The big day has come and gone, striking like an unpredicted cyclone and sucking me into an era of senior quips, early bird specials and a whole slew of new annual exams and procedures. HAPPY FREAKIN’ BIRTHDAY to me!
My mindset at this particular moment, is neither good nor bad. Just sort of in limbo―and while I’ve had enough time to prepare myself for this, ie: stock up on vitamins, book kegel classes, counteract my hellish hormones with exercise, sex, or dope, I’m just not there. I will be, but at the moment I’ve got my “don’t fuck with me, I’m in denial” look intact, (reserved for AARP associates) and I may be “accidentally” celebrating the same birthday three years in a row…or ten. (Hey, it worked for my mom who apparently passed for age 33 for a good decade while she was dating after my dad’s passing, so why should the apple fall far from the tree?
Despite all the good I hear about getting older (sex…and more sex), I find I’m still in denial and just not ready―so as I fight fifty kicking and screaming, despite the comforting inspirational quotes, I ask that you give me some slack and let me have my regurgitation period to rant and rave about my biggest fears. I promise the tirade will be over by the end of the year.
Why the resistance?
I had only a few short years ago, embraced my fabulous forties (thanks to ‘Sex in the City’ and the myriad of articles that followed.) I had started dating online, regrouped, and gotten naked again, all in the spirit of midlife sexuality―and after a seven year hiatus due to single parenting, I was loving it; or maybe it was the multitude of orgasms due to pent-up lust and unexpressed emotions. This unbridled freedom to have a sexual existence again was exhilarating. It awakened my raw sensual side, making me feel as alluring as I had been as a younger woman. I felt hot again…and then BAM!…Countdown to hell.
Just when I was getting used to rockin’ it in my 40’s, (not to be confused with being rocked and impregnated at 41), father time has to go and steal my thunder―or was it his wife, that jealous beeyatch! Yes, I know, age really is just a number and it doesn’t determine your life or how you live it, and yes, I should be proud that I’m living life to the fullest and not letting old stereotypes keep me down. But am I really…living life to its fullest?
I am so much cooler than most lame twenty-five year olds I know. I’m smart, sassy, “funny as shit, off-the-charts sexy, and somehow managing to raise a great kid and still be my own person. Hey, how many of the youngsters can claim those kinds of accomplishments?”
Okay, you can stop rolling your eyes. That last part sort of morphed itself into a testimonial; And just so you don’t think I’m a complete narcissistic bitch, let’s just say, it’s a summation from more than one credible source…or it could just be a generous birthday compliment taking into consideration my vulnerability, hormones, and a rather erratic mental and egotistical state of mind hours before turning HALF A FUCKING CENTURY!!
Yeah, that must be it. Hey, when you’ve made it this far, you too get to toot that horn, and your friends get to chime along. It’s in their job description.
With aging, you get the good, the bad, and those unexpected bitchslaps that come out of nowhere, even when you’re relatively well adjusted to the fact that you’re no longer 21, and haven’t been for decades. It suddenly becomes apparent that you’re occupying an entirely new category of human being.
“People only get ‘old’ if they get lazy and just let it happen,” my friend Minka told me. “Being young, in and of itself isn’t a good thing. There are plenty of young unhealthy rather boring dumbasses out there who probably have the life expectancy of a new TV pilot.” (she’s a screenwriter…go figure)
There are also a fair share of thirty-somethings that are already “old” and boring. And me―well, I’m vibrant, healthy and still have plenty of time left to feel old if I choose to…which clearly I don’t, but these annuals, procedures, and potpourri of vitamins I currently take, are constant reminders that my body, for better or worse is the one I’m stuck with; dropped bladder, not quite as perky breasts, and far from the six pack of abs I never had.
Something about a milestone birthday, makes you more self critical than when you’re in between decades―especially when you’re constantly exposed to child prodigies on You Tube, and the likes of the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world…not to mention Ms. Winfrey and all her damn achievements. I had hoped to be out of the country for my fiftieth, having traveled quite a bit in my younger years. Not having crossed the Atlantic in 11 years, I was feeling stale and restless. The travel bug was gnawing at me. Single parenting can do that….or maybe I had simply been sucked into another Julia Roberts film, and been having an Eat, Pray, Love moment. Would that be so bad…or would it just be the equivalent of some balding middle-aged guy speeding around in a red convertible with a twenty-something blonde all sprawled in the front seat? Who the fuck cares! Italy, India & Bali take me away!
Whatever it is that my mind, body and spirit need to transition to becoming half a freakin’ century―whatever my mood, I’m entitled to it. I don’t owe anyone an explanation but I DO need to give myself a good bitchslap now and then and say, ‘Fuck it―I’m gonna be THAT fifty-year old that other women look at and say, “I wanna be like her. She is fucking cool!”
I just may need more time to scramble out of the ‘you’re above the half-century-mark abyss,’ and into that ‘Year of the fucking fabulous Woman…’