“Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.” — Ogden Nash
Today I officially declare myself …. middle aged. Not over the hill, just cresting it.
Smack dab in the middle of my life.
Straddling the line of sooooo many things – desperately leaning toward 40 but being pulled quickly towards 50. Wait, when did 40 suddenly become wishful thinking? It’s bad.
Maybe the most shocking part of it all is that I am not really that different from the 15 year old girl from four score and blah blah blah years ago. I worry basically about the same things I did in middle and high school.
Did you used to casually sniff your armpits, ever vigilant for the trace odor of anything but Secret deodorant? (You did, right? Please tell me you did.) Same thing today except now I am constantly twisting around and trying to look at my back to see if the latest hot flash has left a tell-tale trail of sweat soaking through my shirt. Good times.
Ever get slammed into the lockers in the school hallway by the mean girls? I was little – easy target. I don’t find that there is much aggressive physical contact these days, but I assure you there is intimidation. Why else are these women parading around nude (well, at least topless) in the yoga studio locker room, obviously taunting me with surgical enhancements and and tire-free middles? It’s a subtle shove, trust me. I’m not even going to get into the unnatural state of cellulite-free legs….
Do we ever get over stressing about our clothing? Lordy. The angst over Jordache jeans and Docksiders has morphed into the anxiety of dressing “my age”. I refuse to cross that line but some days I can’t help but think my love for all things JCrew does date me perhaps. That is mostly because I am the exact opposite of any model used in their catalogue. (see! Im old! who says catalogue?? geesh – website.) I’m not worried about slipping into Mom jeans and elastic waisted polyester pants (yoga pants excluded of course. And yes, they CAN be worn as pants TC!*). But it is hard to draw the line between the expensive rips in my jeans being just right and just stupid.
Plus I have developed a really (disturbing) habit when it comes to my waistline. Yoga pants (which I wear a lot and, yes, in public TC!) are pretty low, right? And sometimes (ok, a lot of times) the elastic slips a little south…just enough to let the bonus middle escape over the top (and sides – gag). It doesn’t matter if it is a little or a lot – it is maddening! It demands an adjustment and I, apparently, adjust by snapping the elastic waist of my pants. Over and over and over….much to the dismay of my family. And if it isn’t the yoga pants it’s the bikini underwear….satin briefs here I come. Don’t judge.
As if body image and clothing aren’t enough, there is always my hair. The upkeep of spiral perms was nothing compared to the pesky battle with grays and the delicate balance of overly blond-ifying my natural brown hair in the pursuit of age defiance. It can go the other way fast, ladies.. Careful with those foils. Add in crossing the line with “The Cut” …soft waterfall in the front, knives in the back….you know the look. It can be oh so tempting some days when the humidity is high and you want to give up just a little bit. Thank you, SNL, thank you, for that PSA. **
Let’s not forget Thelma and Louise…the rogue hairs that spring from my chin and cheek. On some level there is a sense of vitality that I have some part of body able to thrive and grow so quickly. Smooth skin to stubble in literally one minute! One minute! It is absurd. My obsessive touching of T&L leads quickly to an overwhelming desire to shed all responsibilities and obligations in order to get to a pair of tweezers. First I have to find my reading glasses, of course.
I learned today that the average lifespan in the US for a white woman is 81.48 years. Sadly, living in NC brings me down to 80.81 (Bojangles & humidity, no doubt). I am going to give myself the benefit of yoga (good GOD let’s hope so – I endure a lot of bullying and I should get something out of it!), a lot of laughter and a generally happy disposition. Diet Coke and too much sunshine could conceivably take me down before my time … but I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of gal. I think aiming for 90 is still within the realm of possibility and reaching much beyond that would probably be overly optimistic. So on the 45th anniversary of my birth I am embracing all things middle age.
45 is the new 15, you know.
* TC = Tracy Curtis. Hilarious writer and yoga-pants-in-public hater. www.tracyleecurtis.com
** The Cut