06 March, 2015

things as they are

i woke up on this, the morning of my birthday, looking like death warmed over, thanks, in no small part to that third second glass of red wine last night. it seemed like a good idea at the time, embracing, if you will, that pernicious north american notion of "i deserve it!"- a marketing ploy as morally repugnant as it is successful*.

as i gazed at myself critically, i wondered if this would be the year i would finally welcome that aging woman in the mirror into my inner reality. having always been a firm believer in working what mama gave  you, i.e. embracing your best bits, not spending 30 years of your life straightening curly hair, or curling straight hair, etc., i am having one hell of a time  in this one area (as evidenced by these self-indulgent posts).

i have learned some valuable lessons in the last few years, and walked some interesting paths, so perhaps this, my 43rd year, will prove to be the year i get it. it doesn't help that so many of my friends are far younger than i am - people my age are, for the most part, armpit-deep in child rearing and don't have the time to drop everything and go for a drink. sometimes i stop and wonder if i'm a creepy old woman trying hard to recapture her youth by making "that's what she said" jokes and giggling maniacally. then again, second guessing who i am is counterproductive. as i said before, i is who i is and other than trying to buff that to a high gloss shine, trying to become something entirely different is futile. and stupid. and sad.

so why all this questioning and such (crusty juggler asked me recently)? because i think i am trying to find my footing: i was damn good at being a kid. really great at being a young woman. i kicked ass at my thirties. now, suddenly, my insides have stopped matching my outsides, and it's taking me longer than i'd like to figure out what is what. still, if there is anything i could choose to guide me, the love of my friends is a sure winner - if i was a creepy dirty old woman** i wouldn't be having as much fun with as many lovelies as i am.

so - onward and upward!

*does a woman in india getting gang-raped on a bus deserve her fate? does a homeless child? it's all an accident of birth, my poultries, deserving has sweet fuck all to do with it.

**plenty of time for that yet!


Zhoen said...

Happy birthday.

My cousin Elizabeth, when I was whinging about being in my 40s told me "Life begins at 50." And she was right. I think that stretch between is a bit fraught, not young, not old, and if one doesn't have kids to distract, it's rather puzzling. Sort of the anti-puberty.

polish chick said...

i agree about the lack of kids as distraction. this lack of kids, when it comes to this particular topic, is making me feel all kinds of annoyingly self-indulgent.parents don't have the kind of time us childless folks do. still, i hope to make this time my own in the nearest future. it's either that or sheer misery and who the hell wants that?!

Tom said...

I recall that when I became involved in fatherhood, there were many who claimed that childless couples (by choice) were selfish. This was never a line I supported which sounded to me too much like sour grapes. One makes one's choices and lives with the consequences. There are no rewards or punishments.

This brings me to one of your footnotes, about 'deserving' what happens to us. It seems to me that this line is all too often taken, or spoken, to get the speaker off the hook in some way. As you say, whatever happens 'deserving' has sweet FA to do with it.

Even if a case could be made that some people deserve what they get, eg death sentences for murder or drug smuggling, lashing or murder for blasphemy etc., and I do not believe a legitimate case can be made for such extreme measures, I am reminded of something Gandalf said to Frodo in "Lord of the Rings" ((Book 1, Chap 2):-

"I can't understand you. (said Frodo) Do you mean to say that you, and the Elves, have let him live on after all those horrible deeds? Now at any rate he is as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy. He deserves death."

Gandalf responds:

"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the wise cannot see all ends."

polish chick said...

tom - that line, both in the book and the movie, was quite memorable. thank you for reminding me of it.

i walk through life trying to believe in karma, but if i do, it is only to the extent that it keeps me doing what i believe to be right.

Zhoen said...

I want to send that to all the people who want the Boston bomb guy to get the death penalty. Not that it would help.