10 Questions Every Woman Around 40 Asks Herself

August 20
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It started with photos. I would see one of myself and think, Is that really me? Is that what I look like?

A better way to say that would be, Is that what I look like, now? Now that I am 6 months away from turning 40? After the age of 37, things start to…happen. It’s disorienting. You start to have questions.

Questions like…

1. Why have my intestines betrayed me? 

One day you are chowing on chicken wings and curly fries like a world eating champion; then faster than you can say “Honey, I need more toilet paper,” you are passing on a milkshake because you fear the ramifications. Since when did dairy, onion rings and every third meal you eat become the enemy? Your purse use to hold edgy items like lighters and condoms and now there is barely room for your wallet due to the ziplock baggie filled with healthy gut accoutrement. But you must be prepared – you never know when a plate of tapas is going to call your bluff.

2. Who will invent the girdle panel for jeans?

I am speaking of a very specific product that I would like for someone to invent. Imagine, if you will, a Spanx-eque panel that can be attached to the inside waist of your jeans/pants/maxi skirts and pulled up over the muffin top region. Just 6 inches of stretch fabric that smooths things out a little without being too invasive in the crotch area. Please feel free to patten this idea and make millions. I am too lazy for all that. All I ask is that you send me a lifetime supply at no cost.

3. Why am I still being so nice?

I have recently turned over my bitch leaf and it feels just right. There is no reason to continue being nice to people who don’t deserve niceness. I don’t want to be mean to them, I just don’t need to continue to consider their feelings. Nice is reserved for deserving individuals who reciprocate.

4. What to do about this forehead?

I wrote a little diddy on wanting-notwanting Botox (here) but still have not injected. I keep tossing coins into fountains and wishing for my creams, serums and oils to be to the wrinkles on my forehead what magic erasers are to the crayon marks on my wall.

5. Which mall stores do I look ridiculous perusing?

After conducting some strict research, I can – with confidence – provide women in their late 30’s and beyond, with a list of stores that will ask you if you are buying something for your daughter rather than yourself. They are as follows: Hollister, Aeropostale, American Eagle, Pac Sun, Forever 21, H & M, Buckle, Wet Seal, Hot Topic, Express and Charlotte Russe. This is NOT an omen that it’s time to head into Chico’s or Talbots! There are plenty of wonderful stores and websites that will not shame you.

6. Where did all this rage come from?

In a word: hormones. As in, now those are a concern. Regularly checking them, keeping them balanced, blaming them for all the psychotic outbursts. Who can argue with, “Must be hormones?” when you loose your shit because you stepped out of the room for 3 minutes and someone changed the TV channel, causing you to miss the end of House Hunters and now you will never know if the couple chose the countryside fixer or the move-in ready walk up at the top of their budget. Must. Be. HORMONES!

7. Since when is 11:00PM considered late night?

Ladies, when did we look at the clock, see 10:15PM and think, “Oh man! I better brush my teeth and get in bed, fast! It’s getting late.” It’s just embarrassing.

8. Are you telling me you don’t know who Tootie is?!

You know that blank stare you get when you reference The Facts of Life to millennials? But you don’t dare recommend them digging up old episodes because the charm of Mrs. G and the mild-but-ballsy butchy vibe of Jo will be lost on them. It’s better they just take your word about a boarding school that had high moral expectations and curfews, yet no rules about allowing Tootie to wear roller skates inside.

9. Did I say I would never self-medicate?

That doesn’t sound like me.
Must have been someone else.

10. Why am I wearing flats? 

Of all the things I miss about my younger days, I miss my stomach lining the most (See #1). A close second is my high heels. The first time I stood in my closet, contemplating wearing flats for a night of dancing with my girlfriends, my heart turned to ice and shattered. I have to think about my knees. Specifically, my bad knee. That sonnabitch will not tolerate me poppin’ and lockin’ in a pair of high wedges. Believe me, I have paid to play and spent the following morning icing the ole trick knee.

I’m not going to serve you a slice of embrace the changes pie. I am allowed to be asking these questions and reserve the right to be annoyed with the answers. This is a funny space in life. One that makes me both thrilled and pissed off. One that gives me deep perspective and gratitude, while simultaneously causing melancholy. And bloating. And House Hunters rage.

I plan to hop on my freshly-turned bitch leaf and ride it like a magic carpet through the next 40 years and beyond.

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