There I was shaking ice, tequila, and assorted cocktail additives into submission when I realized I had set my wings (that loose skin/former muscle on the underside of my upper arms) into a fl apping motion. It became necessary to secure and steady me, as I was nearly airborne. My wings (certainly not fl ab) are fairly modest but truly took on a life of their own that day. “Fly me to the Moon” is no longer my favorite song. When did I grow so old?
Now, do not make the mistake of ever using that word (old) around me. It is okay for me, but never for you—especially if you are young. You have to own it to use it. And it would seem that I have become a certifi ed, fully licensed owner of a seasoned body. Sure I could have it detailed, overhauled and re-built but, that wouldn’t be me. Remembering to wear makeup; smile in a manner that kinda lifts the waddles and droops; and arrange my breasts into a padded uplift is about as far as I go.
Its not that I’m so damn “natural or down-to-earth” but rather that I want to earn whatever compliments might come my way. I am not willing to share the credits with a plastic surgeon. I might just as well carry a cutout from a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and claim that image to be me. Cheaper, less painful—but still not me.
I do not qualify for ancient (quite yet), however I am what is referred to as postmenopausal (old fart is another equally enduring term). But it seems like just yesterday that men would give me that “once over” look—you know, the look that supposedly is demeaning and reduces a woman to nothing but a sex object. Heck, forget anything fl irtatious or leering, I simply miss someone, anyone, saying “What a great pair of legs.” I used to hear that, and it was generally said in a tasteful manner.
My legs look pretty much the same today (if my skirt is not too short and the lighting is good) but now I am considered too old to receive compliments that might offend a “grandmother.” Yeah, I might fi t that age profi le; however, I am not a grandmother— Hell, my cats aren’t even allowed to breed.
I realize that age has little to do with reigning over grandbabies (now, girls are birthin’ babies at the same age I was when I got fi tted for my fi rst training bra). But regardless of age, some of the hottest women
I know are proud grandmas. Still, I can’t believe I am on this side of the age game.
And when did I start referring to some hunk of a guy as that young man? Instead of fl irting I am carding them. Bartending to those younger has me now playing mom rather than a partying co-conspirator. Who’d think I would fi nd my maternal instinct slinging beer? And when some guy who is not one foot into the grave does fl irt with me, I think what the hell is wrong with him instead of blushing and taking the compliment.
Sometimes the whole aging thing is just plain funny. Seriously, it’s funny. Get a bunch of women together my age and older, and the grousing and bitching about what newly discovered part of the body just went south or stopped working is not only laughable it’s just plain raunchy at times. A sense of humor takes the edge off even when my gynecologist tells me a certain part of the anatomy is actually atrophying and that I’d better use it or lose it.
“Youth is wasted on the young”-- this axiom is so true. For example: during a recent wine-a-thon gathering of friends, our new neighbor, a stunningly beautiful young woman, blind to her good fortune preceded to lament about her impending 30th birthday. I mean she was really morose about how old (her words) she was about to become. Our group’s ages range from late-30s to mid-60s. We just gave her a collective eye-roll and shook our heads with an “uh uh… she didn’t really say that?” motion. All I know is that I was a mess in my twenties, slightly better by my 30s and still in need of major growth as forty struck. Mid-40s found me in a remarkably better frame of mind and things just improved each year.
It’s not the wrinkles and parts sagging south, it’s that it all points to my mortality. My only regret now is that I might eventually die. And this supposed fact of life is a real pisser. I really want to live forever and wish that vampires did exist, except I’d be trying to get blood from a turnip—you know, my being vegetarian and all that. It’s just that Boyfriend and I are having quite a grand time and feel that we need at least a couple of hundred years to do all we wanna do.
But sometimes you have to just say, “F**k it” and live. Wear shoes that are not sensible and skirts that are too short. Run out the back door naked during a rain storm (just don’t get locked out). Swim and run like you’re going for the gold. And shake that cocktail shaker like there’s no tomorrow, toasting to the absurdities of life and the joy of it all.