Manolo says, it is Tuesday and you are back at your desk doing whatever it is you do to earn you this day your daily bread.
“How’s it going,” asks your coworker/friend Jennifer.
“Meh.” You answer, with the semi-theatrical, head-tilting, shoulder shrug.
“Meh?” she answers, her palms up, “or, meh?” With the palms down.
“Meh,” you reply with the lugbrious eye-ball roll.
And this pretty well describes your 2009 thus far. Meh.
Things could be worse. Things could be better. Meh.
You have the job, even if the last round of layoffs came perilously close.
Your children are doing well in school, even though their incredibly dextrous thumbs never stop with the incessant texting, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Your husband still loves you, even though his pot belly, nostril hair, and curmudgeonly old man behavior grow with each passing season.
And, you, you still have your health, even if each morning the mirror mocks your slowly decaying flesh.
And this, perhaps, is the main reason for all of the meh-ing: the certain knowledge that you are undeniably part of the entropic system. What was once so young and supple has now begun to slip into chaos.
Isn’t forty supposed to be the year when all of this starts to happen? Isn’t that the turning point for women?
Ha! Forty is nothing. At forty you were still aglow with the final autumnal flush of youth!
No, no, no. It is after 45 when the cruel, implacable nature of the universe is finally and fully revealed to women. It is then that everything begins to spin away; it then when the leaves–so fresh in spring, so beautiful in autumn–finally begin to fall from the tree and wither upon the ground.
Everyone talks about old men, but, men, what do they know from aging?
Look at your man Gary, standing out on the lawn yelling at the neighbor kids. He still struts around like the cock-of-the-walk, with his pleated, XXL, big-boy khakis hiked up around his armpits. He is still confident in his physical person, still convinced of his own desirability, even if he is now beginning to look like the hairier version of Alfred Hitchcock.
Men can go on believing they are 23 right up until the very end, until Death knocks them down mid-stride, stands over the corpse and shouts, “How you like them beans, old man!!!”
No, it is women who suffer the most from the aging process, from its inevitabity and unfairness.
You thought you had made it through the most difficult part of life and emerged on the other side the fully-formed and capable adult woman–confident in your own abilities and opinions, able to meet any challenge and over come it.
But this, this is different. There is no overcoming it, only endurance until the final day
Ayyyy! Such depressing and morbid thoughts! Look at you, you were never so vain. Imagine how much worse things would be if you were some Holllywood starlet, whose looks were all she had?
No. Emphatically NO!
There are models for aging gracefully, for remaing vital and useful and full of life even into advanced old age. (And you are still very, very far from that.)
So, pick one! Or make your own!
Have your little pity party and then get on with living your life.
In the meantime, look, beautiful sandals from Stella McCartney!
Proof that God wishes us to be happy!