I live in midtown Manhattan, right next to the building that will have the $90 million apartment in it. Construction has been going on for almost 4 years now. When I was a young woman in my 20's, I was always nervous passing a group of construction guys on their lunch break because of the cat calls I would receive. Didn't matter if I was dressed up or not, the calls kept a coming. Oh, how it angered me. "Hey, I am not an object, I am a HUMAN BEING!" I would yell to them.
I am now a 55-year-old woman and I pass construction guys every day as I leave my apartment. Not a peep, not a look. Zip, nada. What I would give for a cat call NOW!
Women my age are invisible. I could walk down the block naked today and the most I could hope for would be "Hey Lady, cover yourself up, your nipples are getting bloody from scraping the sidewalk." And I'd be GRATEFUL, someone noticed me.
The first time I read Harry Potter I remember thinking how cool would it be to have an invisibility cloak? And then I turned 50 and voila, my cloak was me.
Now, you have to understand something about who I am. I have been a standup comedian for over 30 years. I am loud and brash and say bad things in polite company. I proudly mention my age onstage and see the eyes turn to disinterest. I still get them in the end, but holy shit, it takes longer than it ever did before.
Young people totally dismiss you until you have something interesting to say, and then they sit at your feet like you were Yoda. And speaking of Yoda, he was what like 1,000 years old in Star Wars, but Luke still listened to him! Where's MY Luke Skywalker???
Funny, the one place I do get a lot of attention is when I go to the dank, sweaty rooms that my son's band plays at. But it's not for a good reason. Everyone there thinks I'm a narc.
When I look in the mirror these days I still see me, why is it that no one else does? I refuse to have plastic surgery to look younger. I wear my age on my sleeve. Literally. My arms look like sleeves. Too many women get face lifts and end up looking like Cruella De Vil and then DENY they have had surgery! Madonna, for example. We're the same age AND she's Italian, she should have a full beard by now.
What's so bad about getting old? Are the young so afraid of aging because that means you're closer to death? Or is it that we've brainwashed our youth to believe that only tight skin and shiny hair are the epitome of perfection?
When I was growing up sure, we had Twiggy and Cheryl Tiegs, but they were the exceptions, not the norm. I remember thinking well, that's cause they're models, they're SUPPOSED to look that way. With reality TV, now we get to see " real housewives.. Seriously, what housewife looks like that? I drove my kid to school wearing pajamas and a scrunchy and no bra... NOT a pretty picture. And when we DID dress up for a party, we were all in last year's designer outfits and maybe a dress from Target, cause who in the world buys expensive clothes when you are a parent? But I digress.
You know what's great about aging? NOTHING...
Actually, I am mentally in the best shape of my life. I see what's happening around the world and I don't get upset about it.
The anti-abortion bill just passed in Texas? Hey, I'm postmenopausal so it's not my problem anymore. (Just kidding, WTF is going on with Texas anyway?)
Global warming? Seriously? Did you read the previous sentence? I AM GLOBAL WARMING.
Genetically modified food? Oh please, I ate TV dinners in the '60s. You don't scare me.
Look, what I am trying to say is after all these years alive I am finally comfortable in my own skin... even if it looks like a Shar-Pei puppy's.