People often tell me I don’t look my age.
Just today, in a conversation with an acquaintance, I said something in reference to my teenage years, and attempted to include him in the conversation with, “at OUR age…”. He shook his head yes, and I asked, “we’re both the same-ish age, right? I’m 42.” He nods, as if to acquiesce our being similar in age, then says, “I wouldn’t have said you’re 42. I figured we were around the same age…I’m 38…I would’ve pegged you for late 30’s.” I gave the obligatory thanks and went about my business.
Weirdest. Compliment. EVER, the whole “you don’t look your age” business.
Don’t get me wrong, this guy meant well, but THAT’S what we choose to commend women for as they age? Like, congratulations you old bat! You’ve out run the most common, outward signs of aging and probably had a decent start with good genes and effective skincare regiment, but here’s a medal anyway for inheriting your grandmother’s clear skin and discovered the benefits of using Oil of Olay twice a day.
Look at me, winning at life, keeping Proctor and Gamble in the black. GEEEEEEEEENIUS.
Here’s the thing, though, and this may come as a shock since society tells us that, as women, we need to preserve our youth AT ALL COSTS, that once we hit the age of 35, it’s all Botox and eye serum and root touch up and concealer and contour and skirts to *there* and swimdresses, but…I LOVE being my age. Of all the ages I’ve reached so far, this one? 42? Is the best one yet, BY FAR.
Sure, I got my license at 16, but that’s when I got super dumped by my then high school boyfriend (Hi Steve!) and 18 was a bust because my college girlfriends and I discovered the only real things you can do on your 18th birthday is vote, legally sign a contract, buy smokes, and rent porn. We did two of those, and I won’t say which, but suffice to say politics nor putting legal pen to paper were not on our minds then. 21 was a bust, as I spent it in a dive bar, in Boston, drinking something called a “Red Death”, which tasted JUST like Hawaiian Punch with a bonus vomitous hangover. I got married at 27, and we all know how that turned out. Had my kids at 30, and while that particular event ranks preeeeetty dang high on my list, it was newborn twin induced blur and don’t remember much, except for the post partum depression and bonus anti-anxiety meds. I got divorced for my 40th birthday. At almost 41, I met the love of my life, and that takes us to present, 42, the best age I’ve been thus far.
There’s magic in the number 42, some say it holds the secret of the universe, which, if that means finally mastering the subtle art of disguising my double chin with bronzer, sitting comfortably, alone, in a Starbucks, sipping a coffee and chuckling aloud at a Facebook post where my sister worked in the phrase “dick touchers”, or the excitement of auto payments notifications, then look no further for the answer to life.
All this to say, why not just compliment my ass, instead. It’s just easier for everyone.