Sunday, August 10, 2008

leaving on a jet plane

Lilypie Next Birthday Ticker

This is why I'm heading off to London, Paris, and Amsterdam tonight. It's a birthday present to myself, a 40th birthday present. I've been self-deprecating about becoming "old" - lamenting that nobody cards me anymore when I order drinks, or grimacing about how students get a horrified look on their faces when I reveal my age (the good news being they didn't realize I was THAT OLD). But generally, I like to think I'm okay with aging; it seems pretty silly to worry about something that just happens, inevitably. It's natural; everyone experiences it.

Everyone except those who die young. And then I think about that - it is, undoubtedly, supremely sad when someone exits early, but how are they remembered? The only way they possibly can be - as youthful, full of potential, usually beautiful. James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger. Now imagine some individuals who have lived much longer: Brigitte Bardot, Marlon Brando. I am in no way trying to diminish what people have brought & continue bringing to the world regardless of their age, and I certainly don't feel the need to clock out of this life because I might become gray and wrinkled (um, check & check, actually) or my boobs will start sagging or I'll have to shuffle because of arthritic hips.

The deal is, although I technically don't want to stress about the number 40 and its association with me, I stupidly can't help but care that I someday soon won't match my own definitions of attractive. It's outrageously vain and impossibly callow; frankly, I'm embarrassed to even admit it. Maybe I hope by saying it out loud [sort of], I will shake my shallow self out of this foolish mindset. Honestly, I would be pleased to have the kind of old age bestowed upon the likes of Sophia Loren or Sean Connery or even the remarkable Ruth Gordon. Okay, any old age would be fine. How could someone possibly complain about being allowed to stay on Earth longer?

I'm being ridiculous; age knows how to book a flight to Europe, too. I think I will invite it to sit by me and share my wine. [Here's hoping I get asked for ID]


only a movie said...

Trip to Europe is a great antidote to turning 40 :-D.
Isn't it great when you're students think you are younger than your age?
I like my 40s so far. I really hope I feel that way about 50.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Truth be told: I was a bit excited when some innocent child carded me recently. I had to verify she was talking to me.

(They probably have a card anyone under 50 policy. Still sweet.)

Please do not fret over the number; fabulous times lay ahead. I just figure the day is late and my time is short...

And you look great, btw.

So I will see you when you get back for big fun plans. ox

Cheryl said...

At 43, I TOTALLY get this. Especially as someone who lives in L.A. and used to do some acting, fergoshsakes. I do like my 40's, but there are days I really struggle with the changes I see in the mirror. I keep saying to myself, "I am sophisticated and wise. I will not be shallow and worry about my aging face. And boobs. Etc. I will not be shallow..."

It is hard sometimes. But we can be the kind of beautiful that comes with confidence, sophistication, and wisdom. I couldn't do that in my 20's, 'cause I was a silly little twit.

Very Mary said...

If your boobs sag, I will certainly whip up some crafty device to hoist them back up. In fact, I'll whip up two - one for you and one for me.

Shana said...

I hope you have a great trip and that 40 doesn't catch up with you for that glass of wine on the plane until the ride home.

I am 42. I struggled with 40 and then decided to make 40 my bitch and had a blow out party in the grandest of grand styles, with a band in my living room for God's sake, dancing inappropriately, making lewd comments to the 20-somethings in the band and drinking Jaegermeister shots all night.

There, 40, take that!

CamiKaos said...

Have a great trip, and bring back lots of stories and pictures!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You'll have such a great time.

I don't know why, 40 didn't bother me at all--45 doesn't seem to be scaring me either.

I'm just happy to keep hanging around.

katydidnot said...

you're winging your way to europe right now. and not yet 40. that's some perfect perfection.

and stu is older than you, right? so stu will always be older than you.

Gretchen said...

Okay, first off, you are a hawt mama. Don't act like you're not. Secondly, your beauty is measured on the inside, I know old cliche. But you are truly beautiful on the inside, from the little I've gotten to know you so far. And thirdly just a tidbit: my mom is 75 now and told me just this week that she felt best at 40. She didn't need to feel "young" and 25-ish, but also not old and really wrinkley yet. Have a great time in Europe!

holly said...

youth is over-rated. i didn't have any money until i turned 36. therefore, i love 36. and on my 37th birthday i decided not to age any more. it just wasn't as much as they said it would be.

holly said...

sh1t sh1t sh1t. what i meant to say was :

"what? 40? you so look 25."


"happy birthday! nothing says happy birthday like london!"

LarryG said...

silly me...
I expected to see the Peter Paul and Mary song on youtube or sumpin!

Have a "Great and Wonderful"

You'll be one of the most inspirational over 39ers to
ever roam the planet!

Restless Ink said...

1. so envious of you - of the trip part of course... ha ha

2. HAPPY early BIRTHDAY!!! Have FUN in Europe you lucky-duck.

3. I too am approaching the big 4 - 0 and the same thoughts crossed my mind. I don't think we're shallow, just honest. I'd be surprised if other people - esp. women didn't feel the same way about getting "old" (physically, cuz getting old mentally is by choice) and fear not being attractive.

EatPlayLove said...

Happy Birthday to you! What a great gift to yourself! Have a fantabulous time, I guess it's too late to hitch a ride in your suitcase.

Janet said...

ha...wait til you hit 50, then we'll talk.

Heath Ledger and Ruth Gordon in the same blog rock!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

That is the best birthday present EVER!


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