A woman realizes she is becoming middle aged.
Nothing stings as much as truth uttered in cruel innocence by a child’s sweet voice. Damn kids. I was living in perfect oblivion until that fateful summer day when my thirteen year old son made a horrible observation.
“Ewww, Mom! Your skin is all crinkly like Grandma’s.” A look in the mirror confirmed his perfect vision. A closer inspection revealed many more age related defects in my appearance. Bottom line: I’d been hit by the middle age uglies. I promptly canceled our trip to the beach.
I began to wonder how long I’d been parading around in this droopy suit. I’d recently begun to experience hot flashes, volcanic hot flashes that sent lava rivers of sweat down my neck and back, and left my face glowing like a lump of campfire coal. No one warned me the heat from these flashes could actually melt your skin from the inside out!
How many times had I felt flattered by some man’s glance at my décolletage, when in fact he was thinking "now there's a woman who needs to invest in a turtleneck"? I suddenly understood the angst of women who make the complaint “I gave him the best years of my life, and he stole my youth!” How many times had I neglected to apply moisturizer, or sun screen, in the mad rush to meet the needs of everyone else while he waited impatiently in the car? Honking the horn no less! (My husband!) How many times had I given up exercise, rest, or healthy eating because it wasn’t convenient for the rest of the family? (Stole!) How many times did I leave the house looking like a refugee because there were too many things to be done, and not enough time in which to do them, and no one else who could manage to accomplish the tasks? How many times did I think, “I’ll make time for myself tomorrow?” (My Youth!)
Well tomorrow is here, and it isn’t pretty. Pretty? Suddenly I thought of the young, blond cashier at the grocery store . . . I’m sure I’ve seen my husband looking at her with an admiring glance. And those exercise commercials on TV! He always pauses longer than necessary when flipping through the channels. That ungrateful rat! All these years of hurrying me out of the house without proper time to prepare, and discouraging my gym attendance because it interfered with his schedule, and complaining about the beauty products piled up on the bathroom counter!
“You’re pretty enough, you don’t need that stuff. Now hurry up, we’re going to be late!” he would say. “You don’t need to go to the gym. Just eat less. And don’t watch so much TV,” he would preach from his recliner as his fingers poked the remote, adding “while you’re up, could you get me some chips?” Now he’s ogling other women?!
My unfortunate husband chose that moment to arrive home. He then made the fatal mistake of saying “Hi Honey.”
A year has passed since my husband’s accident. I console myself by living the life we had envisioned when we took our vows. Between the insurance policy and the sale of the house, I endure quite pleasantly. Panama is a restful change of pace, and a beautiful place to live.
The men here love women, in all their glorious stages, which is a refreshing change from the youth worshipping society fostered in the USA. I have discovered that the company of men is much more enjoyable when they remain company! Yes, life is good. My son is meeting new friends at boarding school. And, I almost always remember to take my estrogen now.