Tag Archives: aging

Dear Niki

Shortly after my birthday in 2011, inspired by a Plinky prompt, I wrote a letter to my-one-year-in-the-future-self. It’s sat in the drafts section of my email box ever since. Read it this morning, and I’d like to thank 34 year old Niki for the smiles. I’d also like to assure her that the future is bright, and all poop-related catastrophes have been contained.

Dear 35 Year Old Niki,

Hey, it’s me, 34 Year Old Niki. How’s it going? Have your Master’s Degree yet? Haha. Yeah, I thought you’d laugh (and then cry) at that.

Hope things are going well for you, obviously. At the very least, I hope you’re not still changing diapers. I also hope your husband is home from South Korea, that your marriage took no significant hits from the separation, that your eldest is transitioning into preteendome as smoothly as a girl that age can, and that your toddler is moving into preschooler territory without much protest – and by “protest” you know I really mean still pooping her pants. Or pooping in the bath tub. Or pooping on a hotel carpet (REMEMBER THAT?!  Right after you’d signed that waiver saying you had no pets in the room).

I hope you found, or are in the process of finding, a job that isn’t soul-sucking, pays for more than just childcare expenses, and is even slightly interesting. Because (and this is just my year younger than you opinion here, but) I really think you need to get out of the house. However, if you’re still living in the same town (and it would be a miracle if you found a job at all in that town) I don’t fault you for staying home. I know I do.

How was turning 35, anyway?  Did you sob naked in a bathtub? After taking stock of the effects time has wrought on your matronly body, and that face you should have been slathering Ponds upon, years ago?  That would be a shame. Because, from my end of things, I’ve been doing my best to prepare you for middle age. And, yes, 35 is considered the commencement of middle age, according to the US Census. I looked that shit up. I’m busy mentally picturing the type of middle-aged woman you want to be, but I haven’t arrived at the image yet. I hope you do.

I also hope you’re still happy, because – though nothing is perfect – I am. I’m deeply grateful for the health and happiness of my children, my family, my friends, the strength of my marriage, and, however limited, the stability of our finances. And any time I want to kvetch that my boobs are less awesome or that I see the begining of jowls, I check-in with the reality of real world heartache – which can be found, en masse, around any domestic or international bend. I have a feeling, in the years to come, “healthy perspective” is going to be your very best friend.

Thus, I hope you’re graceful (in your old, tired, decrepit age). I hope this is the beginning of a new era for you. If, in letting go of youth, and those unrealized dreams, you let go of self-doubt and increase your own personal level of “what the hell”, and actually GO for things, that would be cool. Grabbing life by the ballsack has never been your thing – or even your purpose, I think. Your journey has been of a deeply personal, behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood sort. A quiet evolution of the soul. But, ball-grabbing aside, surely it’s time to give life a thuroughly serious titty twister.

Most of all, and most importantly, you’ve hibernated long enough: GET OUT OF THE FUCKING HOUSE.

Oh, and don’t start smoking again, either. Dummy.

With immensely selfish love,
34 Year Old Niki

Happy Birthday: You’re Gonna Die!

Having spent a couple of frightening years as an insurance agent, I can say, without a doubt, that I am 100% satisfied with my current insurance company. Their rates, coupled with their customer service and corporate ethics, are seemingly unrivaled. HOWEVER, they need to stop sending me the postcard that reads, “Hey, you’ve got a birthday coming up! You might want to think about getting that life insurance soon, while it’s still somewhat affordable for you to do so…hag.” Every year. For real. Just stop.

Hurry! Before you DIE and we can’t collect any premium from you!

And since when did it become okay to call a lady out on her age! Did you see that? The “34” in there. Clearly a typo!
Well, I never.

I understand the importance of life insurance. I truly do. I also understand, having worked in the industry, what a huge money-maker a life policy is for an insurance company, and the push that exists to accumulate them. But, reminding a woman that she’s ever closer to tea time with the Reaper, and attempting to impart the urgency of her purchasing a policy by informing her that her rates will only increase upon her next birthday – because she is that much closer to DEATH – is a brand of marketing genius well beyond my rapidly aging brain’s capacity to comprehend.

I can only imagine the message waiting for me in next year’s postcard.

“Dear Mrs. D:
Since you’ll be turning 35 this year, and since you’ve yet to purchase a life policy, it’s obvious you’re exhibiting signs of early dementia. But, never fear, it’s not too late to protect your family from both your old-womany-stubbornness and your overall accelerated decay.
Call one of our helpful agents today!”

Oil of Oy Vey

Holiday text to a Friend: “And – totally off topic – i feel REALLY fucking old lately, and if one more person calls me ma’am i’m liable to shoot them and then myself.
Ho ho ho! Meeeerry Christmas!”

My husband doesn’t think this is funny. When I ask him if he’ll still love me when my turkey wattle of an Oil of Olay neck quivers in the breeze, no laughter. When I examine my eyes and say things like, “What if my upper lids and brow droop like the bangs of a Sheepdog? What if I have English Sheepdog skin flaps that BLIND me…..do you think our health insurance covers that?” To this he just says, “Oh, Jesus Christ.”

But my lady friends, they understand. Especially on the “ma’am” score. Is there a worse word? There are days, most of which premenstrual, where I think I’d far prefer being called “stupid bitch.” “Thank you for shopping at Target today, stupid bitch. Have a nice day.”
Okay, no. But still.

It just mystifies me why every single service industry person (especially those whom rely heavily upon tips) does not call me “miss”. I would tip them a bajillion dollars! Every single time. One bajillion dollars. I know very well I’m being patronized. I know very well my potential liver spots are but a harsh florescent light away from exposure, but – if it’s done sweetly – I will totally bask in the momentary bliss of “miss”, regardless.

But the situation isn’t going to improve, we all know this. So I’ve decided the next time I’m free to enjoy some nightlife I’m going to pass on the nightclubs themselves. Instead I’ll get dolled up and head out to the finest nursing home in town. If there isn’t a “well hello, young lady” waiting for me there……