October 23, 2012

The Art of Aging

I’m in a bit of a panic over this year’s birthday, which arrives tomorrow.  The agonizing number?  44.  44 facking years old.  What da fuq?  45 is rounded to 50, that’s what.  This is my last birthday being closer to 40 than 50, in my warped, anti-aging, don’t wanna get old, please-God-I’m-so-not-finished-being-young mind.  I’m feeling kind of panicky.

I don’t want to hear that I ‘still look young.’  That I ‘still act young.’  Or even be grateful that I ‘still feel young.’  Nope.  To hell with that.  I want to be young.  I’m rather sorry I didn’t embrace the beauty of it all more, when I was young.  Why didn’t I live in a bikini and date ultra hot guys and just own the world?  Oh, right.  I did!   I sort of forget the awesomeness of my youth because that was like 20 years ago.  My brain doesn’t even go back that far, now.   Sometimes I meet women and when I find out how old they are it freaks me out.  Because I was assuming they were way older than I am.  Nope…in their button up, flowered tops and their Capri pants, and their short, curling ironed hair, they are my age. 

My kids laugh when I suggest to them I am old.  They have this new thing, where they act ghetto and say, “Girrrrl, you cray cray!” and tell me I drink too much coffee.  Recently I refused to carry little darling up 18 stairs while I was also carrying my purse and some groceries.  My excuse, even though I carry him half the time…”I’m too old!”  His response, while sobbing on the bottom step, “Mommy cray cray!”

Lately when I’m driving I can’t stop looking at my hands, because they look old on my steering wheel.  Like, whose freaking hands are these?  Apparently all these potions and lotions and burn-y, sting-y things I slather all over my face must be working, because I should have been slathering them on my hands all along too.  I look in the mirror in the morning and I just laugh.  Suddenly I have puffy things under my eyes.  When did I start getting that?  I keep saying to the muthas, “My hands, do they look old?”  But they just curse me out.  They yell, “Oh fuck you, who cares about your hands, look at my neck, my eyes, my lips.”  This is what we do.  We stand in front of mirrors and push our skin up with our fingers, just a tiny bit, and say, “This, you see this, this is all I need.  Just a little pulling up here of this skin.   What do you think that costs?”  Then someone ruins it and screams, “Oh you can’t do that, they have to pull your whole facking face off and re-tack it into your skull with staples.”  Oh bullshit, another mutha yells, you can get the life lift, or whatever the heck it’s called.  We know damn good and well none of us is getting cut any time soon.  We are too busy trying to solve the problems with potions and lotions and concoctions that burn the shit out of you.  Not to mention the odd needle.  These muthas really don’t look their age.  I met a gay guy not too long ago who humored me for a few minutes talking about the muthas in our area.  He leaned in close and said, “This is a haven for beautiful women.  You girls rock it, what is the secret?!”  “We’re moms,” I said.  We do 400 things at once all day.  It keeps you young.  That, and we still dress hawt.

I’m trying to be grateful for what is good now.  I have fabulous, beautiful kids.  Friends who love me.  I am so much wiser.  I don’t worry or stress quite so much.  I have LIVED.  Survived a hell of a lot.  It’s been a wild ride.  A lot of fun.  Some hurt and heartache and mistakes mixed in.  I wouldn’t change anything.  Well, of course, the one thing.  I would change that.  I wouldn’t let him die.  And then who knows, I might be living with a deranged drug addict right now.  Or probably in the process of divorcing him.  There is the chance I would be angry and frustrated and wanting right now, instead of feeling mostly peaceful and happy and resilient.  I wasn’t feeling very resilient in the end.  I was quitting….leaving.  Or rather, telling him to leave.  I had no idea he would leave in the most dickhead of ways.   

I received an email from the sister of a new suicide widow this week.  “He broke her!” she hissed.  Indeed, he did.  Dave broke me too.  The scars will always be visible.  But they don’t have to remain so ugly.  I’m reminded of the Japanese art of Kintsugi.  When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful. 

19 comments:

  1. I will be 45 tomorrow. So...shut up.

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  2. Are you freakin' kidding me that we share a birthday? Girrrrl...one of these birthdays we SHALL throw down Ghetto Genius style. LOL. Not much consolation, I know, but damn you DO NOT look 45. Prolly yo gold teef. Hehehehe

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  3. Just fackin love you! forty-4 is still just a babe! Wait til you hit the big 5-oh....I did last Nov. I'm still kickin, I do not wear "button up, flowered tops and their Capri pants, and their short, curling ironed hair" Refuse! You can too Mad Woman.

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  4. And I will be 51 tomorrow so you can all bite me.

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  5. I am coming to NOLA one day. Consider yourself warned. And polish up that grill.

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  6. Happy Birthday!! It is OK to have wrinkles as long as they follow your laugh and smile lines. I remember 44. 45 is a lot better, it is the new 35. I meet women in there early forties, late 30's that treat me like a 20 year old. I know I do not act like a 45 year old and I must not look like an "old" person yet either. Fake unhappy people look old before their time. You are a geniune person. Stop and savor the moments, cry from the soul and laugh out loud from the gut. Recipe for youth no matter what the age. I try not to cry to much, my eyes get puffy and no stingy lotion will fix it quick enough. Have a great birthday!!

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  7. I will be 47 Friday but I really call it my 29th Birthday! Been 29 for years! Happiest of Birthdays to you Madwoman! Enjoy your day!

    PS..too funny about your hands I think the same thing!

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  8. I think I may have turned 52 this year but I lie about my age so often I may be wrong...Happy Anniversary of your 45th year.

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  9. First...Happy Birthday!..Second, shut up...you're a MILF...we all are...third I love your writing, brutal honesty..freaking hilarious...third, I'm laying off the pills, presciption, but pills none the less...I am with you for what its worth, here for ya...unknown, faceless but I have a name, Lisa and I'm 45 in January..unless we all buy the farm in December!

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  10. Happy birthday, dude! And I love your analogy of the Japanese art! Can use that in so many different situations. I immediately thought of my previous divorce. Good call, man! Have a great day.

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  11. charlene green tjadenOctober 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    And I am 52 and in February will be 53. Now way in hell am I am waring flowered tops and curling ironed hair. now quit your sniveling and put on your big girl panties and by that I mean the sexy little panties you love to wear!

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  12. Never let a number define who you are. There are women in their 70's who are still vibrant and young. As far as that whole "act ghetto" thing - that's a good way to get the taste slapped outta your mouth here. Happy Birthday, btw. Enjoy it!

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  13. Enjoy each and every day and be happy! Take the moments because the world is a wonderful place. Happy Birthday. BTW I am 61. I love it too!

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  14. Love this post! I'll be 40 next year so I'm gearing up for that one. Happy birthday and I'll drink a toast to you and all you hot muthas!

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  15. I'm only 33 but I have had that moment looking at my hands where I'm like "WTF IS THAT SHIT." I think it's because I've played viola for so many years and it contorts my hands into weird wrinkle-making positions. :( Oh well... at least I have fat cheeks. That goes a long way to keeping you looking young. :)
    -Kristen Mae

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  16. Happy Birthday! You deserve a great day and I hope it is everything you want it to be.

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  17. I hope you had a happy birthday! I recently came across your blog and wish you nothing but the best now and in the future!

    Jane Roman Pitt
    http://ladylullaby.com/
    http://lady-lullaby.blogspot.com/

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