Every now and again I come across a clutch of women in a corner. They’re usually talking in low voices about some new atrocity of aging. Some fresh circle of hell that comes with getting older, some hot flash of inspiration that goes hand in hand with reaching a certain..ahem.. age.
I am that age. But damn if I haven’t earned these chin hairs and this peri-menopausal pot belly. And because I’m on the older side of a lot of these groups, I often find myself running from clutch to clutch answering questions like a walking, talking public service advertisement.
It’s not hard. The answer is always: Yes, it’s because you’re in your mid-40s.
Because I love you I’m willing to lay it on the line. I’m ready to take on the role of wise, old(er) crone as long as I can be the wise, old(er) crone who is still kind of cool with pink streaked hair.
Ready? Here are some of the things you have to look forward to as you make your way through your forties.
You have to eat two-thirds less and work twice as hard to look half as good as you did 5 or 10 years ago. It sucks.
You will have vivid, violent fantasies that involve ripping the face off of someone for taking your parking spot. You will have to physically stop yourself from punching a family member in the throat for breathing too loudly. Or possibly just waking up in the same country as you.
Your period will get wonky and suddenly you’ll realize you’re three weeks late. Unless you’ve taken permanent solutions, you’ll probably have at least one march of shame down to the drugstore to buy a pregnancy test like a teenager.
You will look at a piece of bread and gain 5 pounds. In order to lose those 5 pounds you will need to do some sort of dietary sci-fi physics which involves time travel and gouging your eyes out in a quasi Oedipal Greek tragic event to avoid looking at the bread you’ve traveled back in time not to look at. Remember way back in your 30s when simply not eating bread was enough? Yeah. Not so much.
You will have some sexual dry spells that make the Sahara look tropical. Seriously. Your libido will approach the missing status of Jimmy Hoffa. It’s possible you may see it on a milk carton one day. (Don’t worry too much..even the desert gets rain sometimes.)
With the sudden clarity of a EUREKA! light bulb moment, you will gain some understanding into how the world works. (I had one of these Open Your Eyes to the Matrix moments when I suddenly and with perfect clarity realized that just about everything in this world revolves around male sexual posturing, i.e. willy size. When I confronted my husband with this, he looked around to make sure no one was watching before he briefly nodded, confirming my suspicions). Everything starts to make a whole lot of sense. Which usually, in turn, makes you want to punch lots of people in the throat.
You will truly have no more whits, figs, or fucks left to give. You know that song the kids were singing a few years ago that seemed to just repeat the phrase “I don’t care…” over and over? That’s you. You are mid-40s and gloriously whit, fig, and fuck free!
You will realize why your Nana bought pants with elastic waists. You can try to call them performance wear or yoga pants, but the fact remains–if they don’t have a button, they may as well be elasticized.
At some point you’ll put on a pair of those cheap reading glasses they sell in drug stores and suddenly realize why you haven’t been able to finish a book in the last two years.
You will discover a fully grown, black chin hair at three p.m. which was decidedly not there when you checked at 8 a.m. This will, naturally, be your husband’s fault and you will want to punch him in the throat.
You will eventually pee your pants a little (or a lot) while you are exercising or sneezing or laughing too hard. I used to poke merciless fun at my younger friends for not being able to do jumping jacks while I jumped around like loon, pee-free. Until that one day in class when I suddenly felt a dribble free-flow of its own accord and spent the rest of the class stinking like a wino. I’ve shut up since then. And wear protection. Karma is a bitch. And apparently smells of pee.
So, if you’re in your late thirties or early forties and you find yourself crossing your legs while doing Pilates or squinting to read the font on your iPhone to track the date of your last period before you remember that you haven’t had sex for two months? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Don’t worry…it’s gonna be great!
(It really is. The no fucks left to give really makes up for almost everything else. Ok, maybe not the pee, but mostly everything else. Promise.)