Everything is the new 40. 40 is the new 30, 40 is the new black (what does that even MEAN!?) while 40 is the new chance to get naked and do a spread in a magazine, it would seem. If you happen to be Jennifer Aniston. I say 35 is the new 40, and the dawning of the age of the female midlife crisis.
I have a looming birthday, like I’m in a plane, and there are snakes on it, and I’m flying it, and straight ahead is Mt Birthday, with snow on the top. Yes, yes. That may sound like a dream (or a really bad movie with Samuel L Jackson), but it is, in fact, a birthday. But this one isn’t 40. Oh no, it’s pissy little 35. I’m bothered by the fact that I’m bothered by it.
It’s not the number that’s worrysome, but what it represents. It’s the middling-ness of it all. MID-30s. MID-life. SCHOOL mum. MARRIED with kids. WIFE. PART-time worker. It’s all so nameless, half-way something, and devoid of identity.
Am I having a midlife crisis? Can women have them? Am I really a man in women’s clothing? Does that mean I get to buy a porsche? Silver, please.
I read a fab article in the SMH the other day, suggesting it’s a REAL THING, cos, you know, what’s in the paper and in the opinion/lifestyle section is, like, FACT. Apparently, according to Melbourne psychologist Robyn Vickers-Willis it’s quite common for women between the ages of about 35 and their late 40s to feel somewhat lost and to look for a new sense of identity outside how we’re conditioned to see ourselves, based on expectations, to seek how we really truly are.
The rest of the article is here.
So, I’m still 34. I’ve always been quite advanced.
The question is, what to do about it?
1. I am sad about missing out on my Sports Illustrated spread. (I’ll mourn my ballet career and lead singer in a rock band losses when I turn 40). Come on, I’m realistic. It was never going to be the cover. However, I’ve discovered you need to invest sizeable sums in certain surgical enhancements to make the cut. My windsocks would never do.
2. Failing the Sports Illustrated grade, become a professional tennis player’s girlfriend. They sit down a lot, and smile, and get their hair made blonde regularly, and probably exercise a lot. The tennis players earn enough money to support the necessary enhancements and procedures. Champagne. Parties. A LOT of watching tennis training. Mmmm maybe no.
3. Get new teeth. I’d feel like Mitch in City Slickers after his wife tells him to ‘go and find your smile’ and he comes back all smiley with a baby cow called Norman if I could get me some shiny new white un-chipped specimens that glow in the dark. OK, maybe skip the last part. (The glowing – I’ll take the baby cow.) But, all in a white row without the chunks out of them would be nice. Do they make industrial-strength teeth? Cos I’d just grind down the newbies to a sandy dust in my sleep in no time too unless they’re made of cement. On the to-do list. Shall investigate further.
4. Do something really fun and loopy, like the Color Run. Sadly, I’m too late for Sydney, as it’s on this Sunday on my actual birthday. It looks like a huge, fun, awesome, smiley and warm way to spend a day with people soaking up some community love, but there’s only one half of those two words I’m into. Colour, YES. Run, NO. I tried yesterday. There were no wolves chasing me, so I stopped. It seemed pointless.
5. Take up a ridiculous hobby, like lounge singing, or extreme ironing, or convince the world I’m a chef by writing a cookbook of recipes containing only two ingredients in each.
I think I have another answer though. Write. I considered doing it on my body, but that’s also a little cliched. There are many pop culture references to the male mid-life crisis. That little ol’ movie from Judd Apatow ‘This is 40′ is the first to cover things from the female end too, but that’s all that’s out there. Maybe we need to get a collective script a-brewing about the blahs of the bloggy saggy-boobed woman. Just maybe that’s the answer I’ve been seeking…
Or is there something else??