When I was twenty, I didn’t spend much time thinking about what it would be like to be…well…old. My forties and fifties seemed like they were a looooong way off…mostly because they were. If I’d have stopped to think about what midlife would look like, I’d probably imagine myself wearing polyester stretch pants, pantyhose with reinforced toes and that thing you wear around your neck where you push a button that alerts 911 if you “fall and can’t get up.” And sensible shoes. Lots of sensible shoes.
I’m happy to report most of my trousers still zip (they have zippers, anyway). I haven’t needed the emergency buzzer, the clapper or the grabber, although I do appreciate the value of a good pair of support hose. Even though my actual midlife experience isn’t what twenty year old me might have envisioned, I still have some fun, semi-depressing facts about midlife I’d like to share with young women everywhere.
Pay attention, bitches…I’m trying to scare the snot out of you. Why? Do I really need a reason, beyond that it's fun?
Comfort: your underwear’s most important feature
I’m not saying there’s no place in your life and lingerie drawer for sassy, sexy bloomers but comfort is the front runner. Support is a close second. I might still let my freak flag fly on occasion but I’m past the point where I’ll worry if hubs sees me in sensible undies. It is what it is. Thong on for now, but your time is coming. Trust me.
Dark hair sprouts randomly on your face and body
I don’t care if your God-given hair color is platinum blonde. Stray hairs are black and crinkly (kind of like pubes.) Always. It’s a rule or something. Most often sighted on chins, these little suckers can sneak up in other regions.
I have one that appears out of freaking nowhere on my neck. One day it’s not there, the next it’s gently blowing in the breeze. A male coworker once mistook it for string. Joke was on him, it was attached. And yes, he was a hottie because the laws of the universe say that if a male must point out something unflattering, embarrassing or gross about your appearance, he must be attractive so that you can be as mortified as humanly possible.
PSA: rearview mirrors in natural light are optimum for spotting rogue hairs, so tuck a pair of tweezers in your glove box. Obviously, hair reconnaissance missions should happen when the car is not moving. Safety first, ladies. And, plucking while stopped at a light is trashy. Just don’t.
And…I could continue with a detailed description of boob hair, but I'll just leave it there and smile, imagining the panic that little teaser may cause.
Ever-present fear of sneeze-pee fusion
If you’ve given birth, you might remember this one fondly. If you’ve never experienced pregnancy, you’re in for a treat, my sisters. Allow me to spell it out: a sneeze, cough or even a good laugh will make you pee your pants. You never know when your bladder will fail you. You’ll remember all the times you snickered at old ladies trying to discreetly toss Poise pads in their shopping cart. You’ll wonder if the sneeze-pee fusion is karmic ass-biting payback. The answer is yes.
Your high school anthem is now “classic rock”
There is something so sad trombone about the tunes you took your bra off to in the backseat falling firmly into the classic rock category. I’m bracing myself for the day some punk-ass fourteen year old deejay refers to anything sung by Pat Benatar as an oldie. It’ll happen. And, part of me will die a little bit.
While I might need comfier underwear and more alone time with my tweezers, life at midlife is no pity party. I (usually) have enough energy to run after my kids, run a 5K and on a good day, run circles around my younger friends. Sometimes guys still check me out. They might be trying to decide if I need help crossing the street, but hey, let me have my fantasies, m’kay?
Most of my girlfriends in their forties and fifties list sexier sex and more wisdom as perks of being this age. I think it's down to more confidence and just no longer giving a crap what other people think.
It will happen to you, too. You'll be stopped at a red light and get a glimpse of your reflection in the review mirror. You'll notice that long-ass black hair sprouting from your chin as the deejay on the classic rock station announces that Rolling in the Deep is up next. Or, you'll be in Target and your hands will find themselves wrapped around that multi-pack of cotton briefs. You'll say something like “ooh these look nice and comfy.” Wait and see. For now, better stock up on those Poise pads, do your Kegels and squeeze when you sneeze.
You just never know.
Thank you for reading!