October 1, 2009

The Sag Zone

I just turned f-f-f-fifty-four. Thirty years ago, I looked at my current age as far off in the future, in a land far, far away where gravity was of infinitesimal consequence. Time was something alien and against my primal mantra of I am young, I am invincible, I am the skinny girl with perky breasts. In fact, I thought getting this age only happened to other people, like my parents and ex-presidents and despicable bosses who deserved it. But not me. No, this number does not fit me.

Of course, there are signs that things aren't what they used to be. Where the firm muscles of my arms, torso, hips, and thighs used to broadcast my youthful vitality and catch-worthiness, I am now faced with the voice of Rod Serling, broadcasting that I have crossed over into . . . The Sag Zone. (If you're not old enough to remember Rod Serling, screw you.) The fast-firing synapses of my brain, which once kept my cranial performance and databanks in peak condition so that I could leap complex problems in a single bound and photographically recall who said what about whom and in what tone during a late-night drinking binge and still recall the details three months later, had vaccinated me against making such statements as:

  • It's past my bedtime;
  • Just one more and then cut me off; or
  • But you don't even know him!
These days as I prepare to speak, my measureless experiences crowd into my frontal lobe, jockeying for position to blast off my tongue first. Pick me, pick me, they clamor. And I reply tacitly, First come, first served. One thought breaks through the throng and lines up on the launching pad that is my tongue. It's coming . . . it's coming . . . Wait for it. It's . . . it's . . . gone. I am flustered and humbled by the ever-insidious brain fart.

Or not. See, it's common practice to call it a brain fart, but it's really this: I am so inundated with broad-spectrum knowledge that my advanced intellectual facilities are nearing capacity. Without a back door to push out the inconsequential and traumatic (which prevents us from witnessing excess brain seepage from our geriatrics' ears), I am forced to zip-drive the trivia into a warehouse somewhere around my hippocampus where its retrieval could take days—even weeks—much like rummaging through attic boxes for one's first shooting-the-bird photo. (Yes, I started early, but in my defense, I'd been mimicking my father.)

Now where was I? Oh yes. For me, it's all about the number. When you say you're over fifty, people regard you with a piteous gaze. They try to assuage your assumed bruised ego with commentary like: But you look so much younger! Well, at least I can be thankful for good manners. If only this could be said of one's family. When mine became aware of my fiftieth birthday, it was like I had a big, waxy Number Fifty birthday candle melting all over my head, flaming everyone with the inside information that I had reached a cultural milestone. At forty, I got those black Over the Hill balloons and greeting cards depicting my nipples dangling around my ankles. That was child's play compared to the ridicule I endured my fiftieth year as the recipient of a wall-to-wall Grim Reaper banner.

I guess it might have been easier to accept my age gracefully if I hadn't been throwing myself on the ground, kicking and screaming; but I had just realized I would now be required to check off the 50-65 age box on the forms in my doctor's office—or worse, the 50+ box, a group encompassing me and all those on the cusp of fossilization.

Fifty is the new forty (or thirty!), some say. In fact, this decade is a huge disconnect between who I am, what I look like, and how I process fiber. I feel the same as I did at 29. No, I'm not kidding. The biggest difference is that I'm smarter. People, I regularly wax wisdom all over the place, as you know. I just have trouble remembering . . . uh, wait. What was I saying?

Oh yes. My age cannot possibly reveal the person I am, inside or out. The numbers do sometimes lie, or at least mislead. I'm still fun and fabulous, vibrant and vital, sexy and sentient. After all, I'm only f-f-f-fifty-four.
.

47 comments:

Under the Influence said...

Happy Birthday. It's my b-day today, too!

otin said...

Well, you are a smokin' hot 54 year old! What the hell is wrong with that!? Happy Birthday!!!!! :)

Oh My Goddess said...

Happy Birthday!!
What are you going to do next year when you turn fifty fucking five?

I wouldn't worry about it, it'll only add wrinkles.

Why am I being so mean?

No one needs to know your real age. None of us blabbermouths anyway.

xo ~ Elise your fellow Libran

Jazz said...

Brilliant post. Abso-fucking-lutely brilliant.

Beth said...

Happy Birthday!

About age... only a number. It is so much more telling that you still feel the same as you did at 29. Stay young at heart and you will stay young (at least it sounds good).

Expat From Hell said...

You are the best. I love this post. Thanks for holding up, and keeping us held up along with you.
ExpatFromHell, 56

Anonymous said...

Our beautiful FL must be suffering from the deceptions of a defective mirror. My 20/15 gaze confirms that she’s ageless ... stare-worthy HOT!

50effin4? No - 50effinFINE!!!

daisyfae said...

i decided when i turned forty seven - er, um, excuse me... make that forty-fucking-seven - that i might as well be fifty, so i started telling everyone i'd just turned fifty. get it the fuck over with. yeah, so i lost three years. everyone now tells me i look great for fifty...

happy birthday. it's a number. we're still hot... :-)

Gaston Studio said...

Yep, it's only a number. If you think young and stay around young people, you'll always be young. Get a toy boy and have a happy birthday.

Bella said...

What a great fucking post! You are marvelous dahling! of course I can't say it as good as Billy Crystal could either.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

"Fifty is the new forty (or thirty!), some say. In fact, this decade is a huge disconnect between who I am, what I look like, and how I process fiber"

You crack me up, girlfriend!!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

And Happy Birthday! Mine was Sunday, so we're close....

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Well, on Saturday I'll be fucking fifty-two, sister. And may I say we're both pretty fucking hot!

God, I love women who say fuck. Especially grannies like me.

Fuck, yeah!

Happy Birthday, Liar Girl! XOXO

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

No way are you 54. Are you sure you didn't reverse the numbers? You look great so don't let the numbers mess with you. Happy birthday!!

The Peach Tart said...

Happy Birthday. I turned 55 this year and was pissed that I now have to check the box on everything for 55 and over. It sucks. However, I think we both are smoking hot and not just for our age.

♥ Braja said...

That was excruciatingly entertaining. You're good--- for a 54 year old...
:)))

You know, I did some aqua pants and other pretty stuff shopping the other day, but didn't pin it down; I'm sorry now that I didn't, as it would have been officially a birthday present. Fear not....it shall come. I can't just send pants, I realized....they're the easy bit. They must have gorgeously matching...something....

xoxo

blognut said...

Very funny post.

I'm a little worried though. I have those things you call brain farts and I'm only 41. And I never in my life thought I'd put the word 'only' in front of the number 41. But I'm SO doing that now. :)

foxy said...

Queeny, you'd look great at any age! You do look UTTERLY INCREDIBLE now. In fact, if we were all forced to wear our age scribbled across our foreheads, I'm pretty sure you'd be getting bitch slapped by other (jealous) 54 year olds who don't look anywhere near as good as you do. I'm just sayin... ;)

Divine Chaos said...

Go backwards from now on. Next year you can be 53 ...

happy birthday .. and by the way, you damn sure don't look any 54 :) I've been reading your blog for a while .. and I'd have never guessed your age, had you not mentioned it ;)

Madame DeFarge said...

Happy birthday seems barely adequate after such a post. You have more oomph about you than many younger and shallower people. But although age is just a number, it's not pleasant making the transition between boxes. You just keep going and keep us along for the trip.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

You still look fabuulous!!
Hope you had a great birthday!!

rxBambi said...

I'd say your fifty-fucking-fabulous as well. Happy birthday, I hope you have a fucking fabulous time!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"After all, I'm only fifty-fucking-four."

I'm so glad you figured that out by the end of this post. Saves me from having to tell you.

Justine said...

You go girl! YOu have still got it! Well, at least writing-wise. I don't really know the state of your nipples and all that, but from your profile pic I think you're looking damn hot and nowhere near the 50 mark, much less beyond it. Of course, that picture could be 10 years old. What the hell do I know?

But yeah, you're still fabulous!

Justine :o )

Julie said...

Shit, I didn't look like you when I *was* 34. Happy birthday!!!! I'm here getting caught up on a week's worth of blog reading, now that I can actually sit up on the couch without my head exploding!!!! Happy Saturday!

Bernie said...

Speaking from my standpoint, you are just a fricking child! I can still remember way back when I was 54. You have a long way to go, gal, and with your personality it will be fun just as the first 54. Nothing beats "the Springtime of out Happy Youth" but there are other compensations, you'll see. And 50 IS the new 30. I just learned the other day that a baby born today will have a life expenctancy of 100! So cheers, my dear.

Bernie said...

Oh yes, I am itching. I just wanted to say that Hey in just one more year you will be eligible for AARP!!!!

Rebel Mother said...

Happy Birthday to you! xx

I noticed that bloody tick box as well when I turned forty. Why cant they have it on your hair colour or height or eye colour?
No. Some git decided to have it on age instead!

Hope you have a great day anyway. You still look fab.

Love RMxx

Pouty Lips said...

Last Saturday Mr. P took me to the theater. I went sleeveless and felt very self-conscious. Mr. P pointed to an elderly woman who was hunched over with flab hanging off her arms and told me that my arms looked better than hers. It used to be he would point to a woman with perky boobs and tell me mine were perkier. It's just not fair.

powdergirl said...

Well, obviously your wits haven't gone the way of your tits. Your wits are PERKY as hell!

This was fucking hilarious : D

I'm sorry for my potty mouth, its just that I'm so hung-over I can't string more than a few sentences together with out dropping the bomb. Tsk.

Ambiance in the Attic said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it was a good one. I feel just like you do, I couldn't have said it better.

Gaelyn said...

Love the post! At fifty-fucking-five I still feel young. That is until I look in the mirror and wonder who that gray haired wrinkly person looking back at me is. What the hell, it's only a number. And soon you'll get the senior discounts. That is if they're not raised because we're all going to live past 100.

Happy Birthday!

powdergirl said...

Oh yeah, to address the 'nipples dangling around your ankles' ?

Just telling people you're growing your breasts out.

LMAO

Candice said...

Happy birthday young whipper snapper!

By the way, who is Rod Serling?

;)

Monkey Man said...

Turning 30 was no big deal. Turning 40 was a piece of cake. But when I turned 50 it was awful. I hated it. "I am as old as my grandfather was when I thought he was old", I said to myself. Shit. I hated it. Now five years later, who gives a rat's. I so agree with what you say. Happy B-day and thanks for stopping by to visit me. Love your blog and will follow.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

First, Thanks for stopping by! Love your blog and have to follow you! Second, when my hubby turned 50, as a gift I signed him up for AARP. I thought it was funny...him, not so much!

Secretia Teller said...

My first time here, I really liked reading your blog, I subscribed, and I'm a new follower now. Thanks for following Secret Story Time too. We'll enjoy each other and our readers certainly will have fun too. Happy Birthday, be glad, not mad or sad! You'll see, it's all good.

Sincerely,

Secretia

darsden said...

Rod Serling was my mothers first cousin. I am feeling you on this post! Just had my 49th like last week. My mother today said she needed a list of my friends. (deer in the head light look) uhmm er for what mom...am I dying? No, I just need them for when I am planning your big 50th next year...cough, cough, strangle Maw can't you see I was eating!
I don't feel my age either, my body does HaHa..take care. YOU feel off my blog list or you have been missing missy!

Suburban Correspondent said...

When I was 24, my parents' next-door neighbors (at the advanced age of 54) remodeled their entire kitchen. And I remember thinking, "They're almost dead - why are they bothering?"

Thankfully, they've enjoyed that new kitchen for over 20 years now.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I am not a fan of birthdays either. and who ever created those damn "Over the Hill" balloons should be shot!
xo

bernthis said...

NOW I'm confident, NOW I like my body, NOW nobody gives a damn Nice

Michelle Wells Grant said...

Shuddup! I'm older and besides, you are gorgeous. She IS people, I've seen her in person!

Jocelyn said...

Listen, you and Madonna are peers. In other words, you set the bar for being so hot and cutting that no one can even see past the pipes that are your arms to even think about how old you are. Just stop dating guys named Jesus already, k?

I hope you drank a lot and felt loved on your birthday. You do it so well, in such a joking tone, but everything you write here is completely true. You ARE smarter and better than younger folk. They're just too dumb to know it.

secret agent woman said...

Here via Jazz.

I hit 47 a few days ago, and readign this makes me wonder if it is just a universal past about 30 to feel like somehow your age is just a colossal mistake. But I do thank you for giving me a new way to say it - forty-fucking-seven.

Suldog said...

True, too much so. Came here via Jazz, and glad I did. As a 52-year-old, I am boy toy to my own 54-year-old WIFE. Every time she reaches a new milestone, she informs me of the pitted and potholed highway ahead (much in the same manner as you just did.) I reply, "Ha-Ha!" (much in the same manner as Nelson from The Simpsons.)

mrwriteon said...

I came here via the advice of Jazz. It was good advice, abso-fucking-lustely. I'll come back. Drop by mine sometime if you have a moment.

Pearl said...

Am quickly approaching 50 myself and don't know if I'm excited or not. I could never go back to my 20s, but oh my do I miss my 20-something body. The current one doesn't get to wear a half-top to yoga until it can prove it's serious...

Pearl

p.s. Happy Birthday! To you AND Under the Influence!!