On Turning Fifty. Two.


“My fifties were my best decade.”


Someone made this proud declaration to me somewhere in the middle of my fourth decade. I liked the sound of it, so I adopted it as my mantra too. Well, except that back then I chanted it in the future tense.

“My fifties are going to be my best decade…” (pumps pompoms, does a high jump kick, lands in the splits, sun glinting off teeth)

And so, for the five years preceding fifty I started prepping myself for fifty. Ramping up the yoga, pouring over the manifestos of the You Can Do It gurus, drinking my morning kale and chia smoothies, and slathering on the organic avocado and chamomile skin elixirs.

It was Kathy’s War: I was gonna down-dog, positively affirm, chug-a-lug, and moisturize my way back to forty if it killed me. And still, fifty came. And went.

I’m now officially two years in. How’s it working for me?

I’m really hoping it’s too early yet to tell for sure.

They say it has a lot to do with your mindset. I gotta say though, some days it’s more of a friggin’ mind game I play with myself. And as much as I enjoy playing with myself, this game gets a little sketchy.

Truth be told there are some things we are not happy about, Bob. Not happy.

Like, can anyone else say nostril hair? I mean is it me, or is it just the Costco10x magnifier mirror? (shakes fist at Costco for offering such a deal on this device of torture) I never noticed how long those suckers can get—or that I even had them at all.

What is the deal?

And what is up with this little piece of chicken skin growing underneath my chin? What is this thing called…? (the old pal Depression chimes in, “Wattle.” – Thanks, jerk.) Now when I’m looking down at my phone to read a text, I see it reflected there. Hanging. Wattling. Mocking me. Oh the pain of it.

And when did pooping get to be such a boon? (decrepit Kathy rocks in her rocker, corncob pipe clenched in her teeth, “Nothin’ like a good BM in the morning, I always say…”)

Then there’s the night sweats, the itchiness, the raging, the crying, the bitching, the brain fog, the tummy pooch, the droopy buns, the can’t remember where I left the half-n-half, the voices (“No, really, wear the leggings…with the leg warmers…and tuck in the blouse! Headband too! Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!”), the cravings, the can’t remember… the can’t remember the… the can’t… What?

(shakes fist at the neighbor kids, “Get the hell off my lawn!”)

I’m trying to do this gracefully. I am. But there are days…

So yeah, okay, “My fifties are going to be my best decade… My fifties are going to be my best decade… My fifties are going to be my best decade…yet.”

I must put the yet tag on there because, well, you can’t be too careful with these magical (stupid) incantations. I would hate to cheat myself out of the Sexy Sixties, the Sagacious Seventies, the Ecstatic Eighties and the Nimble Nineties because I misquoted the damn spell for the F@#&ing Fifties!

Recently I ran across a heinous ad on the Internet. This nasty little thing just popped up in my face (during my query ‘What is Hozier?’) asking, “Do you suffer from laugh lines?”

WHAT THE HOLY HELL! Suffer? Really? Since when did laugh lines become the new cellulite?

YES! YES I SUFFER! And I will go on suffering because there is precious little shit left in this world to laugh about (except for maybe redonculous ads like yours) and I want evidence of that gorrammit!

It’s freaking hard enough to contemplate facing the more limiting aspects of aging like: vaginal dust, or the possibility of getting lost in my bathroom, or falling off my slippers and breaking my hip, without feeling that my laugh lines are now unsightly and unacceptable!

Screw it! Bring it on! There’s nothing for it. No miracle ointment, no little blue pill (oh wait), no reverse aging suppository. This thing is going to happen.

So here’s to the fanfuckingtastic fifties! (throws back a shot of Metamucil, wipes mouth on sleeve, slams glass on table, farts involuntarily). So let it be written, so let it be done.

Embrace the Wattle

By the way, both hens and roosters have that gnarly thing hanging down from their necks. Apparently wattles are the chicken’s cooling system; they don’t sweat. So I guess it somehow helps to have this flappy thing hanging here.

But I still sweat. Even with the flap. In the middle of the night. For no freaking reason whatsoever. Except…I’m in my fifties.



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