Archive for June, 2008

I’ve Found My Audience

Shopping CartSo you may have noticed — I have a few issues with my looks, with getting older, with my complete inability to understand how I can be the only human being alive who gains weight in the summer, while everyone else says things like “Oh, it’s so hot, I couldn’t think of eating!”

For a few years now, I’ve felt that I lost that “certain something” that men find attractive. Not that I was ever such a looker, but youth (and, ok 36DD’s) did have their privileges. I used to be able to smile and bat my eyes and have a chance at getting faster service from the plumber, a better cut of meat from the butcher, you know the drill. Now, I’m getting the Patagonia guy comparing me to his mother.

But today, in the Hamptons Bays King Kullen supermarket, I found my audience: men over seventy. Seriously. To these guys, I am a babe. Even today, in my totally formless smock-style Zachary’s Smile sundress (on sale at Barney’s Coop last year, so cute!), Lands End flip flops, and with my twins and husband in tow, these guys couldn’t take their eyes off me. (And in this particular smock dress, trust me “the girls” were NOT on display.)

Now, there was a time when the adulation of septuagenarians might have repulsed me. There was a time when it might have just made me laugh. There was also a time, however, when I didn’t have to search for errant chin hairs in the bathroom mirror. Times change. (more…)


June 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm 1 comment

A Wrinkle in Mine

When my daughter was three, she came up to me on the beach one day and said:

“Mommy, why are your legs so big?”

Ahh…the innocence of youth. No judgements, no critique, just a question. Plain and simple.

Now, my daughter is eight. And just yesterday she said to me:

“Mommy, what are those lines on your face?”

Yikes. I like to think of myself as not all that wrinkled. It’s pretty much the only benefit of having had oily, acne prone skin all my life: I haven’t yet shriveled up like my smooth ivory skinned childhood friends. But now, out of the mouths of babe…Maybe I have more lines than I thought.

I’ve been using Glycolic Acid pads — kinda like Stridex for the post-forty set — for quite some time. And I do think it’s made a difference. But all those creams???? Is one really different than another?

I mean some of these ingredients…olive oil. Should I just stick a pizza on my face? Fruit acids. Maybe I should go Californian and top the pizza facial with pineapple. Pomegranate, copper, Sugar Cane. Maple Sugar. peptides. Who knows what really works? Sometimes I think I should just toss a salad and stick my face in it. Oh wait – I did that today at lunch. (more…)

June 21, 2008 at 12:27 am 3 comments

How I know I’m Getting Old (Part I)

Right now, as I write this, I am looking out my window at the image you see right here on this page. Yes, I am in stunningly beautiful Lake Louise in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

I am taking in the splendor of the majestic mountains, trekking across ice fields, marveling at the natural wonders. I’ve seen bear cubs at play, elks grazing, big horn sheep and Ospreys.

But what I’ve mostly seen…is that I’m old.

It all started when I went to buy gear for the trip. In the Patagonia store in Manhattan, the cute, 20-something guy who was selling me the ultra expensive jackets and packs I could have gotten online at Lands End for much cheaper was talking about what I’d need while I was camping. Camping? I laughed. On no, I’ll be hiking, but then I’ll be retiring to my four star hotel with a hot shower and a fluffy pillow for my tired head.

Yeah, he replied. My mom is like that too.

Your who? (more…)

June 17, 2008 at 11:44 pm 1 comment

Me and Sarah Jessica

From ActressArchives.comWith the new Sex and the City movie all anyone is talking about, I couldn’t help but wonder: Will anyone still tell me I look like Sarah Jessica Parker?

We have the same hair (ish), the same color eyes, the same large-ish nose with a bump, even the same little mole on our chins. Hey, knock six inches and forty pounds off me, and you’d swear we were twins!

The difference is, even though we’re the same age, we’re both moms, and we both live in NYC, she’s still considered a sexy woman and I’m considered…well, not. The only men who think I’m sexy are over sixty. Ouch.

Back when the Sex in the City series was in it’s heyday, people used to literally stop me in the streets. “Are you Carrie?” they’d ask. I was young and single and dating in the city. I really was Carrie (minus the inches, the pounds, the fame, the shoes, and the wardrobe). But it was also that I was — dare I say it — sexy. Not so pretty maybe, but I had… something.

Sarah Jessica Parker still has it. Me? Seems like somewhere between changing diapers and helping with homework, I’ve lost it. I’m not really complaining, mind you. I think that a big part of being sexy is putting yourself out there, and back in the day, well, let’s just say that I was out there quite a bit. Now, I’m in here. I’m with my kids. I’m at my computer. I’m not looking for love, I’ve found it. I’m not trying to prove myself by attracting strangers. My husband still finds me attractive (God bless him) and that’s good enough for me.

Still, if Carrie can come back bigger than life on the big screen after four years, would it be so terrible if just once, someone could think that was me? Chic, and sexy and fabulous?

Maybe I should get a huge flower and pin it to my dress. Maybe I should get a tutu and stand in front of a bus. Or maybe I should just thank the powers that be that after fourteen years with me, my husband is still glad to be having sex in the city with me.

June 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm 1 comment

Looking Good at Any Price

Have you ever noticed that the worse your body is, the more you have to spend on a bathing suit?

I’ve been to the Lands End site with all of it’s symbols about body type and claims of flattery. And I’ve always liked the suits. Not too flashy. Not too revealing. But in the end, not too exciting, either. They’re all fine in a “I’m a middle aged woman who drives a minivan, has a bad perm, and still uses cans of Cream of Mushroom soup to make a casserole” kind of way. But chic they’re not.

This year, I decided to actually go to a store and try on bathing suits. No easy task. Like most women over forty who’ve borne children, trying on bathing suits is as depressing as it gets. What I didn’t realize is how expensive it can get!

The average price of a bathing suit at my local (and totally fabulous) lingerie store, The Town Shop, is $150. Seriously. They have a few bathing suits under $100, but most fall into the $125-$225 range. Shocking. I must be naive, but I had no idea a little piece of Lycra could cost so much.

But I had decided that, like a good haircut, a good bathing suit can change everything. So I sucked it up (and sucked it in) and tried one on. I don’t know who this Karla Colletto is, but man, can she design a bathing suit. I’ve tried the Miracle Suit thing, and quite frankly, the only miracle is that they can get away with their copywrited claim that you’ll look ten pounds lighter in ten seconds. They’re relatively flattering, but they ain’t no Karla Colletto. In her suits I looked – are you ready for this? — GOOD! Do you understand the magnitude of that? I LOOKED GOOD IN A BATHING SUIT. Talk about shocking.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the cut, maybe it’s the fabric. But I don’t care what it is. It was worth the staggeringly high –wait for it…$225 — price tag.

I decided to see if my “the worse you look the more you have to spend” theory applied to exercise clothing as well. Usually, I head to Filenes or Target and buy my exercise clothing there. After all, why spend big bucks on something you’re just going to sweat up anyway?

How wrong I was. I have only one thing to say to you: Lululemon. These pants are amazing. Their seam runs down the back of the leg, instead of the sides, making your legs look longer. The waist band hits at exactly the right spot to avoid side-bulge, and minimize butt bulge.

In my Lululemon signature pants I really do look ten pounds lighter. Unfortunately, they also left my wallet nearly $100 lighter. A small price to pay for a small butt.

So alas, it’s true. The worse you look, the more you pay. But the bright side is, if you’re willing to spend the big bucks, you can look like a million bucks. Or, OK, $100,000 bucks. But that’s rich enough for me.

June 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm 10 comments

On Aging and Momming and Really Bad Math

I don’t buy the new cultural zeitgeist that forty is thirty, thirty is twenty-one, and sixty is twenty-two. Has no one done the math?

And I’m not thirty. Just ask my crows’ feet and slackening jawline. If forty’s the new thirty, somebody forgot to tell my thighs. And my ovaries. Oh, and my neck. (And since I’m not Nora Ephron, if I hate my neck nobody cares.)

Somebody has to tell the truth about forty (OK OK 43). It’s not thirty, or even thirty five. It’s puckering elbows, and sagging knees, and not really wanting to go out clubbing. It’s not being considered hip no matter how many outfits you buy at Scoop or Intermix. It’s not looking appropriate in mini-dresses, no matter how many Core Fusion, Pilates, Gyrotonic torture sessions you’ve been to. It’s weighing the same but looking different. It’s being invisible to men under forty. It’s needing reading glasses…..or longer arms, seeing babies and knowing that’s not gonna be you anymore, realizing that all those insecurities you had in your twenties and even thirties were a colossal waste of time.

Forty is middle age. Let’s face it. And embrace it. And maybe sometimes rail against the Gods of aging for making it so.

But I’m more than my age. I’m mom to those two cuties in the banner. Although even they are older than that now. Even they have passed through infanthood, and babyhood, toddlerhood and little kid-hood (hey parallel structure allows fake words!). They’re pretty big kids now. They have attitude. They critique my clothing. But thank goodness they’re not above sitting on my lap or asking for a lullaby. They’re still my babies. And they still give me plenty to do and plenty to worry about.

Here on my blog I’m going to write about aging. Me aging. And maybe you. And I’m going to write about “Momming,” too. (I also write about motherhood here.)Hopefully, you’ll see a little of yourself in all of it. ‘Cause I know there’s gonna be a lot of me.

Check in every few days and see what horrors middle age and motherhood have Birthday Cake from The Big Daythrust upon me. And maybe to pick up some tips on how to get through it without (too much) wine.

Hey, if we have to get older, the least we can do is laugh about it.

June 3, 2008 at 1:11 am 5 comments

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