Last night a friend of mine was complaining about turning 40. She had found a hair on her upper lip and was mortified. I didn't want to be the one to inform her (but I did) that she was in the Karen Carpenter stage of aging....she had only just begun.
I hated to be so blunt with her but aging isn't for sissies and she needed to do some prep work to be ready. Armed with my knowledge from the last five years I gave her a few pointers on how to survive her 40's...
1. Put a pair of tweezers in your car. Chin and lip hairs love to shine in the bright sunlight of day. You can spend 20 minutes looking in the bathroom mirror only to have it appear moments later as you drive. They are very tricky like that. They also grow from non-existent to three inches long in 24 hours. It is a terrible thing to be getting a mustache at the same time as your teenage son. He will be much more excited about his than you are about yours.
2. Forget tanning. You are in crisis mode where skin care is concerned. Prepare to be seduced by every celebrity over 40 that has a skin care line. All extra money will go toward finding the perfect combination of products that will turn back time. They will convince you that timeless beauty is priceless but that translates in to about $300.00 a month. Your eyelids will start moving with the eyeshadow brush and tiny little brown "age" spots will appear out of nowhere.
3. The reason that you will have knowledge of all the skin care lines is that you will begin to suffer from insomnia. Infomercials love to target us late at night when we are exhausted and without make-up. Just as your kids start to sleep in you will be unable to sleep at all. It is one of natures cruelest tricks. You will lie awake all night thinking about your chin hair and wrinkles,whether or not your kids will get into college, how they are going to wash all that Gulf Shore wildlife with Dawn dish washing liquid and any other problem facing the world.
4. You will need to become very aware of where you are in a store and how far it is to the nearest restroom. Forget the fire exit. The bathroom knowledge will become much more important.
5. Belly fat will increase even if you look at food. You will begin to eye the Liz Lange maternity wear at Target because of the wonderful waist bands.
6. In an attempt to join your bulging stomach so it won't be lonely, your breasts will begin to sag south. You can attempt to separate them with a belt but the belt won't get much exposure.
7. Reading glasses. You will need them. You will need to buy several pair of them. They will NEVER be where you are. They are like Bin Laden. They are always moving and difficult to capture. It is best to buy in bulk at the Dollar Store. I believe eyesight is the real reason you shouldn't give birth after 40. If I had to read a infant Tylenol bottle in the middle of the night my baby would be in big trouble and most likely over medicated.
8. Forget about it. That is exactly what you will do. You will forget everything from the names of your children at any given moment to the identity of people that are contacts in your cellphone. I have no idea who several of people listed in my contacts are or why I saved their number. I am too embarrassed to call them and say "Excuse my peri- menopausal memory loss but who the heck are you?" This memory loss is one of the main reasons you can't find your reading glasses.
As I informed her of all the greats things the forties would bring she looked none too happy. I understood completely. It isn't fun to age but it is a lot less fun not to.....