The one thing in life I am more and more convinced of is that sometimes I really need a warning label. The problem is – I never can think of just one. This warning label would need to be more like a scrolling LED sign that hangs around my neck that can be changed on a daily basis, but I’m sure if you asked my hubby or parasites (children for those nicer than me) they would probably say it would need an auto change by the second. I’m sure if you asked them it would read regularly -“she’s just crazy- so deal with at own risk”
The reason I’ve decided to warn you about my warning labels (today) is that I’m gonna actually talk (out loud) about that ever so disturbing and even more aggravating thing called “MIDDLE AGE”. Now for most these words have a simple enough definition. It simply refers to the middle part of your life. Generations ago (I’m going with the Dark Ages cause it makes me feel better about getting old), when the average life expectancy was about 45 or 50, middle age landed squarely in your 20’s. However in today’s world where the average life expectancy is starting to push the 80’s the definition of middle aged has changed significantly. Now middle aged is considered your 40’s and 50’s.
Now if you are a woman under the age of 35 – I would highly suggest you stop reading this very second!! You are having fun and living in the prime of your life. There is absolutely no reason for you to know that these horrid things I’m going to talk about are going to happen to you regardless of all of your efforts to the contrary. Just keep having fun and living in your dream world – if for no other reason that us middle aged folks can look at you lovingly and smile. We smile not because of the memories or the longing, but just because we know what’s coming for you and we giggle at your oblivion.
What brought this to the forefront for me tonight was I got the rare chance to speak with one of my girlfriends from college. As we age this gets harder and harder to accomplish- not because we don’t want too- but life just gets in the way. A full time job, 3 parasites with a million things “that have to be done” , a hubby “with needs” , a million loads of laundry and dishes, and a household to run just take entirely too much of my time! Yes I know you’re asking how I got time to write this- well let’s just say the household part is a mess!! Someone once wrote that boring women have immaculate houses…………. Well let’s just say I’m far from boring!!
I digress…. back to my conversation with my girlfriend.
We talked about our parasites. She has a few older than mine so I listened intently so maybe I will know what’s coming. You know what I learned? I need a MUCH bigger savings account!!! We talked about our mutual friends. Guess what I learned? Absolutely nothing different- people don’t change – they just get more resolute in their ways. We talked about our families. I learned we still care about each other and our worlds and have great memories of each others extended families.
We were laughing and talking and talking and laughing and then somehow “getting older” became part of the conversation. I’m sure it came up talking about the parasites or maybe just in the normal conversation, but it came up just the same.
That’s when the laughing started to sound more in the hysterical dimension.
How I know it got louder was two of the parasites walked in (because they are nosy) and whispered “Who are you talking to” and “How do you like my haircut?” and “I need to be a school early” and “”Can you help me with my homework? etc etc Haven’t you ever heard the rule “If mom is actually having fun we must ruin it or bother her immediately”? Children seem to come out of the womb with this Super Power!!
Oops- I digress again
Why we were laughing so hard is the “very” normal conversation that middle aged women have been having for generations (that we just didn’t know was coming), but is here just same. It’s the dirty little secret (ok- not so secret) of middle aged women everywhere……………………
Bladder control is a thing only for the youth!!
We laughed because we couldn’t cough, sneeze, run, jump or in any way move too fast anymore without having an accident. We laughed that when we went grocery shopping now we walked by the Depends aisle and actually considered buying them, but still clung to the idea that a pad should work just fine. (Hey don’t judge some women actually need the extra baggage in the rear department- I might of already bought them, but sadly I’m not one of those women) We laughed about the pee-pee dance (for those of you that aren’t aware -it’s that dance we all do that try’s to convince ourselves we can actually make it the 10 feet to the bathroom, but still fail) We laughed that we spent about half of our time either in the bathroom or looking for the bathroom (we used to look for our kids, but now we actively just look for bathrooms) Basically we just laughed about the joys – or not so joys- of creaking knees, hurting joints, and the pee pee dance.
As I was laughing so hard tears were running down my face and pee was running down my leg I learned the most valuable lesson of all……………. “Getting Older Sucks”, BUT going through it with good friends makes all the difference. It decides whether it’s miserable or a joke. It decides whether it stops your progress or just inhibits it a tad. It decides if you fight the inevitable or accept it with giggles. All I know now is I won’t grimace next week when I pass the Depends aisle- I think I’ll smile and giggle cause I have friends I can “DEPENDS” on!!
I am luckier than most and my job allows me to work from my home, Being in sales I am usually running around the city in appointments and cussing traffic, but every now and then there is a day where I have no appointments and spend my day on conference calls and doing busy work. I wake up, get the kids off to school, drink a pot of coffee, turn on the computer, start work, and basically sit at my desk in front of my computer on the phone in pajama’s and bath robe until noon. Needless to say on these days I am a beautiful bed head site. My hair has been known to accomplish sticking straight out a good 6 inches all the way around my head. If you just saw me you would think I had been struck by lightening during the night. I have red hair so if you add in the no make-up factor and pale skin I could pass for the scariest clown at the circus. I can make toddlers cry at 40 paces.
Now as I work I usually have the TV on in the background for “the noise” factor. I don’t know about you, but living with 4 other humans, 2 dogs, a bird, a lizard, and a container full of crickets has suddenly made me deathly afraid of things being too quiet. If the house gets too quiet I start to hyperventilate and start to feel a panic attack coming. I am convinced the old saying “the quiet before the storm” wasn’t written about the weather. It was written by a mother of boys who knew good and well if she had 5 minutes of peace it would be shortly interrupted by an explosion or a trip to the ER (or both). So I keep the TV on for the noise so I can relax.
I very rarely pay much attention to the noise that is going on in the background. This is not really a hard feat- (have you seen daytime TV lately?) It’s a string of mindless talk shows where we talk about celebrities dresses, divorces, meditation and yoga techniques. If they aren’t just sitting there talking they are cooking and talking. Basically daytime TV has turned into every party I’ve been to since my thirties. The women just stand around in the kitchen and chat and graze on snacks, I don’t understand or really even remember when that change happened. Suddenly just one day we went from males and females all together in the living room hanging out and talking to the women in the kitchen and males on the deck. I think it’s just be hardwired into the human brain when we turn thirty or maybe by then we have just been married long enough we are craving company of our own kind. I do have days when I think: OH please for the love of God can I have an estrogen adult conversation. Oop- wandering again, back to topic.
Now my favorite part about day time TV is absolutely none of the commercials are written for me. I am not even close to any of their demographics. I am convinced the advertisers believe the ONLY people in America who ever even turn on a TV during the day consist in three categories:
1) New moms
3) You have been in a horrible accident
Now I am thankful I do not fit any of these demographics. I have NO need now for baby toys, wipes, or diapers nor do I ever want to again. The only time I will ever buy these again (if they aren’t on a registry) is hopefully for my grandkids and based on the ages of my own parasites let’s hope and pray that’s after the AARP card comes in the mail. I don’t qualify yet for AARP even though my body feels a hundred every morning as my knees creak as I go down the stairs. Maybe the qualifications should change from age to body noises. I could send them in a tape of my bones and I’m pretty sure they would gladly send me a card. I could use the discounts on hotel rooms.Now my personal favorite are the injury attorneys. These guys must spend 100% of their entire advertising budgets between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. They are approximately 1/3 of all commercials on during the day. They don’t spend much of that budget on the commercials, just on the time. The commercials are poorly put together. They are all the same. The attorney tells you how he’s going to fight for you and get you more money. Then a few testimonials from people that got astronomical amounts of money (which are usually ugly enough that they could be real- they can’t possibly be professional actors) Then the attorney comes back with the disclaimer that he can’t guarantee you that much. If you listen to their commercials you can sue for anything. Today one in particular perked up my ears. They wanted me to sue if I had ever used talcum powder and got cancer because it is based on a new study. Of course it wasn’t that simple, but talcum powder? Hasn’t pretty much everyone here used powder at some point in their lives? How did this study accomplish getting a control group? Did they start at births in 1968 and tell certain moms they couldn’t use powder on their babies butts and tell other moms to go to town with the powder? Did they follow these children for the last 40 years and tell the adults in the control group – I know you have jock itch, but sorry no powder for you? Who even thought to file for grant money to study the link between cancer and powder? Was it a guy who had a lot of issue’s and used a lot of powder and got cancer and thought “hmmm- I’m sure it wasn’t the fact I smoked 30 years that caused this- it must be the powder?” Heaven forbid it not be “just cuz” Whatever happened to “Just Cuz”? Somethings in life just can’t be explained or sued away. Who can explain why certain people can eat horrid food and never have high cholesterol while other people can eat just raw veggies and be off the chart? Why do some people who exercise and are in great health fall over dead from a heart attack? Who can explain why some people can smoke, or I guess now use powder, for 60 years and never develop cancer why other people do? Who can explain why certain parents can raise 2 great kids and one complete cluster while raising them the same? Somethings really just have no correct answer nor can there be anyone or anything to blame- sometimes the answers really are “JUST CUZ”