The Beatles were right, there is a lot to celebrate about being 64 even without Vera, Chuck and Dave - Susan Morrison
Tragically, two of those talented lads never made it to 64. John Lennon was only 40 when he was gunned down by an idiot. George Harrison didn't even get to bus pass age, dying at only 58. We've still got Ringo, forever in my head the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine and, of course, Sir Paul McCartney who sailed past 64 nearly two decades ago.
“When I’m 64” is a love song about the future. A young man’s youthful passion will give way to keeping himself useful by mending fuses whilst she knits sweaters by the fire. There will be grandchildren, Vera, Chuck and Dave. Holidays on the Isle of Wight.
I've been singing those lyrics since 1968, through schools primary and secondary, university, first jobs, first love, marriage and children. And now look. I’m 64.
Sir Paul and the boys, astonishingly for a time when youth ruled the world, looked into the future and said, old age isn’t going to be that bad, especially if we’re together. They predicted so many good things. There were indeed birthday greetings, and, of course, a bottle of wine. Well, more than one, to be honest. We don’t have the three grandkids, but honestly, Vera, Chuck and Dave sound like a bit of a handful. He really does mend fuses, but I can't knit.
64 is not too shabby. Yeah, there are things I can't or won't do anymore. Gone are the days when I'd stay out till quarter to three, propping up bars and tripping over my platform shoes. These days it’s an episode of Endeavour, cup of tea and bed by eleven. This is mainly because young Susan could rampage till dawn and still be at work four hours later. Today's Susan needs a quiet next day after a couple of gins.
Being 64 means there are things I don't need to do any more. Don't need to strap on an uncomfortable bra now for one thing, but that's because I got de-bosomed a couple of years back. Dumped the hair dye. My hair is silver now, and I kinda like it. Binned the high heels I rock comfortable shoes.Being 64 means that when men drone at me about things I actually know about, I will happily just wander off in mid conversation, claiming my age-related incontinence is kicking in and I must find a loo. My young self just stayed and became bored rigid.
Being 64 means, sadly, there are people missing in my life who would have loved to get to this age. I try to honour them by drinking the alcohol units they would have had, but it’s too much like hard work, see above.
Of course, I'm lucky. All those years ago Sir Paul promised a happy future of companionship and love, and that's what I got, now I’m 64.
Turns out, he does still need me and he does still feed me. And I still send him Valentines.