Welcome to Your Forties, Face

Let me start by assuring you that this is not some desperate, forced “EMBRACE THIS OR DIE” thing. This is an honest and rather quiet appreciation of Forties Face. Specifically, mine. Other people’s faces are their business.

I mentioned in my first post (“*ping*”), that I rather enjoy being in my forties… now. I had a decent-sized crisis when I turned forty, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. While I knew the milestone was coming, and I gave my life what I thought was a pretty thorough inventory and frankly liked what I found, I was still rather blindsided. And by blindsided, I mean there was a lot of seemingly-inexplicable crying for a while, enough to get my butt back into therapy for a bit to see if I couldn’t figure out just WHAT THE HELL. Enough for me to go to my doctor and ask her to check my hormone levels.

(And before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, I am NOT a person who blames everything on hormones and periods and the vapors. This emotional swing was so drastic that I just wanted to eliminate a big smoking gun if I possibly could.)

My levels were fine. DAMMIT. It was time to get to work.

So I went back to therapy for a little while, and it really helped. I didn’t get any hard-and-fast answers to why this was happening in an otherwise peaceful and fulfilled life–sometimes we don’t get to know why. There IS no why, and often, that’s just fine. What I did get was a quiet place to lay it all out without judgment, with an impartial party who’d seen this about a jillion times before.

(The older I get, the more comforted I am by the knowledge that I am not what they call “terminally unique.” It’s a massive relief, actually. I wish someone had told me in my twenties… ‘course, I’m sure they did but I was NOT listening.)

So, yeah, I rather like my lines. I wear them like a badge. It is fine by me that I am passing into that “invisible” territory that women enter once they’re past a certain age. Like many of us experience, there was a lot of unwanted attention when I was younger and conventionally hotter, and I’m not sorry to see it go. I see younger women dealing with that crap now and it’s just nauseating.

Fewer and fewer people are telling me to “smile!” when I don’t feel like it; this is a fine thing since fewer and fewer people might take an elbow to the face. I can’t imagine anything more selfish, entitled, or presumptuous than to tell a perfect stranger to change her demeanor for you.

We are not your monkeys. We are people walking down the street, trying to go about our business like free, unmolested humans, just like you are. Instead of worrying about my face, why don’t you shut yours?

But I digress.

The point is, my face is just fine. I will continue to cleanse (pretty well) and moisturize (usually) and use sunscreen (most of the time), because I believe in taking care of myself. But I have laugh lines because I laugh a LOT these days. I have creases in my forehead from when I used to fret what felt like all the time. I keep ’em around to remind me that I don’t do that thing with my forehead much anymore.

You know those high-water marks you see in towns near rivers to show how high the flood waters came? I’m keeping mine. Those waters recede.

Advertisements

Here’s Why the Bathrooms in the Unicorn Discotheque Are Excellent

By now you’ve probably noticed that these complaints of mine are not original, they are simply my way of sending out a plea for civility into the void. If these issues weren’t so rampant, I wouldn’t need to keep kvetching about them.The point of today’s rant is not that we behave perfectly, but that we try every day to be decent to each other in small and undoubtedly inconvenient ways.
Cleaning up after yourself and yours is never fun, but ask yourself: do you really expect the world to do it for you? If your dog shits somewhere that’s not on your property, pick it up. It’s gross, but not hard. The rest of the world is not your (nor your dog’s) toilet; no one else need experience the worst parts of having a pet, while you enjoy the best. Unless you truly forgot to bring a bag, or it is too dark to see, or it’s pretty much liquid, there is no excuse for not picking it up. If you simply  leave it there, you are communicating to the rest of us that we are your maids, and if we don’t want your shit, we should pick it up ourselves. This is unacceptable. 
Ladies: if you hover over the toilet seat when you pee in a public restroom (and who could blame you?), please leave the seat dry. By trying to avoid the disgusting thing that is that toilet seat and not cleaning up after yourself, YOU ARE MAKING IT THAT DISGUSTING THING. If I follow you, I have the choice to either sit in your urine (or your child’s), or wipe up after you. I suppose I could just add to the puddle of pee, but that is also unacceptable.
Usually, in my crankiness, I dismiss this behavior as mere self-absorption. And maybe it is. But sometimes I wonder if it isn’t a form of self-loathing that, like most self-loathing, spills out (sorry) in strange ways to affect those around us. “If I don’t clean it up, then I don’t have to acknowledge it. If I get away from the scene of my mess, it will become your problem and I can forget I ever made it.”
The same person who leaves a damp toilet seat is likely the same person who will exit the stall, wash her hands (Jesus, please tell me you at least wash your hands), then take about a million selfies until she deems one suitable to upload to social media: “Trying to get purty in maybe the nastiest bathroom EVRRRR.” 
Don’t even get me started on the goddamn selfies. Sweetie, you look fine. Now give that toilet seat a swipe.
My point is, the time spent literally trying to show your best face to the world might be better spent making said world just a little less gross for those of us who actually share it with you.
 
Honey, you really do look fine. And if you don’t look fabulous, no one actually cares that much. It simply does not matter. A truly beautiful person is a whole, real person who understands that we are funky organisms that some even funkier stuff comes out of, all the time. Denying that fact serves no one, especially not you. 
All this to say, the bathrooms in the UD are by no means perfect (who has time?), but they are damn clean because we are not dicks in the Unicorn Discotheque.

Unicorn Discotheque guest posts!

Just a quick FYI: The Unicorn Discotheque will be popping in from time to time. It looks a little something like this:setiselfie1The husband took this picture (bugger cropped himself out). What you see here is my silly face, and that of our beautiful dog. I loathe selfies, but I like this one because it looks like the dog is taking the photo.

I technically can clean up better than this, but seldom care to because FUCK IT, that’s why.

Step into the Unicorn Discotheque

Welcome.

It’s early days here on my blog, so I will likely pick random things about my weird mental makeup to talk about for some time. One of these things is the Unicorn Discotheque.

You might call it your Happy Place; we’ve all got one, and mine is the UD. What you will find within its magical, imaginary walls is pretty much anything outside the realm of the serious, political, newsworthy, or even heartwarming. (Have you ever noticed how things that are heartwarming are comprised largely of sad things? THERE IS NO SAD IN THE UNICORN DISCOTHEQUE.)

I mentally check myself into the UD when I am dwelling far too much on things I can’t control (which as it turns out, is a lot of things). In fact, I write to you from the UD right now; I admitted myself the other day after the shooting in Berkeley, MO.

My symptoms include, but are not limited to: not wanting to hear any more shrill conjecture from people who have no more information than anyone else; witch hunting; “us vs. them”-mongering; name-calling; excessive judgment of other people’s experiences; people who say “should” like it’s their job… you get the idea.

We have not had cable in our home for years for several good reasons–not the least of which is we’d rather put out our eyes than give Comcast a dime of our money. Additionally, the 24-hour news cycle is a soul-crushing juggernaut. It’s not enough for a thing to be tragic and terrible, we have to tart it up, turn up the volume, and beat it past the point where we can recognize the features of the actual event. It is exhausting and deeply depressing, not to mention completely unproductive.

I am not advocating that we bury our heads in the sand here, just that maybe we don’t have to turn other people’s tragedies into pain porn. The next time we catch ourselves licking our collective chops over that celebrity going into rehab AGAIN, it’s time to take a step back and tend our own crops. What if we did something useful instead? Help out a friend who’s having a rough time; spend an afternoon at your local animal shelter; clear out your pantry and closet so someone else can have a little more.

That’s the ticket: usefulness. And when we’re not being useful? That’s right.

UNICORN DISCOTHEQUE.

Declare a moratorium on heavy shit for a day or two. Abstain from drama and bitching on Facebook. Post a lovely comment or memory on the wall of someone you haven’t talked to in a while (a friend did this for me today and it made me feel like a million bucks). Indulge in deeply silly memes. Post unabashedly proud pictures of your kid, your dog (please post dog pictures. I love them.), your parents, how terrible your hair is that day and how little of a damn you give.

The Unicorn Discotheque is a lovely place with loads of room; come on in.

 

 

*ping*

OHDAMN. I’ve been threatening to write a blog for years and now I’m finally here. Is anybody else here yet? Probably not (phew!). Because I have no idea what I’m doing. Yet.

I was inspired by a lot of very funny, smart, and generous people (mostly women) to send this first ping out into the abyss. I have no complete idea yet of what this is going to look like. My hope is that it will be fun and thoughtful, and that from time to time I will be able to talk about serious things without taking myself too seriously. I may not have a thick enough skin to put myself out there (and stay) like so many do; the “comments” section of the most benign posts is often troll soup.

I swear a LOT, so if that offends you, this might not be the page for you. I may or may not change that eventually; I have really nice skin, and I’m pretty sure it’s on account of all the swearing.

I write about things I think about, and things that are important to me. I strive every day to keep my damn mouth shut about things I have no experience with. Ditto things that are none of my business. Perfectly? Not even close. But trying, always trying. Usually trying.

I’m kind of obsessed with my dog, and will likely bore you to tears with pictures of her. She had a rough start in life; all we know about her past is that some jackhole dumped her over the fence at the animal shelter in the middle of the night. The best thing I can say about that is that at least they didn’t leave her on the side of the road. She is shy but sweet and almost impossibly good. She landed in a terrific situation (life is pretty great at our house); all dogs should have it this good. I really mean that. It will be a fine day when pet shops sell only supplies, and people who use dogs for fighting are publicly shamed and prosecuted to within an inch of their lives.

My husband is smart and damn funny. Also, I find him quite easy on the eyes. It is possible he’s more obsessed with our dog than I am. We are borderline hermits, and often wonder if we should be allowed out in public. I truly believed I would never get married, and was more surprised than anyone when it happened.

I am in my forties, and actually love it. The older I get, the more my internal filter rusts and falls away in great chunks (see suitability for public outings, above) . Turning 40 was very weird for me; I did a pretty thorough mental check as the milestone approached, and really believed it wouldn’t bother me. It did. There is a reason people predict you will freak out a little when you turn 40: you probably will, no matter how much you like your life. And you’ll be okay, too.

Welp, that’s me for now. Fingers crossed, future posts will be all snazzy with pictures and quotes and fractals and stuff.