Bad Bikini Planning

Posted: April 29th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Misc Neuroses | No Comments »

A few weeks ago I was listening to NPR and they were saying that 30 years ago the mini-series Roots had aired. And I was thinking to myself, wow that is really weird that I remember having watched that when I was just six!

Later that day I realized I wasn’t six when Roots aired. I was nine. But in my mind I’m apparently still 36, despite the reality of my 40th birthday approaching just next week.

It’s funny to think of the things that you thought you would be doing at this age when you were younger. I remember being not even that young–just new to SF and about 25. And I was thinking of the situation that I’d be in when the new millennium came–like what I’d be doing for that New Year’s Eve. And even then–just 15 years ago–I was totally off base. Since I’d be 33 I figured I’d be married and have not one, but somehow I envisioned possibly even being pregnant with a second child–for that big New Year. I thought that my concept of NYE (though I’ve never been a huge fan) would be totally altered by my probable state of soccer-momness.

It turned out I spent that New Year’s Eve at a party at Mike and Lorin’s loft in Brooklyn. I was unmarried and single, wearing a blonde wig and had “tattooed” 2000 on my bicep in black Sharpie. And I spent the evening discoing into the new millennium in a sea of gay men, many who were also similarly clad in wigs. Let’s just say if a soccer mom was there she woulda called the cops (and definitely not sat directly on the toilet seat).

I guess it’s somewhat comforting knowing that time marches on and I’m still my same self. I guess at the age of 40 I am somehow different, in that I am married and I’m a mom. And those concepts that were so unfamiliar to me at one point even when I was living them, don’t seem so weird now. So I guess change does happen.

My Aunt Mary, whose not really an Aunt, is a remarkable woman. She is turning 88 the day before my birthday and the woman is a pistol. She takes care of her 93-year-old sister, she goes out to breakfast and lunch every day with her posse the self-named Morning Glories. She cooks like a homestyle Italian gourmet and is funny and charming and energetic and wonderful with babies and children. She knows dozens of kids songs and little games the words of which I try to remember for even a day after seeing her and I never seem to.

At any rate, I’d called her once for a recipe a few years ago from the car. Mark was driving and I remember thinking that I shouldn’t really get into a long conversation with her, but she started talking to me and I got reeled in. She said she’d been somewhere that day–a restaurant or store–and the guy who worked there must have taken one look at “this little old lady” and starting talking to her like she was deaf and/or retarded. I mean, the woman is sharp as a tack, and her hearing is perfect. She said it was so sad to her, because in her mind she is nowhere near as old as her age belies. She feels the same as she did decades ago–but she’s in this old lady body now–and it’s frustrating making people understand when they get her all wrong.

I’m hopeful that once I’m 40 people at the movie theater won’t be offering me senior citizen discounts. And nothing I’ve felt has come close to the story she told me that day which was so honest and heartfelt. But on some levels I’ve already surprised myself by thinking, “Wow. This is what 40 is like? Who knew?”

When I was working at an agency back in the Internet boom, I was out at a celebratory dinner with a team after launching a website. We were at Buca di Beppo drinking cheap wine and acting like we owned the place. At one point in the revelry some junior HTML developer type asked me how old I was, and when I said 32 he looked at me all boozy and amazed and said, “Wow. What’s that like?” It cracked me up because I knew when he got there he’d realize it wasn’t much different from being 26, or whatever he was. You just live with less roommates and hopefully own a car and can spend money more freely at Target.

On Sunday Mark went for a bike ride and I took Kate to Macy’s so I could find a bathing suit for our upcoming trip to Belize. Upcoming as in, we leave Saturday.

When I was in the dressing room I realized that I haven’t exercised at all in preparation for this trip–as in, in preparation for taking my body out of winter hibernation and into a small piece of nylon. And let’s just say the wrap-around mirrors made it plan to me that that was a tactical error.

There was a time when I didn’t have to think twice about putting on a bathing suit, but it seems I’m at a point where that luxury has passed me by. Ah well. I guess it’s one way to mark the years that have passed. Anyway, back when I didn’t have to worry about these things I wouldn’t be going on a fabulous South American adventure with my incredible husband and child. For what these years have given me, I’m willing to put up with some saddle bags.

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