I'm EXHAUSTED. I've been tweezing, shaving, moisturizing, defrizzing, flat-ironing, bikini-waxing, hair-dyeing, gym-joining (notice I said gym-joining, not gym-going?) exfoliating and manicuring since 8th grade, all while sleeping on a silk pillowcase to reduce wrinkles. I'm ready to grow a beard and just RELAX.
Some of you are thinking: Sweetheart, go ahead and hang it up. Nobody wants you to be sexy except the product pushers. Your husband loves you for your mind and nice eyes (when the whites aren't jaundiced). Your children love you because you put cute notes in their lunch box and buy them stuff. The human species did not die off because women once had untweezed eyebrows. Women of the 1st Century were hairy, and yet here we all are.
If I don't let my mustache grow in, am I a hypocrite?
My 5-year-old daughter recently caught me tweezing and asked if there was a splinter in my eyebrow. "Yes, sweetie. There is a splinter in Mommy's eyebrow and she has to remove some hairs to find it." How long can I keep this up? Eventually, when the birds of spring begin to circle my daughter's eyebrows looking to nest deep within her uni-brow, will she feel betrayed? Especially if her friends' eyebrows are as finely shaped as a topiary? Isn't it my duty to pass on the secret art of hairlessness as it was passed on to me? But hairlessness is just the tip of the iceberg. I saw an article entitled "Top 50 Beauty Tips." Top 50? Out of how many more?
Is "healthy" really the new sexy, or is "sexy" the new sexy? (Which is the same as the old sexy.)
So many moms these days are eating kale and then squeezing into toddler-sized tank tops. Moms, can't we just eat the kale, run some miles and feel sexy in a shirt? Are shirts old-school? Have they gone the way of the Easter bonnet? I don't wear teeny tank tops, but occasionally, a man will look at me in that way. This might be flattering if I didn't also see his brain straining, bargaining over the terms. I'm not exactly last-woman-on-earth material, but I've also never caused a four-car-pile-up while hailing a taxi. I can honestly say I'm ready for men to look at me with excitement of a different kind, such as: I would love to drink Oolong tea with that woman and discuss the mysteries of the universe.
Old habits die hard.
The temptation to take a bikini selfie in front of The Weiner Haven will never entirely go away. I've just learned to fight the impulse, or replace it. These days, when I take a selfie, it's usually in front of the library holding up the latest Caldecott Winner. I still stick my tongue out and make the rock and roll sign, but instead of wearing a bikini, I'm wearing a fun holiday-themed shirt from Ross Dress-For-Less.
There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to stop competing with sorority girls, simply because there aren't enough hours in a day to wax all the hair from a perimenopausal body AND hit up three different Dollar Stores in search of matching birthday party favors.
When I'm getting dressed in the morning, I think: My boobs had their day in the sun. They turned heads, they nursed babies and there was a time when they did not require a harness that would fit a dairy cow. This is what nostalgia is for. Also date night. Helloooo strappy, push-up bra with moisture-wicking foam support pads and matching cheekini tummy-tucker.
I used to dread my birthdays. And then I hit 40 and someone I grew up with died from a brain tumor. She had kids, little ones. In her honor, I vowed to never dread a birthday again. Old age, I give you my face to wrinkle and my body to sag. If that's the currency required to watch my kids grow and to continue shopping for holiday-themed shirts, then I'm truly happy to part with the time-sucking struggle for ever-lasting youth.
Moving forward, I can think of no better way to describe who I hope to be, than this: Integrity with high-performance, comfortable and uniquely sexy. (I stole that line from a Victoria's Secret bra description, by the way.)