Never Say This to a Middle-Aged Woman
Why did I spend all of my years under the age of 50 not appreciating the simple things that just happened with no effort like how my hair was always glossy, all my clothes fit and I could put on underwear without pulling a muscle in my back? Middle age sucks. Every day is a struggle between the way you see yourself and the way society perceives you.
A few years ago, I walked into a restaurant with a much younger group of co-workers who were treating me for my birthday. After the second glass of wine one of them inquired, “so how old are you, anyway?”, to which I replied without hesitation “I’m 50” to which he responded, (caption below)
I thought about that comment for a minute. Why did I just feel like I’d been punched in the gut? Why am I not considered to be prettier now because I am wiser, more thoughtful, more talented, more curious, kinder, funnier, wittier, well-read, an established entrepreneur, a world traveler… Why do I let the comments of people I hardly know challenge my self esteem now? It’s hard enough not to see the “young me” when I look in the mirror without having it pointed out to me over my favorite bottle of Rioja. The mirror and I have a hate/hate relationship because it forces me to see myself as I really am instead of how I feel - which is the same as I felt when I was in my 30’s. But the curves are less curvy, the smile lines are deeper, the hair has silver sparkles and I always, always look like I haven’t sleep well in a year (Have you been sick? No, I’m just not wearing makeup). I am my own worst critic and I don’t need the bad shit that I say to myself to be confirmed by someone who barely knows me.
So I took a deep breath and said to him, “I’m as pretty as I’ve always been and you’re probably the same asshole you’ve always been”. I smiled cheekily, grabbed my handbag and swished over to the convertible Porsche that I bought myself with my own money and drove home to the condo I bought myself with my own money, a place where I could look around and be proud of all that I have accomplished as a strong, healthy, independent middle-aged woman.
I have a lot to be proud of that has nothing to do with my looks.
Mid-life, I punch you in the face. And that goes for rude assholes, too.