Had my 39th birthday this past Labor Day. It was a lovely weekend, though I’d be pained to call it celebratory. Spent some wonderful time with my sister and her family, with my parents, with my inlaws, with my husband. It was fun. There were presents (a surprise) and cake (not a surprise.) There was lots of love and hugs and kisses. My family loves me, and I am more grateful than words can express for their kindness, patience, and generosity.
But (you knew there was a but) 39 is odd. Like an ill-fitting shirt that needs a little more fabric softener. It’s not hard like 29 was hard – there wasn’t a panic attack involved this year. It’s just melancholy, I guess.
There’s the knowledge that experience has bought, and hopefully a little bit of wisdom. But mostly there’s the feeling that you know less that you have ever known, except now you have a mortgage and a marriage and a job. I’m supposed to have at least some of this figured out by now.
And then you have your annual physical, where your doctor doesn’t mention the expiration date on your eggs but does mention that you get to have your first mammogram next year. Get to have. Like it’s a reward. And maybe it is.
But you realize that something subtle and powerful has changed. I’m young. But not young like I was a decade ago. Or maybe I’m younger. Though my knees will tell you different. It’s hard to tell, most days.
Most days that aren’t tonight. When I see can time creeping at the edges making its mark upon my flesh. Scratching lines on my face. Turning my eyebrows white. My eyebrows! I kid you not.
And now I want to bitch-slap time for being such an intolerable whore. Why the eyebrows? Why can’t time make my legs go bald instead?
Time is an asshole, that’s why. (Sorry for the language, Mom. Love you.)
Anyway. If you bump into me, do a girl a favor and don’t stare at my eyebrows. I know they’re turning white, but at least they’re distracting me from the other tortures of gravity.
But let’s not talk about all that right now.