Anne Notations

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Turn, turn, turn

This ol' graying dog knows how to age well: Get plenty of rest.

A friend asked in his blog recently:

What is your true feeling about getting older, staying attracted (or attractive) to your mate, and what's your general sense of how women are treated when they venture into their 30s and 40s?

First of all, I think it's a shame we waste mental and emotional energy worrying about being physically attractive as defined by society's standard du jour. On the other hand, I realize competition for mates during our fecund years is hardwired in us and magnified by the popular media.

Perhaps I was deluded, but I continued to feel OK looking in midlife. Yes, I was overweight, except for several shining years in my mid 40s when I did the medically supervised Optifast diet and felt like Da Bomb. But even with those pounds back on, I didn't feel grotesque. I continued to wax flirtatious. (Hmm. Maybe that was grotesque.)

Now I'm over the hill or the hump; postmenopausal, whatever. The hormone train has left this station for good. The weird thing is, and please listen up, young'uns: IT'S FINE. When the crazy hormones ebb, so does the time-wasting obsession with looks, sex, the "chase." Construction guys no longer stare when I walk by? Thank God. I'll always be "Ma'am" and never "Miss" to store clerks? ¡No hay problema! I would have sworn in my libidinous 20s I would never feel such equanimity about the fading of my bloom, but it turns out that to everything there really is a season.

At 58, it's my season to try a new career challenge, enjoy the empty nest with the last kid off to college next week, experience being a grandma, relax in the companionship of my husband and friends and relatives. And I can do so without being preoccupied with how I look, what people think, when I last had sex, how high the heels on my shoes are (answer: low), how much cellulite is on my backside, and whether I "dare" get into a bathing suit.

We live a few hundred yards from a beach, and you better believe I'm putting my trunk-junk in my big ol' Speedo and going in the water. I had my day as a nubile young thing rockin' a bikini. Now I am the happy lady splashing like a manatee alongside our aging mutt and bumptious granddaughter. Whee!

Please read this Grace Paley poem. It shows – brilliantly, wryly, honestly – what I have tried to tell.


  • I spent my 20's, 30's, and 40's worrying about weight, clothes, body image, etc... Now that I'm in my 50's I want to lose weight for health issues. No, I'll never bee a size 8 again but I don't truly care. Being healthy for my family is what matters most to me...

    By Blogger r_weeks, at Mon Aug 23, 12:22:00 PM EDT  

  • I love this. You have echoed my experience to a "T".

    By Blogger bozoette, at Wed Aug 25, 02:14:00 PM EDT  

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