I just got out of the bathroom, plucking another fistful of grey hairs.
Shut up, I know. They just grow back in an army of little silver spikes, intent on total scalp domination.
And yet I pluck. It’s what you do when you’re 43, which is what I am, as of today.
I now join the ranks of other 43-year-old women who haven’t exactly taken the world by storm – Shannen Doherty, Denise Richards, Debbie (now the more stately Deborah) Gibson.
Mind you, the 43-year-old guys are still ruling the school – Jon Hamm, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg (who has long since left Marky Mark and his Calvins behind).
But the 43-year-old women…hmmm…not as strong a showing. I can’t speak for how well Wendy Whoppers is holding up (an aging porn star, according to my handy “celebrities who are 43” list), but I don’t hear a whole lot from Claudia Schiffer anymore.
Even so, I doubt anyone’s ever offered her a senior discount.
Now, you may have heard this story before. (All my friends pretty much have.) But hey, old people repeat themselves a lot.
Back when I was a sprightly 42, I went treasure hunting at Goodwill. I’d hoped for a little pick-me-up, the kind that comes from unearthing a stain-free J. Crew rollneck sweater just your size.
But know this: nothing brings you crashing back down to earth like the check-out lady inquiring in all helpfulness, “Do you qualify for our senior discount?”
(Let me be clear. I was NOT buying girdles or Maeve Binchy novels at the time.)
All I could do was stare at the woman. Mouth agape. Eyes squinty.
And I hung on for the laugh. Surely, there had to be a joke in there somewhere. Surely.
Instead, she offered this qualification: “Our discount applies to people 55 and over.” Oh, well then, that makes everything better.
I squinted harder. My mouth hung slack. And I waited for her to cast her eyes upon my dewy complexion and blush hotly at her mistake.
Not to be unkind, but perhaps there’s a reason this woman worked at Goodwill. Clearly she was not one for making wise life choices, because she had the gall to ask me again, kind of snotty this time: “Well, do you?”
Being old and slow-witted, all I could muster was a haughty laugh and (perhaps a little too long and loud) an indignant, “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
It’s a good thing for her that I’m a lover, not a fighter…and that I have very little upper body strength for strangling.
Because, man, that’ll set you back.
You’re walking around thinking, I’m young. With it. Quasi-hip. I may have two kids and a station wagon and spider veins, but I’m still pulling it off. Sort of.
Then you have that soul-crushing moment when you discover you’re not 25 anymore. And that nobody my age says “hip” much — unless they’re joking about breaking one.
The thing is, I don’t want to be 25. I am perfectly content here at 43 – right along with my friends, Sarah Silverman and Melissa McCarthy.
I’m just not quite ready to share that 55-year-old senior discount with Jamie Lee Curtis. Or her Activia, for that matter.
There’s plenty of time for all that.
Twelve years to be exact, not that I’m counting.