two weeks prior to my birthday, BFF bought me these balloons to celebrate that i was still in my 30’s
Dear 40 –
I’m not too sure how I feel about you just yet. We’ve only been together a few days but I’ve been thinking about you for over year. My mom says that 40 was great, it was 50 that wasn’t so kind. Can you please tell 50 to lighten up? On our first day together I found my first gray eyebrow hair. Point taken. Can we call it good on that? I don’t have a lot of eyebrow hairs to spare.
In preparation for your arrival I started spending more on beauty products than I ever had before. Products that can’t be purchased at Target. Products that have the words “repair” and “deep wrinkle” and “serum” in the names. I have to admit, the “deep wrinkle” cream turns the deep v in-between my eyebrows into a shadow of a v…until I walk away from the mirror in the morning and start the day. Examining my deep eyebrow v reminds of a time, back in my 20’s, when the creese between my eyebrows was adorable when I furrowed my brow in concentration or agitation. It always went away until one day when it didn’t. It took you looming before me to begin religiously applying “deep wrinkle” cream and pray to the gods of youthful skin.
My brother likes to remind me that the body falls apart after 40 and all sorts of unsavory things start to happen that are out of my control. Namely, hemorrhoids. 40, I would like to remind you of 28 and childbirth. We have already experienced hemorrhoids so can we just agree that that experience has already been checked off the list and we don’t need to revisit that unpleasantness?
In my mind’s eye I’m still a girl in her 20’s. I don’t feel that much different, even though there are obvious changes. Then I see those young 20-somethings in the check out line at Target and am imediately reminded that I’m old enough to be their mother. There they are with their In Style magazine and Diet Coke and I want to pat them on the head and assure them that it will all be okay. I want to advise them that their super short, high-waisted jeans aren’t doing a thing for them. That the right guy will come along but they need to be patient; that they need to learn how to love and how to accept love. They need to learn how to pick their battles, when to stand up for themselves and be brave and which hills to die on or leave for another day. I can’t tell them these things in the Target check out line, but with your help, 40, they will hopefully find out for themselves.
So what am I going to do with you? Since I don’t know what surprises (please let them be good surprises) you have in store, I’ve decided that I’ll just be grateful. Grateful for what I’ve been given, grateful for what I’ve learned. Grateful I’m not 20 and feel the need to wear high-waisted shorty jeans with my cheeks hanging out. Grateful for Instagram filters because Amaro is our best friend. I will continue to use the “deep wrinkle” cream. I may be grateful and a little more wise but I’m still vain enough to wonder about how merciless 50 may be.