Is that a pear in your pocket?

By cwbuecheler via Creative Commons

Age moves on stealth feet. Except that tip-toeing is getting noisier with each passing year. In a few years I imagine it’ll be like Gene Simmons, in full Kiss regalia, stomping all the juice out of my youth.

It’s getting harder to hide the signs, such as the under-eye circles (Just how much of that caulk they sell at Sephora can you cake under each eye?) and that flotation device permanently attached to my waist.

Years of smoking and tanning have etched lines on my once-perfect skin. Yes, I once had perfect skin. No makeup needed. Ever. I quit smoking 17 years ago. More than anything I hope my lungs have somewhat regenerated. But my skin, well, the damage is done. I wish every young person lighting up and buying a tanning club membership would consider this. I know I didn’t.

If anyone is guilty of thinking youth would last forever, it’s me. I had it so easy for so long. I always looked far younger than my years. I was carded for alcohol well into my 30s. (I was carded at Target last week for buying NyQuil but that’s something different entirely.) But now? My knees ache and throb after I run on the treadmill. They require ointments to feel better.

I’m getting the hereditary veiny, twisted hands of my mother and grandmother. I don’t sleep well at night anymore. I no longer feel sexy. My body cannot produce a baby. My silhouette no longer forms the hourglass figure of youth.

I am a pear.

I am the pear-shaped princess of perimenopause.

Inside I feel young. I have good energy. I am strong. I have will and fight. Most of the time. I still swing on the swings at the playground and laugh at poop jokes and The Three Stooges.

I don’t want to fight  gravity with shots and creams and endless slices under the knife. Yet, if the money were available, I’d probably submit to “just one” procedure. I’d have my eyes fixed. They are aging me faster than a carton of Marlboro Reds. But, I know one procedure begets another and another. Younger eyes would beg for a smoother forehead and taut cheeks and a tight neck. On and on it goes until you are a cartoon character named Joan Rivers.

So, what’s gotten the pear-shaped princess singing the blues lately? I’m surrounded most days by much younger women. Women at the starting end of the fertility curve.  Women who are worried about getting pregnant while they are pregnant. One day I did the math. Some of these mothers were flying out of their mother’s uterus as I was peeling rubber out of the high school parking lot on commencement night.  I am — gasp — the old mom.  I don’t even know where everyone my age is hanging out anymore. Are they all dead?

God knows, I try to go out and party like it’s 1989. I’m almost always the first to check out. I was called on it at the last girls’ night out. I’d been up since 5 a.m., had one too many glasses of red wine, and had a date with my pillow.

“Lame, lame, lame,” said one of the young moms as she slapped my drooping shoulders.  She had the fiery intensity of a woman determined to get her way.  “You are coming this time.”

So I did. If only to save face, to prove them wrong about being the old mom. I found a second wind and together we christened the newest wine bar in town. I’m glad I did. Even if it meant I had to wear dark glasses to school drop-off the next morning and go home and put an ice pack on my face before taking a three-day nap. The rest of those young things? They looked fresh as morning dew on an Easter lily.

Damned youth.


If you aren’t already a fan, check out Bossy’s take on a wishy-washy friend named Peri.

14 thoughts on “Is that a pear in your pocket?

  1. Shut up, because I’m right behind you and dammit, I’m about to walk down the aisle. I keep saying I’ve graduated from princess to goddess when people ask me about the dress style I’m going for, but the truth is that’s part of the whole aging thing too.

    Gracefully. That’s how I want to go. Forget staying young forever, because I teach the young and damn if I want to go through that again, but if I can age gracefully, I’ll take it happily.

  2. TeacherMommy: Yes, aging gracefully. That is the goal. Now, let’s define that please. So excited about that aisle walk for you.

  3. Libby: I wish I could go to bed at 11 p.m. I tend to stay up late except if I’m out on the town, then I turn into a pumpkin fairly fast.

  4. Personally, I have seen photos of you. And I have NO IDEA what you are talking about. You are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I think you are doing MORE than just aging gracefully. I’m VERY glad you decided to go, and after you found your second wind – you even had a good time. If it makes you feel any better I’ve also driven my son to school in the morning wearing dark sunglasses

  5. Meleah Rebecca: Ah, geez. What am I supposed to say to that? Except, if I keep hanging around the super young moms, no one will suspect a thing, right?

  6. MomZ, I know how you feel! I work at our high school so I’m constantly reminded of my high school days. Sometimes in my head, I almost forget that I’m 43, until, of course, my daughter’s friends come up & say “Hi Mrs. Palmer” or “Mom”. Of course, the mirror doesn’t let me forget either. I’m the same way about going out. I can be out for a little while but then I just want to go home & then I stay up until all hours.
    Damned youth, yes, but we do have more wisdom! (((HUGS)))

  7. Collette: Thank goodness for a bit of wisdom. I wouldn’t trade my life lessons for all the Botox in the world.

  8. I can relate so well to this! I am a former smoker too and have the wrinkles to prove it. I am also feeling my age in many of the same ways you mention. I’m proud of you for christening the wine bar! Hope we can be old moms closing down a bar together one of these days. 🙂


    “Tossing pennies in the fountain of youth.” That’s me all over. Ahhh to be back in the club with a blue iced tea in my hand singing “I’ll stop the world and melt with you…”

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