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Flirting With 40 (Part 1) UPDATED

I never thought I’d be the sort of woman who became obsessed with her age. I’ve (almost) always taken pretty good care of myself, going to the gym, (mostly) eating well, taking care of my skin (although not wearing sunscreen nearly enough), and getting enough sleep (ha, ha!). I’ve always thought I’d age gracefully, that a few wrinkles wouldn’t bother me.

Turns out I AM obsessed. Aging is pissing me off.

I’m going to be 40 this summer. There, I said it out loud.

40. I’m not at all what I pictured 40 being when I was 14 or even 25. For the most part I’m okay with it. I’ve grown up, I’ve learned a lot, I’m smarter and more confident. But as the day gets closer I’m frustrated with certain things.

I work long hours and I’ve been under a lot of stress and I’m wearing it all over my face like a big fat Fuck You from life. I look tired all the time. I can’t get rid of the dark circles under my eyes (granted, I’ve always had them, but they’re way more pronounced now). Recently, I’ve noticed that my skin looks ashy—if I don’t wear makeup I look like the walking dead and if I do wear makeup it settles in, making me look like a drag queen after a long night of partying (that may partially be the fault of the makeup I’m wearing. Damn you, MAC Cosmetics). To add insult to injury, I’m breaking out. So even though I’m turning 40 soon, I get to relive puberty all over again. I should just run out and get a spiral perm, braces and glasses to make it official.

I never thought I’d consider any kind of cosmetic procedure—not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m all for it if it’s going to make you feel better. But now I’m staring in the mirror, scrutinizing my face, checking out my skin, searching for new wrinkles and other imperfections. And I hate what I see.

I don’t mind the little wrinkles around my eyes—I think they add character. But I hate the furrow I’ve developed in my brow. I look perpetually angry or angsty. And that big divot in my head is making my eyes look dark and heavy. Have you even noticed how much tighter your face is when you have your hair wrapped up in a towel on your head? That’s what I want to look like again. I don’t want to slice open my hair line and have someone tug my face up to my nose, but I am considering Botox to smooth out my forehead.

And a good facial wouldn’t hurt. And maybe a haircut and some highlights.

I know it sounds shallow. Even to me it does. But I’m just not going to go gentle into the dying night. I’m going to rage against the dying of the light. And against the total destruction of my face.

I’m going to fight 40 like hell.

(See? I’m not totally shallow—I can quote Dylan Thomas. Sort of.)
PS: I came to this conclusion today after spending $140.52 at Sephora. (Sorry Bill)

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10 Responses

  1. First off, let me just say: This post is awesome! I’m three weeks from 40 so, you know, TIMELY. (I love this line so much: I work long hours and I’ve been under a lot of stress and I’m wearing it all over my face like a big fat Fuck You from life.)

    Second off: Dump the MAC foundation! It’s suited for younger skin (think babes in their 20’s) and it’s too heavy. Consider instead: Vincent Longo!

    http://www.vincentlongo.com/user/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=57

    It’s a bit pricey, but it DISAPPEARS onto your skin. I have never found anything that even comes close to it.

    Third off: Oddly, staring so closely down the barrel of 40, I thought I’d be freaking out right now. But for some reason I just am not at all. (Ask me about this again that night when I’m sobbing into my martini and using Bill’s sleeve as a snot rag!!) I don’t think of either of us look our ages and I think we are going to totally own our 40’s. You are young, young-at-heart, blond, adorable and hot. You HAVE done a lot of growing over the past decade and I am TOTALLY SERIOUS when I say the best is yet to come for you. You just keep getting better every year, Mo. And when all is said and done, just remember this: I WILL ALWAYS BE THE OLDER ONE. So, you’ve got that goin’ for yourself.

    XOXO

    • “Remember this: I WILL ALWAYS BE THE OLDER ONE.” I’m glad I have SOMETHING going for me! Ha. Kidding. Sort of.

      For the most part, it isn’t the age thing itself as much as it is a vanity thing. I don’t know why that surprises me so much. I’ve always had a certain amount of vanity and this age, stress and drama is just working on my poor, rapidly sinking, drooping body. (Sexy, hu?!) I know there are so many more important things in life to worry about, but damn it, I’m worried about my face falling down to my knee caps. With boobs you can always support them with a good bra, the face? Not so much. People look at you strangely if you walk around with a bra on your head!

  2. Okay, before you go under the knife or get poison injected into your head or go out and buy more pricey cosmetics, could I just point out that 99% of what’s happening on your face comes from the inside? The zits, the dark circles, the dry pasty skin — that can all be improved with diet. I would suggest you begin by eliminating 3 things from your diet: wheat, dairy and refined sugar. Wheat sensitivity can cause dark circles and tiredness. Dairy and sugar can cause dry, pasty skin and eruptions and affect how you deal with stress. Stay off them for at lest 3 weeks and see if you notice any difference. If you can’t live without them, introduce them back one at a time in small doses. Also, you should aim to eat something raw with each meal, preferably at the beginning of the meal – some fruit at breakfast , a salad or some raw veggies at lunch or supper. And, of course, stay hydrated. Also, make-up (foundation) and some types of moisturizer can really mess up your skin after a while. I never foundation and stick to only organic moisturizers. As for the furrows you can give yourself little finger massages in those areas 30 seconds at a time, maybe once or twice a day — that will help diminish them. And stop worrying about it all –that only makes it worse.

    • Give up wheat, dairy and sugar? I should just curl up in a ball and die now. Next thing you know, you’re going to suggest I stop drinking coffee. Or any caffeine. And then what? Martinis too?!

      I do know you’re right—I haven’t been eating well lately. And I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I should. A little TLC and I will be back to normal.

      (But I won’t rule out some Botox!)

  3. I check out your blog now and then. Re:Flirting with 40 – I don’t see any of these flaws you are talking about. But if you say you have them, then “May the Lord smite me with your flaws and may l never recover”. Your facing-fifty sister-in-law.

    By the way, I enjoy your writing.

    • I’m glad you’re back over here! It’s good to hear from you.

      I can’t believe you’re going to be 50 soon. You don’t look it at all. You and your brother don’t age very much. Good genes!

  4. Forty-one was much harder for me than 40. Forty was, Oh! Forty. Huh. A decade.

    But 41? Now I was ‘in’ my forties—and the forties included all ages low to high. From 41-49 (and just around the bend from 50)—AAAAAARRRRGGGHHH.

    Then I settled down. Kinda. What’s the alternative?

    Anyway, see if you can’t track down a 40-yr old bottle of wine (or whiskey) and crack that open in celebration: See how good 40 can be!

    Happy happy!

  5. So you know I just turned 40 and 3 weeks into it’s not all that bad. Actually I am paying more attention to my look, because I still want to look hot, in a “DILF” sorta way…so I am working towards that. Funny you say you are breaking out, because I am too…WTF is that about….just strange. But I am embracing 40 but fighting back the “40 look” don’t get me wrong I don’t want to look like a 40 year old trying to look like a 20 year old, I just want to look hot in a sorta Brad Pitt/Daniel Craig sorta way.

    • DILF! I love that! You should make a T-shirt with that. I do think it’s slightly different for men—but I’m sure many men would disagree with that.

      I guess the bottom line is, we should just embrace it and take care of ourselves.

      (PS: That sounds like a reasonable plan now, but I named this post “Part 1” because that will change a lot between now and August!)

      (PSS: I wouldn’t mind looking 40 in a Halle Berry kind of way!)

  6. Fortunately I’m so busy I don’t even have time to think about also turning 40 soon

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I have you beat on the permanent dark circles (because of work and the girls…one that is teething in a big way)…and I don’t even have the makeup option LOL

    So you can always look at it like other people have it worse…which I do all the time 🙂

    C

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