When I was twenty, forty seemed a long way off (because it was). I envisioned polyester stretch pants and pantyhose with reinforced toes. Favorite accessory? That gizmo you wear around your neck that alerts 911 if you “fall and can’t get up.”
I’m happy to report most of my trousers still zip (they have zippers, anyway). I haven’t needed the emergency buzzer, the clapper or the grabber. However, there are some fun, semi-depressing facts about fortysomething life I’m sharing with twentysomethings everywhere. Yes, I’m totally trying to scare you. It gives me pleasure.
1. Comfort: your underwear’s most important feature.
I’m not saying there’s no place in your life and lingerie drawer for cute and sexy, but comfort is the front runner. Support is in second place. I might still let my freak flag fly on occasion but I have passed the point where I worry if hubs sees my granny panties. It is what it is.
2. Dark hair sprouts randomly on your face and body.
I don’t care if your God-given hair color is platinum blonde. Stray hairs are black. Always. Most often sighted on chins, they can sneak up in other regions. I have one that appears out of freaking nowhere on my neck. One day it’s not there, the next it’s gently blowing in the breeze. A male coworker once mistook it for string. Joke was on him—it was attached. And yes, he was cute. That’s a law of the universe.
PSA: rearview mirrors in natural light are optimum for spotting rogue hairs. Obviously, hair reconnaissance missions should happen when the car is not moving. And, plucking while stopped at a light is trashy. Just don’t.
3. Ever-present fear of sneeze-pee fusion.
If you’ve given birth, you might remember this one fondly. If you’ve never experienced pregnancy, you’re in for a treat, sisters. You’ll remember all the times you snickered at old ladies trying to discreetly toss Poise pads in their shopping cart. You’ll wonder if the sneeze-pee fusion is karmic ass-biting payback. The answer is yes.
4. Your high school anthem is a classic.
There is something depressing about hearing the background music to your high school make-out sessions on Q104 Classic Rock. I’m bracing myself for the day some snot-nosed fourteen-year-old DJ refers to “99 Luft Balloons”as an oldie. It’ll happen. Part of me will die a little bit.
While I might need comfier underwear and more tweezer time, life in the forty-zone is no pity party. I (usually) have enough energy to run after my kids, run a 5K and on a good day, run circles around my younger friends. Sometimes guys still check me out. They might be trying to decide if I need help crossing the street, but let’s not think about that. Most of my fortysomething friends list better sex and more wisdom as perks of being this age (I blame this on confidence and no longer giving a crap what people think).
It will happen to you, too. Katy Perry will be on the classic rock station. You will pick up that multi-pack of cotton undies and say “Hmmm, these look nice.” Wait and see. For now, better stock up on those Poise pads. You just never know.