Nothing screams “You’re middle aged!” like the week I’ve had. As I type these words, I do so with an ice pack on my lower back. Why? Because I lifted a few boxes and carried them to the trunk of my car. My two friends, women who are almost my exact same age and who helped me in my endeavor, are popping ibuprofen and taking it easy for a few days. One of us is awaiting hip replacement surgery. Yes, kids, we’re There now. Our fun day out was cleaning out my deceased friends house in preparation for a public auction.
As a woman, pathetic as it sounds- as shallow and pre-feminism as the idea is- I used to appreciate the occasional glance from the males of the species. Nothing gross or crude, but just that lingering glance that meant I was still somewhat attractive to the opposite sex. Well, my friends and I got just that as we walked into a Hardees for what we now refer to as a “pee break”. It seems that I am not the only woman of a certain age who knows the location of every single public restroom with a 100-mile radius of her home. On this day, it had been raining. Not a soft drizzle mind you, but a cloud-draining downpour. Because the terms “brain fart” and “menopause” seem to be one in the same, SOMEONE forgot to close the car windows. We realized this after all sitting, simultaneously, on the saturated car seats. We walked into the fast food joint, hands to our lower backs, bent at the waist and grimacing in pain from lifting such heavy objects as old magazines and winter coats. Our hair had either flattened horribly or frizzed from the rain, and our wet behinds made it looks as if we were about 5 minutes too late for that pee break. We decided that while we were there, we might as well get a cold drink. And maybe split an order of fries. And perhaps some chicken fingers, because when you work that hard protein is important. And then IT happened. The confirmation of our eternal youth awaited us! There was a man sitting alone in a booth, eating a cheeseburger. He was at least 85 years old, and bless his heart he had apparently left his teeth in the glass by his bed. He stopped mid chew and pivoted in his seat to get a better view of us. Then he smiled. “Well, Hell-OOOOOO, ladies!” he said, looking us up and down. So much for our dreams of Cougardom with a man like Gilles Marini, for now it’s official: the only men who appreciate our aged-like-fine-wine appeal are men who can no longer drive after dark.
When I got home I took a long hot shower. Didn’t even bother to shave my legs. Does it really matter anymore? I was going to blow dry my hair, but I decided not to bother wasting the electricity. I wasn’t going anywhere but to the couch. As my husband and I sat down to the dinner I had made, he told me that he loves my cooking. He poured me a glass of wine and gave me a smile. I noticed how much I love the silver that is taking over his dark brown hair. Later that night I sat down to watch my favorite TV show, and sure enough the guest star was none other than Gilles Marini. Sure, he’s impossibly handsome, but there’s not a single silver hair on his head. Personally, I think he’ll look even better in about 25 years. If I happen to run into him at Hardees, I’ll be sure to let him know.