Hi, I’m a middle-aged woman.
Yep. Kind of invisible these days, but guess what? It’s kind of awesome!
If I’m going to live to be 95 — which is pushing it but not unheard of — I’m currently smack dab in the middle of my whole life. When I look over my shoulder, I see a lot of crappy stuff behind me, like heavy-duty parenting, eating problems, self-esteem issues, and uninspired living. Hopefully, I’ve already made most of my big mistakes. And I’ve certainly shown you most of my cards.
Here I am, 47 years old, with 48 looming on the horizon. Cue the music, and wait for it — I’m in the “autumn” of my life. And with that comes the realization that there are so many things I just don’t give a fuck about anymore. For example, I don’t give a fuck about using the word “fuck.” Please forgive me if that very short, uncreative, specific word doesn’t sit well with you.
Sorry, but I’m over it, and have I mentioned that being over it is awesome?
Now that I’m past my leading lady prime — more of a seasoned Sharon Stone than a cherubic Scarlett Johansson — there are a few other things that no longer keep me up at night:
1. What to Wear
Hey, I’m not a “mom uniform” type of gal (at least not anymore), but I sure don’t worry at all about having the right boots, or the right length skirt, or clothes that seem cool. I like to look nice, but I won’t spend a ton of money trying to impress anyone. I know exactly the sort of outfit I feel good in — yoga pants with a flattering, draping top that doesn’t go past my hips. My aim is to showcase the ample booty while covering the mid-section, and this combo seems to work beautifully.
After many years of hits (the thin poncho phase) and misses (puffy vests), I know how to present my glorious self. I don’t have to ask anyone what I should wear. Like, ever. Casual bar and grill dinner on a Friday night? No problem — I’m the one in yoga pants, black boots, and a draping top! It’s pure “hey that woman looks good but she could be my mom” perfection, which is exactly the look I’m going for. Well, sort of.
2. Who My Friends Are
My closest friends know every last nook and cranny of my storied, dysfunctional, triumphant life. They know where and when I was innocently accused or guilty as charged. They’ve fought for me, and they’ve bailed me out. They’ve been my lawyers, my therapists, my sisters, and my fans. They’ve been my caregivers, my critics, and my partners in crime. And they’ve liked me and hated me along the way. They’ve talked about me behind my back, and to my face.
One thing I know for sure is that my friends have always loved me. They’ve loved every expanding and shrinking inch of me. They’ve endured my secrets, squinted at my lies, and rejoiced in my renewal. I don’t have to wonder who my friends are, nor do I have to keep up appearances. Friendships need water and food, of course, but we are a low maintenance bunch — a bunch of low maintenance older gals who would jump in front of a bus for each other.
3. Whether You Like Me or Not
You may think I’m an asshat and a sanctimommy because I wrote an article about how most parents (including myself) these days tend to cater to their kids, how we all seem to be making the same mistakes in allowing our kids to rule our lives by giving them too many choices and too many chances, and how we tend to make excuses for their bad behavior. But did you read the article, and then share it? Thanks! As with anything I say or write, you are quite welcome to take it, leave it, or talk about it. And please know I always appreciate it when you do all three.
4. How to Cook Something
Knowing how to cook takes years and years of just doing it. Yup, simply doing the cooking. Knowing when to add spices, and how much time to give it takes practice. There is no match for the internal kitchen timer of a middle-aged woman. If I say dinner will be ready in 9 minutes, it’s going to take exactly 9 minutes to complete the cooking process, stove to table. How do I know this? Because I’ve cooked something for someone approximately 25,000 times.
5. What I Like to Do in the Sack
I don’t worry about this at all. This is another fabulous thing that comes with being middle-aged. I know what I want, how I want it, and when. And knowing is pretty much the sexiest thing on the planet. Oh, and there’s no faking, ego-bruising or excuse-making for either of us. If the sparks aren’t flying the way they should, we’re pretty content to just roll over and go back to reading a book, or finish watching the Red Sox. No harm, no foul. See ya tomorrow. It’s been real. Love ya. Peace out. Do you want eggs for breakfast?
6. Growing Out My Bangs
Yeah, this one. By middle age, we either have them or we don’t. We don’t go back and forth with our bangs the way we used to in our 20s and 30s. After one too many hair experiments, we know better than to toy with what seems to be working. Like my grandmother always said, “If you don’t like bangs, why the fuck do you keep cutting them?!” Oh, I kid! Of course my grandmother never said such a thing. Betty the Best was a class act, unlike me. She knew what worked with a hairstyle and she brilliantly wore her hair the same way for a solid 40 years.
Honestly, this is quite an abridged list of things I don’t worry about anymore. Of course, there are many more. But in the interest of keeping your interest, I tried to make it short and sweet.
But there are some other things I do worry about these days. What other things, you ask? Well, let’s see — chin hairs for one. Unruly pubes, perhaps. The whole saggy neckline thing is a real drag. We middle-aged women worry about our plumbing a bit more and getting our droopy boobs smashed inside a vice once a year. That’s a fun one. (And if you’re a man reading this right now and you’re getting all sorts of turned off, guess what? I don’t give a fuck.) Oh, and eye bags. Eye bags are like a blinking neon “you have arrived” sign for middle-age. A heartfelt welcome, if you will.
We older gals have our fair share of stuff to think about, don’t you worry. Like imminent hip replacement and bald spots. Consider this last bit a PSA for what is coming down the pike for you, my lovely young girl. Enjoy it now!
But do try to make a damn decision about those bangs once and for all, and good luck with what you’re wearing to the club tonight. Yes, yes, wear those. Those ultra-high-waist, bleached denim cut-off shorts look great on everyone. Go for it, dear!