After dragging my bottom half out of bed this morning, I hit the snooze button to give myself twenty extra minutes and crawled back under the covers to stretch out my muscles in a spread-eagle sprawl very similar to the chalk outline of a dead body. You know, belly down with my face in one direction and one arm down my side with the other curved up close to my nose and a knee pulled up halfway into my chest cavity.
Before showering, I spent seven minutes plucking gray hairs out of my head, parting my hair and forcing it to go in unnatural directions just so I could catch a glimpse of any gray hairs that got away. There are always gray hairs that got away and this bothers me, but not as much as I used to think it would.
As I was showering (don't worry, we'll keep it clean...heh, clean...puns are fun), I considered shaving my legs but soon realized that nobody's feeling me up anyway. I also don't like the fact that I have a splotch of something big on the back of my left leg and people like to call it vericose veins. I don't like to call it that so I just call it my splotch. I've had it since before I was a teenager. I guess if I really looked at it closely, I could map all the cities of West Virginia with much geographical accuracy because it is such a weird shape, but really it's just a splotch.
After showering, I plucked my eyebrows and slathered my face with some expired Nivea anti-wrinkle cream, paying special attention to the crow's feet, my sun-damaged forehead, the new freckles on the bridge of my nose, my "parentheses" around my mouth, and the dry patches of skin that have become my cheeks. Okay, fine. I slapped that damn cream all over my face.
Since I quit smoking last year while I was a relative newbie to my dirty thirties, my ass has expanded and my tummy pudges out. My pants size has climbed from sparkly-butterflies-on-the-ass size 16 girls' to a whopping women's size 2. Because the weight gain is something I've welcomed, I usually rejoice in the need to buy underwear that fits me and makes me feel like that infamous line from Steel Magnolias wasn't captured on film just for me. C'mon, you know the one..."Looks like two pigs fightin' under a blanket!" Yep, that's the one.
My feet are so sore that I stick light-absorbency pantiliners in the soles for some cheap cushion. My body screams for coffee every morning because it cannot fall asleep every night. If I take a sip of water at 9:33pm, you can bet I'll be awake at 3:17am, muttering curses about my effing bladder while blindly groping my way to the bathroom with eyes half-open and hoping I'll be able to fall back asleep, if I can even remember how to get back to bed.
Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm turning thirty-three. Maybe the birthday fairy will gift me with a bone-shattering calcium deficiency or...oh, better yet...hot flashes. To be honest with you, though, I'm most looking forward to being spoiled by my daughter and eating carrot cake and not having to do laundry. I'm hoping to unwrap a Rodney Yee DVD so I can finally get my sore body into some kind of working order again. I'm even planning on splurging at Starbucks by upsizing to a grande...with 2 shots of espresso!
See, I'm not one of those women who complains about getting older because getting older upsets me. No, no, no. I have a pretty clear, although basic, understanding that the human body changes with age, both internally and externally, and there's not a damn thing we can do to stop it. Science provides us with the chemicals to cover it up - the Botox, the laser skin removal, the surgical remodeling of one's face - and that's fine for some people. Not for me, though. I'd rather be accepting of what's to come than add one more worry to my already stressful life.
When I wake up tomorrow, I'll have endured yet another year of triumphs and heartaches, of successes and failures, of embarrassments and admiration, of motherhood and friendships. My daughter will probably overwhelm me with hugs and kisses and "I love you, Mom", and present me with one handmade card after another (because, sometimes, she's just downright uncontrollably crafty). My co-workers will ask me if I have any special plans for the evening and I'll say, "Yep, I'm eating cake!" I'll open the birthday cards that arrived in the mail and share a dinner at home with my family.
It will be as simple as that. No tears. No depression. No anxieties about growing old and lonely. Besides, I only have one cat and I need to hold on to some emotional breakdown symptoms for when I turn 40.