One would think that my reward for living through The Legwarmers Incident was that I could then embrace my inner Old Fart. Just so that I could feel really comfortable with the fact that, really, I’m not 28, and a mother of two doesn’t do beer bongs or let any guy do a shot from her chest. (No, Whit, not even her husband.) Responsible mothers don’t drool over the long-haired guy on Friday Night Lights. Middle-aged women go to church and balance the checkbook and put the right food groups in front of their kids. Own it, Julie. Love it.
Well, I can’t. I think it sucks. There’s no way I can be in my forties but really feel like I’m in my twenties.
So I started to look for signs that maybe I’m not actually 41. That maybe, really, the aliens did land, and I was 28, and they just stole my body and replaced it with the 41-year-old me.
This is what I found:
I’ve begun sleeping with my mouth hanging open. That's not a hallmark of youth, is it? And want to know how I realized I do this? Because Jack has been getting in our bed in the mornings, and I will feel a little finger gently hook under my chin and close my mouth. Which then falls open again. Which he shuts again. It takes about ten minutes of this to fully make me wake up, and he thinks it’s huge entertainment. (“MOM!! Five times today! Yesterday it was six! You’re getting better!”)
Then I wondered why I have trained myself to sleep on my back instead of on my side, which is how I used to sleep. And realized that oh, yeah, sleeping on my back helps with the wrinkle situation.
Sigh. It’s not looking good.
Wait a minute, I then remembered, my (old old old) grandmother had this crazy baggy skin you could mound up into a peak and it would stay frozen like that for a couple of seconds, just a little mountain of skin on the back of her hand. If I’m 28, that won’t work on me, right?
It mounded and held for a good second or two.
While investigating the mounded skin on the back of my hands, I saw a new freckle. Or – gulp – it might be a little baby age spot.
And when I get up in the morning (or even, frankly, off the couch after a long stint), it hurts to walk. That’s right. The soles of my feet hurt hitting the floor. My hip hurts.
And I have a weird pain in my elbow. It only manifests itself when I am watching the news in my bed in the morning and I try to reach my coffee cup on my bedside table, but still. It hurts. It didn’t used to hurt.
I realized next that sometimes, if I’m not paying attention and I laugh really hard, I can have a little accident. And, before you rush in to comfort me and tell me that happens after you have babies, you can just hold it (get it? ha ha ha) right there because I had c-sections AND my youngest is almost seven and this just started.
Oh. My. God. Add it up. It’s as plain as day.
I am NOT a fun party girl in my late twenties, I’m an incontinent, gaping, aching, wrinkly, complaining middle-aged woman in my early forties.
I don't even know what to do with this revelation. Book the Chippendales for my 42nd birthday? Buy Metamucil at Costco? Stockpile adult diapers as they go on sale?
No. If you know me, you know exactly what I'm going to do.
I'm gonna party like it's 1998.