My forties are…in progress.
Gone are the maintenance-free days of rolling out of bed to spring straight into the day. Once having lived life like a fluttering fairy, appearing spry and alive is now a commitment more complicated than marriage. It’s a multi-act production not fit for the weak or weary.
A small village of hard-working elves is now required to keep this piece in check. A fortune spent primping and seeking repair– it takes wax and sealant, potions and professionals, like salvaging aged art that can go either way. Should my commitment waiver or worse, the truth will quickly arrive: A chubbier version of The Simpson’s Mr. Burns. A Something About Mary’s Magda. The look: Hollywood homeless.
Traveling without an emergency hair removal kit in the car console is no longer safe. My rear-view mirror taunts me. It weaves between the role of friend and foe and I never quite know what it will reveal. (How two-faced.) Delighted one day and frightened the next, surprises are always lurking! A sunspot, a dry spot, a wiry hair– I don’t care for this game.
Lip gloss and lashes.
Self-tanners and toners.
Night creams and day creams.
And far too much ice cream…
(Eek, that wasn’t on the plan!)
Yo-Yo diets that endlessly fail.
Too much attention to the size of my tail.
Sit-ups and squats are no longer fun.
I’m not sure I’m able to shrink my ever-expanding bum.
Pedicures and Aquaphor and shaving with cream.
Waxing and concealing and rowing machines.
Appointments and scheduling,
The commitments obscene.
You’d think I was working the Hollywood scene.
It’s all so… exhausting!
On the bright (Sunny!) side– there’s my hair! Despite that it grays at the speed of light and to air dry would leave you aghast, thanks to a killer stylist and a butt-load of cash, my hair looks better than it did in my twenties. It straightens and it curls, it crimps and keratins. It holds blond like the Barbie I once wished I was. My hair is my glory, my literal crown.
For all my wishes to be at peace with where I stand in time, my actions are proving otherwise! Like an amateur alchemist, I continue to fiddle and futz with the prospect of youth. Endlessly seeking non-surgical solutions to slow down the symptoms of time.
There’s that ironic twist– when we look back at snaps of our earlier days. Perplexed at how fresh and fair we appeared, we were radiating with youth! Thirty back to twenty. Forty longingly at thirty. I imagine I’ll read this back a decade from now and cringe with irritated disbelief. (What a queen.)
For now, I will bat my eyes and fluff my hair. Offering the illusion of youth, they’ll keep the eye from straying to the trainwreck brewing below.
I, too, feel bad about my neck, and arms, and tummy, and– you get the point. I’ll aim to grow older (and bigger) with humility and grace, but you really can’t blame a girl for trying!
. . . . . . . . . .
Nora Ephron is my Spirit Animal. The author of every girl’s favorite romantic comedies: Sleepless In Seatle, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Julia & Julia to name a few. She is EVERYTHING. I am enthralled in her work and her life; I want to know all the details. (She’s my Julia Childs of Julia & Julia.) Her style of writing, production, her voice– it resonates to the core.
Creative in so many ways, I Feel Bad About My Neck (And Other Thoughts On Being Woman) is my new fave. Honesty wrapped so perfectly in levity and wit. Stories of perspective and moments in time.
I see myself in Nora’s writing. I laughed (hard!) and made connections in so many ways. One lesson, in particular, I had already known– I just needed somebody else to say it: Everything Is Content. It’s a validation that I had to hear. The fat on my butt, the flowers in my garden, how I feel about eggs (I love them, by the way). It’s all part of my story.
I, too, feel bad about my neck– but I no longer feel bad about telling you about it.
Here’s to Ms. Ephron for writing the path! (Pun intended.) For your honesty, humor, your love of food, and romantic ingenuity (which will never allow a man to live up to a girl’s unachievable romantic standard), I thank you. Cheers!
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The Bellini was Nora’s favorite cocktail; it’s fruity, fun & fabulous.
Sparkling wine & a splash of peach puree– that’s all it takes!
Served beside the comically coordinated Little Neck Clams– so fitting for an afternoon delight.
All we need is Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks and the deal will be sealed! Should they be unable to attend, it’s perfectly appropriate for a party for one.
Grab your Book, Bevie & Bite. You’re in for a real treat. ~Cheers!
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