Hearing song’s lyrics was a gutting wake-up call

Surely, holding a door open for a member of either sex is just good manners?

LESLEY KEATING: Would you dare hold a door open for a woman?

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If I was to have a backing track to my life, a day-by-day playlist that summed me up, you can bet I wouldn’t include any song that contained the lyrics ‘you’re not getting any younger’.

This is what I heard when I went shopping on Saturday – and it was a gutting wake-up call.

I set out with a smile and in the sure knowledge that, because I’ve been doing a quick 10 minutes of exercise each morning for the past few months, my body has become stronger.

I may not have lost any weight – well, I haven’t lost any – but the excess pounds have moved around a bit, so at least I look better above and below the belly.

That’s the downside of my erratic home-devised plan. I have effectively shifted masses of flab, but I have shifted it all to my stomach and not off me. It’s been redistribution rather than removal.

The exercise has removed one thing though, and that’s the children hanging around my bedroom looking for clean bits of laundry.

There’s nothing quite like the sight of one’s barely-clothed mother attempting to do squat thrusts to put you off your breakfast and in fact, scar you for life.

But I digress.

There I was, feeling worthy of purchasing something new. But wandering around Gunwharf, I realised my stomach wasn’t going to fit into anything from any of the skinny shops there.

Anyway, I ended up at M&S, darting around looking at the frocks and tops and what-nots. A few frills, a good selection of colours (no neon in sight), and some artful hem and necklines.

And then, as I was reaching for something daringly short (daringly short for me skims the top of my kneecaps), the song came on.

‘You’re not getting any younger’ warbled the singer, as a short-hemmed girl and I reached for the same item in sizes so far apart my maths won’t stretch that far.

Her steely eyes glinted and my knees buckled under her stare. I retracted my hand.

But in the end I’ve won. Because she may have the dress, but she’ll spend the summer being niggled by the fact she might be wearing an old lady frock.