Monday, September 19, 2005

waah, waah, waah: i'm turning 36

oh, blah.

nothing right now is grabbing my attention, either on the news or off. last week worked me so hard i was brain dead for the entire weekend. i have overdue library books, com'tee meetings and a huge fundraiser coming up next month at work that's just about ready to drive all of us insane at the office.

and - next weekend is my birthday. 36. it's depressing. my friends are treating me to a pink martini concert and that's great. i love pink martini; i love my friends. it'll be wonderful. but then, that's it. i don't want to think any more than i have to about turning 36 (though it's clear i've been giving it a lot of thought already). i don't want to really celebrate it. i want it to disappear.

more and more i'm thinking about how invisible women become the older we get. or, maybe this is just about me. i'm feeling invisible the closer i get to true middle age. it's like, ok if there's no rocking passion in my life at least let there be decadent fun. (yes i'm passionate about my work and about my writing but that doesn't keep a girl exactly excited, you know?) but no. no decadent fun. just age. more hairs in unmentionable places. more evidence of sagging and stretching.

and, shallow as this is, my bras have changed. from lacy cute things to utilitarian soviet-style underwear that really do the job. ugh. so unsexy. it's depressing, this 36. i may even be closer to early menopause than i thought previously. now that i think about it, my mom went nuts right before her 40th birthday. pre-menopause. insanity. dwindling desire. increased hair growth. more stretch marks. aching knees.


(i know i'm totally internalizing our culture's shallow view of women and age and beauty and sexual desire, but i can't help it. it's been a whole year since i've had a boy friend. dammit. i'm not a patient woman!!)


jesus chick said...

well my dear, i'm not sure how to encourage you. i just turned 36 myself. had it been an "ordinary" birthday, i'm sure it would have been just fine. but my beautiful mom passed away at the end of july so the whole birthday thing without a mom TOTALLY SUCKED HUGE! (everything without a mom pretty much sucks at this stage)

i'm trying to dig my way out of my pit of despair so i hesitate to tell you to focus on the bright side of life...blah blah blah.

perhaps you should show society how a 36 year old woman can rock their world. perhaps i should do the same ;)

ding said...

ah, jc.
i'm so sorry.

losing a mom is devastating. utterly devastating.

i'm so so sorry. there isn't a very big bright side right now, is there? i hope you have a strong family around you to help you through it.

my own mom would've had a good chuckle out of my birthday doldrums...

will keep you in my prayers, jc.

Anonymous said...

speaking as one who breezed past 36 during the first term of the clinton administration, I can't quite see the problem..but I'm not a woman in a commodified society, either.

My gift to you is this: divorce your sense of self from the number tallying the number of years since you passed from womb. It's merely a statistic. It doesn't define you, it doesn't say anything about you other than "years since birth," it isn't you!

You define your reality, so I encourage you to do just that.

Let's revisit that: you define your reality. if it's in your head, then you are there.

So, what would you like it to be?


ding said...

true, these years are a mere marker.

but there can't be any denying that yes there are strange hairs in strange unattractive places; that yes, the body is becoming less youthful and elastic and yes, the looks i got are significantly less.

but you're also right. there's no denying that this has been an incredibly artistically fertile, creative time for me. am i there? yeah.

(but i want the hairs and the sunspots to go away. now.)

Anonymous said...

tweezers and sunscreen?

ding said...

true, anonymous.
i could do that.

it sucks that it has to happen at all. damn you hormones, damn you!

ding said...

i'm serious.
if anyone knows how to get rid of a freckle, i'd be interested.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, no freckle cure. But suggestion for heading off the menopause symptoms. My sister and I have a daily chocloate shake. I get them mailed every month ( Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Oh My Gosh. . . You look the same to me. . . Hair and all!

jesus chick said...

okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with age spots, hair growth, sagging, stretching etc. but it's the only place i know to leave you a note.

today, for the first time ever, i uttered a new phrase ~ "crappity crap" it made me smile! thanks!

ding said...

ah, my plan to infect the world with my wit is proceeding apace.

heh heh heh.

(you know, people can always email me. i answer every single on. unless you're creepy. if you're creepy i might not answer you.)

Anonymous said...

I am turning 36 this week. I know it's better than the alternative but gosh, I had no idea my life would have turned out this way. I am divorced, have no children, and work all the time. I'm tired and have little energy to do the things I have alwasy enjoyed doing. I don't know.. it easy to say do something about it and get on with your life. But, the desire isn't there. It's like I'm lost in my own life wondering what happened to all the dreams I once had. For me, 36 is just another year to get through.