

"Business or pleasure, Sir?"



PHOTO: "Pleasure", if you are Heidi.

Thirty. Dear me. I still feel as if I'm 18 though, admittedly, the body has on numerous occasions suggested otherwise. For example, I've sprained my ankle many times playing footie over the years and it never took more than three days to recover. Earlier this year, when I sprained it again, it took me three months.

"Your ankle ligaments are torn. All the cumulative damage when you were younger, lah," diagnosed a family friend cum TCM practitioner.

"I'm still young!" I retorted.


PHOTO: I still feel as if I'm 18 though, admittedly, the body has on numerous occasions suggested otherwise.

He didn't exactly say that but you get my drift. I fear growing old because I don't want to lose the exuberance (an overflowing amount) and colour that youth offers. The narcissist (personality disorder) in me, too, abhors ageing. A friend once told me age is just a number. I looked her in the eye and replied: "I know, and 35 corresponds with the number of wrinkles on your face."

I'm slowly acclimatising (to adapt) to reality but it still feels odd to know that my friends and I have evolved from talking about PlayStation consoles to that Bugaboo Missoni baby stroller; from awesome Czech beers to the best milk formula; from sexy lingerie and romantic getaways to breast pumps and little gym lessons.

PHOTO: Cameron Diaz
"I think it's the rudest thing ever to take a picture of a girl in a bikini from whatever angle you decide. It's not OK."

Don't get me wrong. I adore kids. I love their boundless energy, carefree ways and unadulterated minds. I fondly remember those hours between university lectures sitting on the grass with a latte as I watched the children at the nearby kindergarten play. Ignorance is bliss, as are kids. And it's just something I'm envious of.

PHOTO: ภาพเขียน (Thai: Painting)

Oh, how I wish I could be a kid once more.

PHOTO: ภาพเขียน (Thai: Painting)

PHOTO: ภาพเขียน (Thai: Painting)

Okay, maybe not. I want to go for ZoukOut this year.
By Alywin Chew, Assistant Sports Editor,, 04:46 AM Oct 23, 2011

PHOTO: Boundless energy, carefree ways and unadulterated minds

PHOTO: Plenty of actress over 50 get good roles

PHOTO: Jennifer Aniston, age is just a number

PHOTO: Jennifer Aniston, still very beautiful, sexy and very talented.

Jennifer Aniston, age is just a number
PHOTO: Jennifer Aniston, age is just a number

Kim Victoria Cattrall, 21 August 1956
PHOTO: Kim Victoria Cattrall, 21 August 1956 (age 55 at 2011)
As Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy/romance series Sex and the City.