Friday, July 21, 2006

Not So Bad After All

Thirty has actually been pretty good to me. I think I may like it after all. I read once that Nicolas Cage said there's a certain grace that comes with age. Or something to that affect; it was in Reader's Digest, look it up. Anyway, I think he was right. I got this sensation, almost like an epiphany without the BAM. I can be old if I want to. I can go braless on laundry day (cameras in phones but no technology to avoid hand wash only?!), I can admit that I crochet and make quilts out of baby clothes, I can make that odd grunting sound when I sit down. (Not that I make that sound of course, but I can if I want to.) I don't have to be Young Chuck anymore; I can just be Chuck. It's liberating. I can go to Subway in my slippers (but not my robe, don't worry) and not worry about whether or not the high school kid in the booth thinks I'm trailer trash. Maybe milf isn't a way of saying 'hot for her age', but rather a way of saying 'hot and confident'. Why do I have such new self-esteem? Two people: Tom and Oprah.

Tom, my husband, gave me the perfect thirtieth birthday gift. Actually a whole box full of them. When we were first married he needed surgery on his shoulder (tore the bicep right off the bone, OUCH) and was in a sling, homebound, for almost 4 months. Having been on the road almost constantly for over 2 years, he got extreme cabin fever and became irritable to a PMS degree. One night he asked me what the hell I was doing with all that yarn so I showed him a simple chain stitch and he started to crochet, about the only thing he could do with only one arm and hand. This year my husband gave me, for my birthday, a twin sized afghan he crocheted me for over a year, from his time at home post-op to the week before I got it. For a big bad trucker-man to crochet a blanket in the back of his Freightliner for a year, it's got to take some real affection. Also in the box, the chick flick I'd liked the ads for (he actually heard me?) and clothes. Yes clothes. Not nighties or push-up bras, but real clothes I loved. I usually wear t-shirts and jeans, so for him to know what feminine clothes wouldn't make me ill shows he really knows me. Even Jame said she would hesitate to buy me these clothes. My husband knows me so well, and still loves me. It's a big ego boost.

Oprah, well she reran a show on dressing thinner. In it was some very useful information on finding the right bra. So I grabbed my sewing tape and measured my ribs. I hadn't been measured since I weaned my daughter seven years ago and was surprised to find that I have lost four inches in that time. The show also mentioned that for every band size difference, there is a one inch cup size difference. So a 34B cup is one inch deeper than a 32B cup. I went from a 36A to a 32C overnight. I found some bras that fit and bought two. Now my boobs (finally) stick out farther than my belly and I look thinner and, well, more buxom. I have always felt self-conscious about my chest. In fact, when I first talked to Tom, over the phone, I described myself as short and thin with my chest on backwards. Being an A cup can be hard. But now I am a C cup, one size bigger than the implants I used to wish for. Maybe I am a milf.

I don't think I'm going to claim 50 like I planned to. I think I'm going to proudly claim 30. I have had some fun getting here, and I have good people to share it with, my family and friends, and I don't think I need to lie one way or the other about it. I'll still dye my grays and slather on wrinkle cream, but I always dyed my hair anyway and the wrinkle cream...well you have to start that young. Maybe thirty really IS the new twenty, but better. Not so much insecurity, not so much fashion. More honesty and self-awareness. My boobs may sag more than they did at twenty, and my roots may be a touch lighter in places, but the drama is toned down and the priorities are straighter. It more than evens out. I think I like thirty.

But don't even ask me to contemplate forty.

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