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When Middle Age Becomes A Reality Show

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I see you sizing me up in the grocery store, you sweet young thing.

You may not be able to place this feeling quite yet, but I'll give it a name for you.

Envy.

I didn't get this way overnight you know. Turning into a late-40s goddess takes time and dedication. A willingness to forgo exercise for vanilla scones and a Venti mocha. The guts to leave the lip gloss at home when grocery shopping. The courage to skip the nail salon and the spa facial in favor of buying a yearbook for your kid.

Time to accept reality and finally be comfortable in my own skin.

Skin that's not only soft, but supple. Actually the dimply fat accumulating underneath is what's supple. I feel soft and squishy when you hug me. And this nice little curve of belly that the lady hormones have created is going to be the next big thing.

An accessory coveted by the younger crowd. Not available in stores.

And while my legs and butt may be somewhat thin, there's a certain softness that descends upon middle-aged women that you might not see when you look at me in the grocery store checkout line.

But it allows me to sit for hours on end without pain. To double-check algebra homework, play Monopoly on a rainy day, comfort a sick child, drive the carpool or do some writing.

You pay big money every month for those highlights to accent the colors in your hair -- or bring in new colors not found in nature.

My highlights are silver and shiny, quite possibly the color of angel's wings. They grow in a neatly-organized rows at my roots without fail every four to six weeks. Little soldiers in the war that age is waging on my scalp.

When I'm not too lazy (or too cheap), I call in the troops and temporarily render my natural highlights a brownish-red.

But I see you eyeing them now, wishing they were yours.

Someday, young one.

And these wrinkles? Each and every one earned with a laugh or a funny story, through countless sleepless nights with a sick baby or from crying over a loved one lost.

You may want them, but they're mine. You will earn your own in time.

I may not be on Gossip Girl or the cover of People Style Watch, but when I walk through my own front door?

I'm a super model.

People fall at my feet, begging for autographs. Or maybe they're begging for a home-cooked meal and a signature on their homework packet.

No matter; I am beautiful as I glide effortlessly through my home tending to the masses and changing lives as I adjust my tiara.

Hubs treats me like I'm Cindy Crawford. He can't see the spider veins, wrinkles, gray hair or floppy upper arms. So I soak up the attention and give it right back.

Because it's like I'm the star in my own reality show.

I'm finally comfortable in my own skin.

Sure, it doesn't stretch quite the way it used to. It dimples, sags and puckers.

But I've found that my life's purpose goes way beyond skin deep. Beyond the clothes I wear or the flash of my whiter-than-white teeth.

Deeper still, inside my heart, where maybe only my family can see the real me.

And I'm beautiful.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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