When I was 43, it seemed as if I aged 5 years in the space of one. At first I thought it was because my life was going off the rails but, as it turns out, that wasn’t quite it. After talking to some of my friends it appears this is normal for some people going through their early 40s. For other people, this doesn’t happen. Bully for them, they can skip this post.
Are they gone? Good.
As I was saying, I went through a phase where every time I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror, it was as if a few months had passed yet it had only been one night. And then when that stopped, I started gaining weight.
So here I am, on the eve of my 46th birthday, older and fatter and not even a smidge wiser. I am truly middle aged in that it is highly unlikely I will live past 90.
Where does this leave me? A divorced, middle-aged, white lady who voted for Hillary. I’m the person you want to avoid at a cocktail party. Well, no worries on that front. I intend to spend my next 45 years avoiding cocktail parties. In fact, I intend to avoid doing all sorts of activities I have no interest in.
Easter egg hunts. Cocktail parties. Chuck E. Cheese. The mall. Camping. Golf. Talking about sports at cocktail parties with men wearing golf pants. All of it is a no-go from now on.
The aging woman is sometimes called a crone. I like this word. Remember in Sex in the City, Carrie Bradshaw wore that necklace that said ‘Carrie’? I want one that looks exactly like that except I want it to say ‘Crone.’
Someone crafty out there, please make these and I will buy two. One for me and one for Felicia. Actually, I’ll buy three. Christine will want one.
Crone might be a pejorative term but I don’t agree. I think it sounds like a person who is exactly who they appear to be. Someone who is no longer trying to appear as if they understand what is happening around them. A person no longer pretending they have much control over their life. A person done doing shit they don’t want to do. I will obviously still do stuff I have to do but no more purposefully going out of my comfort zone. I like my comfort zone, I’ve spent the last 25 years putting it together. I’m going to start calling it my comfort cabana. It’s nice in here. There are books and TV and alcohol.
Also, I am no longer going to try and look pretty. I am not pretty. Time to accept that. In American culture a woman my age is never going to be considered pretty. Time to put that away along with the wedding veil and the idea I was ever going to clean my house every week. Never going to happen. I am so lazy I just used a dust buster to vacuum my stovetop then swiped at it with a dish towel and called it clean. On the other hand, my house is ruthlessly organized and I never store anything under my beds. Don’t want to upset the dust bunnies. Just kidding. I vacuum a lot because it’s very satisfying. I used to never vacuum but now I have a cordless vacuum and a dust buster and I break them out whenever Six and I spill stuff. And we spill a lot so the floor is pretty tidy. But I never dust.
The point is, all the things American society tells women they should be: thin, pretty, young, tidy, socially adept…I am none of those things. And I never will be. I’ve spent the past 30 years or so trying to at least get close to these ideals and I have fallen short time and again. Except for being young but I grew out of that. Haha.
Now that I am out on the Crone Frontier (I just made that up) I don’t quite know what to do. There aren’t a lot of resources for a woman in her 40s. Many fashion labels seem to think women cease to exist the moment we cross into our 40s.
Baby Boomer women have carved out their own space as they have aged but that isn’t really my tune. And waaaaaay too many of the white ones voted for Trump so I’m thinking they don’t want me at their party, anyway. I think one of the reasons Felicia and I started this business is because we needed a place to belong in the wider world. Admittedly, we are white and straight and cis-gendered. Women our age are overwhelmingly portrayed as appendages to the interesting people. We are the moms and the wives and that’s kind of it. Wait, there’s Grace and Frankie on Netflix. And that’s all I’ve got. Now imagine you’re a woman of color and over the age of 45…
Exactly. You don’t even get to be Grace or Frankie.
So, what next? I have no answers but I do have a fuzzy idea about not irritating myself (or others) doing shit I don’t care about.
Better women have succeeded with less.
Wish me luck!