I have crossed into the middle age.
Not sure when this happened, other than the legal. I dallied at the border before, due to circumstances, and then rallied back. I believe I may have permanently stepped over the line. Fortunately, I am trying to amend it.
I have never been overly wrapped up in my appearance. This does not mean I do not care, it means it was never something that was deemed worthy of too much investment. Sure, I focused on the hair and makeup in highschool, then hippie hair and no makeup in college and after. I lived in Colorado, New Mexico... places where women didn't even have to shave anything, much less comb their hair, in order to be considered attractive. The more you did, the less good you looked. As I lived in tents and cars, not having electricity or a regular shower changed my outlook on grooming.
Still, I am not a total slob. I live in suburban Phoenix, and in an area of town where one could safely say there is a very high percentage of MILFs and trophy wives. Plastic surgery is not a question, it is a line item in your budget. Not if, but when. No one would ever ask why you got botox and fillers, hair coloring, spray tan. They would ask you why you didn't- or why you waited so long.
I have always had limited means. I have spent my money on school, or paying back school, or paying off bills accumulated while I was working through school, and now paying the privilege of working. My debts, outside of student loan, are zip. I like it that way. It also means I don't shop very often, I typically buy things on sale if I do, and I'd rather go without stuff than a little security blanket. I lack what so many women have- a husband willing to pay for all that stuff. I realize that many marriages around here, aside from balancing life and work, childcare and chores, self time vs family time, also negotiate grooming and expenditures. A new waxing studio opened up just at the end of the street, next to the nail salon. Waxing, like other things, is apparently no longer an extra. Laser hair removal is serious business.
My feminist me who got to live at almost 10k altitude in tevas and shorts and a Patagonia all summer long flinches at the requisite use of all these personal care products. It is unhealthy, bad for the environment, unsustainable, time sucking, crotch itching, unnatural. Back in the day, a guy didn't need to be lured by a completely bare vulva to want to get it on. The concept of shaving the bikini area was relegated to wearing bathing suits- a very narrow window of time. Nudity meant you showed your bush, not destroying evidence that you ever got one.
I am not a MILF. I have no children. And although I am a step mom in that I have a committed relationship with a father of two, I am not part and parcel of the world of school and busses and activities. This supposedly enviable position of having so much personal freedom is a conundrum. My friends with children are able to claim "mommyhood" when they want to go slovenly through the good night. Doing their hair, putting on makeup, wearing a new (re: unstained) shirt is a big thing. Me? I am just a presumed soccer mom- because I am now old enough. I don't dress super sexy (but much sexier, somehow, than my mom friends). I move slow, with less rhythm in my hips. And this has got to change.
Already, I have allowed myself the gift of free botox (I work at clinics that have it, we get demo's). I have seen the benefits and the drawbacks. I like being able to raise my eyebrow into a big question mark. Phyllis Diller was my hero. I tried growing out the grey and embracing natural me. I went back to blond (after a year), and people tripped over themselves to tell me how much better I looked. I have paid for super expensive face creams (at staff discount) in order to enjoy a little luxury on my skin, even though I don't use it regularly enough to look like I use luxury face cream. Cheap? A little bit. Mostly, I am too damn lazy.
Tonight, I embark on a new adventure, hoping to separate some wheat from my chaff. You see, I also don't know how to move sexy anymore. I'd always been a good dancer, but not like a Pussycat Doll (ugh, throw up a little). I never wanted to be perceived as hookerly. Still, as I remove my clothes from the day and slip into my tank top at night, I desire the ability to elicit the gaze from my beloved. Most of the time, he is unable to focus across the bed. Then he got new glasses, like last week, and suddenly everything is sharper. He can now possibly see greys, wrinkles and strays he didn't previously know existed. I have gone from a soft focus vignette to HD.
My new adventure entails dancing classes. There was a groupon... and I actually said, well, okay, yes. I lost much of my hip swivelling ability in the past few years post accident and post surgery. I have danced the night away a couple times, to prove I could, only to find I needed some Advil and a Flexeril to recover. This is not okay. Yoga can keep me flexible, biking can give me endurance, but I need some sexy swivel. I will be reclaiming my territory before it is lost to negligence. One can always landscape an overgrown yard, but wiggle will only turn into saggle if you are asleep at the wheel. I will be whipped, beaten, tamed and toned into submission, learning sexy dance moves (not sure if there will be a pole) and reminding my sacrum of its special role in kundalini. For the next 8 weeks.
Don't call me cougar, my beloved is a few years older. Still, he appreciates my efforts. He knows it is a lucky man whose lady love will bother to refresh and invigorate- on her own volition! Mostly, I do this for me, even though he thinks it is for him. I want to feel a little more powerful, a little more confident, as I jaunt down the other side of the mountain.