Warning, this post is about girly stuff, and time of the month and flow and bad skin, so be warned. If you are squeamish, come back tomorrow. Just know this is part of a being a woman, and sometimes you just have to talk about it. Because our mothers didn't talk about it, and now, we have to find all of our information on Google! More autism posts to come, but today we are discussing getting older and how much it sucks.
I didn't start my period until I was 15 and a half. I was the last of my friends and I used to read Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume and just lament the fact that that special thing that makes me a woman hadn't happened to me yet. When it finally did, I was so excited, I just about told my father! (but I didn't tell him because, come on, my dad??) Also, he would have been absolutely mortified. He was a bit reserved, a firm gruff Army guy. Don't show weakness, never let them see you sweat. When I kissed him goodnight, it was on the forehead. So, yeah, telling Daddy all about my period? Not such a hot idea.
Ok, so like I said, I was 15 when I started, and I started with a vengeance. For years, I have had very heavy bleeding, 7 days, we are talking the Superwoman plugs. Right. I used to get cramps so bad in high school that I popped Advil like candy. Very hideous. Sometimes, I would even stay home, but I didn't get to do that very often. My mother was more the slave driver "If you aren't dead you can make it to school" type. So I suffered for womanhood every 28 days, like clockwork, spent 7 days sloughing off the dead lining of my uterus and called it part of Being a Woman. I got used to it.
After my 3rd child, I started slowing down a bit. It was nice. Now, no longer did a period last an entire week, I was down to 5 days. And a bit lighter flow, which was also a welcome change. Getting older has some perks, I suppose. But with age, comes your child growing as well. Which is all well and good, unless they are female and teenage, then they start the whole process as well.
I pride myself upon being a strong woman. When I was in an office environment, I was usually the strong hormone leader, and women would line up behind my cycle. (Did you know this happens? When many women work closely together their cycles will coincide, with one woman being the evolutionary hormonal leader.) I was the driver, and of course, right? And then SHE showed up on the scene. My daughter.
In the last year, she has played havoc with my cycles, and it is killing me. This last time, I was done. Done, I tell you! And just a few days later, I started my cycle all over again. And it is because she was PMSing and now is the young, fertile (ack I don't like using that word in the context of my daughter!) strong hormone woman. And I? I am a crone.
I am only 42. (and I am staying that age, after all, it is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...so only anniversaries from now on..the 1st Anniversary of my 42nd year and so on). I have noticed in the last few months that I have moles and brown spots I didn't have before. My wonderful smooth skin isn't so smooth anymore. Even on my eyelids, I have little bumps that make putting on eye makeup a pain in the butt. Don't get me wrong, YOU can't see these things. They aren't that noticeable. But I can tell, and it is bugging me! I now have a bump on the side of my nose that wasn't there a year ago. I see little laugh lines (bull, they are wrinkles you can't fool me) around my eyes. I look tired. In short, I look kind of like my mom!
This is not okay with me! My mom is old! And I am young! Vibrant! Energetic! I feel like those hot young 24 year olds! Except...
About six months ago, I wasn't feeling very well. I was running an errand and had a cold. I stopped in at Starbucks to pick up a chai tea latte, one of my favorite pick-me-ups when I am feeling under the weather, and noticed a schlumpy woman in Jamba Juice as I walked by. She was about my age, but was wearing a green velour sweatsuit. Her hair was back in a ponytail and she didn't look well. My thought was, "Wow, that woman is really letting herself go." And then I realized, I was looking at my own reflection! Yeah.
I think I have some sort of Body Morph Disorder. Many women look in the mirror and are appalled by what they see. I look in the mirror and see someone hotter than she really is. That day in front of Jamba Juice was a rude awakening. I am no longer young and hot. (if I ever was) I am growing old. Now I suppose I could just lie down and die, or grow old gracefully but I refuse to do that, I am too stubborn. Instead, I will just continue to be hot, thank you very much. Even if that hotness is just in my own mind. Sex (ack! She said THAT word) is pretty great at 40+... and youth truly is wasted on the young. If I could take my knowledge at 42 back to when I was 22, I would be unstoppable. But, since I can't do that, I have to settle for my new title, a badge of honor, and let the silly 20 year olds be young and insecure.They don't want to play with me anymore...to them, I am old. That's hard to accept. I am secure in my age, now I just have to become secure in my image.
T, who asks who that middle-aged woman is in the mirror