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8:40 p.m. - 2011-03-26
Every 45th birthday is a surprise party.

Okay, I'm watching 'It's Complicated' right now (I'm about halfway through) and not having seen it before the movie is calling up all kinds of complicated stuff for me too.

Though one thing I am absolutely certain of, there's no fucking way in hell I would ever tear off a piece with my ex-husband.

I am so certain that I've already stopped the movie once, called Mick to the top of the stairs and flat out told him this. I assured him that (God forbid) I threw everything decent and loving overboard and did the nasty with someone who wasn't him I could guarantee it would never, ever, EVER be my ex. I'd do it with Mike Tyson first. And I loathe Mike Tyson with the burning heat of a thousand suns.

Mick thanked me for this bit of fidelity reassurance and asked if it had anything to do with our convo earlier today.

No, not really. But who knows what weird connections our brains make?

See, we'd just gotten back from town after consulting with an attorney about a financial thing of Mick's that pre-dates our relationship (and was settled to the good, yay!) and were sitting in the car talking much like we used to when we first got together and had no privacy except that which we got in the car. And I was telling Mick about how fricken unfair it was that women are given this one last burst of hotness in their early forties and then BLAM! You turn 45 and everything goes to shit. 41, 42, 43, 44 and you're slinking around feeling absolutely gorgeous and thinking, "Hey! This being 40-something is great!" Life is good. You're not a kid anymore and you've surfaced from your miserable 30s when you're repeatedly slapped with all kinds of indignities like how they're playing your high school make-out music on the oldies station now and you get your first pair of bifocals and your boss is younger than you are and store clerks start calling you ma'am. When your kids stop being this cool adventure and become miserable half-grown humans who grunt at you and think you're lame. And you realize that no matter how far you think you've come, you are turning into your mother.

Your early 40s are the reward for coming out the other side. Happily married, cougar on the prowl, or somewhere in-between, you get past the hump of the dreaded fortieth birthday and…blossom. Suddenly, gratefully, happily overwhelmed with confidence. You get a tattoo or chop off your hair or buy a Porsche or a pair of badass boots and you feel ALIVE again. And your looks reflect that. For a few precious years you're a babe again. To men, sure, but more importantly you feel like a babe to yourself. You remember you own cleavage and have a working pussy and you flap your hand at those untried dimwits in their 20s. You ARE Woman!

Then a couple weeks after your 45th birthday you wake up, stagger to the bathroom, look in the mirror…….and start screaming.

Overnight your face has slid downward on the front of your skull by at least two inches. You've got dowager creases and jowls. Your eyelids look like elbows, all droopy and wrinkled and just hanging there. Boobs? They've deflated and have been replaced by flesh colored windsocks with nipples that aim straight at the floor. Your ass has magically doubled in width and length. Every fricken second you spent in the sun as a teenager bent on a good prom tan appears in the form of spots, blotches, and weird fungus-looking growths. Your toenails have gone ridged and curl inward. Eyebrows have either crawled across your (furrowed) forehead and knitted themselves together or have gone sparse and faded into small cobwebby things with no semblance of shape or expression. Teeth yellow, gums recede, your hands are veiny, and your waist has disappeared.

I won't even go into what's happened to your neck. It's too gruesome.

But the worst thing? The absolute worst thing? It's gone. Your mojo is gone.

No warning. No notification from the office of impending crone-hood. One day you have it and the next you don't. And it's so freaking unfair!!!! Just when you finally believe you've got that tiger by its tail, it turns around and claws you into shreds. Wrinkled, drooping, saggy, splotchy, and completely, totally, absolutely mojo-less shreds.

You open your hand to gloat over that brass ring you thought you'd finally grabbed and look down to see corn pads instead. From fabulously 40 to frump in a heartbeat.

And don't even. Don't even go there with the Wise Woman, goddess, 50 is fantastic shit. I know most of us flounder back out of this mess and lay claim to some power again. We run for office, make senior partner, or just make peace with being crazy cat ladies and don't care if we wear slippers to the store. I don't want to hear it. Your 'It' is still gone. Forever. Whatever we morph into, hell, it might be great in a lot of ways. But that burst of life, sex appeal, that radiant confidence in our desirability with the face and body to back it up is gone.


And it ain't coming back. ~LA

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