The last couple of days delivered me a one-two punch with compliments regarding my “new” age of 40. I haven’t really thought much about it since my actual birthday, which was over two weeks ago. When I do think of it, honestly, it is from a place of sincere gratitude for all that my life has given me so far. There is so much love in my life, mainly from my family and a handful of close friends. There are also many people I think of often, and want to find more time for…childhood friends, college friends, you know who you are. I digress, so let me return to the story, which begins this past Friday night…
En route to Vermont, we stopped at a quaint town off of Route 89 for a family dinner and some groceries. Gordie took the children in to the restaurant while I did the shopping. I took the opportunity to embrace the NH live-free-or-die mantra and stocked up on wine. How great is it that NH sells alcohol right there next to the mac and cheese and canned soup? Fabulous, I say! I arrived at the checkout with a fairly full cart, to be greeted by a cashier who looked as if she might be headed to the DMV for her learner’s permit at any given moment. She made my day when she asked to see my ID. “Oh,” I gushed in my let’s-pretend-I-have-any-smidge-of-acting-ability-voice, “You just made my day! I turned 40 last week! I’d LOVE to show you my ID.” No sooner had the words come out of my mouth then I could see the wheels turning in her mind. I could suddenly envision her texting a friend from the break room, “Middle-aged women can be so weird. I hope I’m not like that when I’m 40…LOL”. A few seconds passed, and she looked at me as if she was face-to-face with something more dull than an 11th grade chemistry textbook. Her voice flat, she replied, “M’am, I card anyone who looks to be around 45 or younger. Thanks for your cooperation.” The only thing that helped me get out of the place good was the fact that I was looking good in my (first pair of) skinny jeans. Bring it, sister…45, my ass.
Having fully dusted myself off from that kerfuffle, I invited my youngest daughter, Hadley, to help me paint a chair today on the deck. The weather is amazing in New England right now, which has me so excited to be outside checking some of these projects off of my list. We painted together a bit, and then I realized that she, at 5, would be better equipped to be my “assistant”. Her job was to find all the spots I was missing. She quickly found one underneath, so I leaned down and then in with my brush. I was pretty certain that I touched the wet paint with my hair, so I quickly jerked my head upright. “Hadley, can you check my hair carefully? I think I just got paint in it.” She stood up and slowly walked towards where I was kneeling, and inspected my head. “Mom, I don’t see any green. I just see a bunch of white and grey hairs mixed in with your brown hair. I think you’re all set.” My eyes were as big as saucers. Had my daughter just told me I was going grey? It’s a good thing I have little eyes to see these things I may be missing. I played the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz, and I can assure you that the salt and peppered look is something I will not be embracing anytime soon. Vanity, above all else, will win out when it comes to my hair.
It’s funny, I don’t feel old (yet). If the apple falls close to the tree, I won’t anytime soon either. Today my mother sent me a clipping from her local paper with her picture. She just completed 4,000 miles of swimming laps at her YMCA. She is in the pool early five days a week, and is one of the most fit women her age that I know. You’re only as old as you feel!