I’ve always heard that your 40s are the best years of your life. Supposedly, people are financially stable, have some wisdom, have learned from their mistakes, blah blah blah. I can’t say from experience that it’s true. One thing I’ve learned from being in my 40s is that your body turns into a hot mess, and it ain’t pretty. It’s really a cruel trick of that fickle old bitch, Mother Nature. I thought we women were supposed to be on the same team and build each other up. Clearly, Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. “They” say that 50 is the new 30, which means I should be in my new 20s, but 20 sure didn’t look like this. There is really no part of my body that hasn’t been affected by the cruel advance of time.
Let me start by saying that once you’re past the age of 18, zits should be a thing of the past. They slyly disappeared for a couple of decades, lying in wait for their eventual reappearance. Once I hit my forties, they reared their ugly red, white blistered heads once again…and not just on my face. Nothing says pretty like putting your gray speckled hair up in a clip only to have Mount Vesuvius staring at everyone like a third eye on the back of your neck. What the hell is up with that? I know I’m not the only one. I have friends in their forties who also wonder why they suddenly have a pizza neck, or scalp, for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, my face is not immune to such hideous eruptions. It’s not enough that the wrinkles start making an appearance, but then to be flanked by a melon sized, oozing pustule is just beyond reasonable. Don’t even get me started on groin zits.
Let’s move away from the face because nothing is as much a slap in the face as what happens to breasts at this glorious age. Really. They sag enough that they could slap me in the face if I moved at just the right angle. They used to be so cute and perky, and almost the right size. In my 20s they were a 34B. Twenty years and three breast fed kids later, they are 38 longs. When I bend over to turn on the shower faucet, they look like tube socks with a few inches of sand at the bottom. They dip in the water at the bottom of the tub. I could tuck them into my waist band. They are too big and that makes it hard to find decent shirts that will contain them. I used to wish for bigger boobs. My wish was granted but at a time in my life that they are more of an eyesore than an asset.
Sagging in general is the suckiest thing about aging. Apparently, someone came along one night while I was sleeping and replaced my tight little birthday suit, with one that looks a few sizes too big. It’s also clear that it hasn’t been ironed in years and someone left it sitting in the drier for way too long. It’s all out of shape, so apparently nobody let it dry flat either. It also has a roadmap of veins on its legs that could lead me on a road to deep depression if it wasn’t for those lifesaving capris and long dresses that are popular now. I have to say that as much as I love summer, I am thrilled when it’s time to get out the fall and winter clothes again.
Needless to say, this decade of my life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Things sag, erupt, crack, groan, get stiff, and make involuntary noises. It’s not enough that I notice it, but my darling children love to point out body parts of mine that are swaying in the wind or lying flaccid next to me. They are a charming bunch. I happily inform them that someday they will go through the same nonsense, and that if there is any justice in the world, their kids will make them feel like crap, too. I just hope that I will be able to witness the payback from my rocking chair as the drool slides down my cratered, pock marked, droopy face. The least Mother Nature can do is let me get there. We moms have to stick together.