Things that Died When I Turned 40

This New Year marks the beginning of a new decade for me. Skirting the risk of sounding morbid, it’s more about deaths this year, than resolutions for me. So, in taking stock of my life, here’s what I’ve laid peacefully to rest…

My willingness to apologize for the condition of my house.
Hey, this is what my house looks like today. If you don’t like it, get the hell out and drink someone else’s wine. My house is a reflection of my today and today, I am having a bad house day. Sometimes, I wake up and the stars align in a different way, but not today.

Giving a shit about brands.
Does that purse miraculously hold all your crap yet not hold all of your husband’s and kids’ crap? I love it. It’s lovely on you. Can you drive, eat, laugh and bend over in those jeans? I love them. Does the wine in that box make me tingly and giggly with a warm nose and you’re serving it on your couch? It’s my new favorite. I don’t care where you buy your clothes or whose name is on them. I like the YOU in them. I don’t care if the chicken you cooked is organic. I like that YOU’RE having dinner with me.

Remembering who owes me one.
Don’t care. Not even a little bit. I’ll offer to buy lunch when I’ve got spare cash. I expect that you would do the same, otherwise, let’s split it. No, I don’t care if you had an appetizer. Did I lend you a scarf once and you forgot to return it? Guess what? I don’t lend anything that I can’t live without. I forgot about it the second I saw the way it brought out the color in your eyes. Keeping score? Who’s got time to deal with that? This morning, there was one more eye wrinkle than yesterday. Apparently, I am dying over here.

Caring whether you are my friend.
I love my friends. And I’m using the word love here. They fill me with joy, verve, adventure and comfort. And if you don’t? Ain’t nobody got time for you, sweetie. Kiss off and be miserable and judgy somewhere else. I gave it up for good. Did I ruffle your feathers once and you’re still bad mouthing me all over town expecting me to grovel? Don’t hold your breath, sister, either put on your big girl panties and have it out with me or shut up and color. Your bitterness isn’t hurting me, I apparently either never noticed or I let it go eons ago. There’s no room in my heart for a grudge. I store memories of my children’s’ laughter in the place where I used to store grudges. They were evicted for non payment of happiness rent.

Going with the flow.
Guess what? I know what I like. And it’s not waiting around while someone else makes decisions for me. If no one in a group wants to pick a restaurant, decide what time to meet up, choose a bottle of wine or an appetizer to share. I elect myself. I can’t even count the number of waived off frustrated waiters, nights that I spent quieting my rumbling stomach while everyone was nice about picking a restaurant that everyone likes, or bored hungry hours waiting around while someone took a nap/four hours to get ready/had no sense of anything outside themselves. This is clearly a situation where I’m going to err on the side of that bad 80s poster with the ducklings–lead, follow, or get out of the way!

Just dumb. I don’t covet anything that you have. I live the life I made, based on choices that were important to me. There’s nothing that I have–not even the ugly stuff–that I would trade for anyone else’s life. Not your thighs (which frankly look like they could use a cookie and a cocktail), not your house (in the end, it’s nice for you, but it’s just not “me”), and not your money (I know what I had to do to earn mine and those compromises were enough, thank you). I don’t know that the people in my life who are skinnier, cleaner, or richer than me are a drip happier so I’m done worrying about what they have that I don’t.

Figuring it out myself
When I was younger, I was resolved to do everything that every other woman could do–effortlessly and without struggle. What that meant was endless hours of Internet searches, library trips, and piles of saved magazines all over my life leading to two decades of trial and error cautiously hidden from public view. I don’t need to read Pinterest Fail boards, because I LIVED Pinterest fail boards. Somewhere along the road, I figured out that NOBODY has it all figured out. Each of the women that I know have a set of great skills and I am not afraid to ask them to show me. Be ready.

Picturesque Perfection
If you’ve been to my house and eaten food delightfully presented on colorful platters, seen my bookshelves adorned with lovely tchotchkes, and my coffee tables tastefully arranged with cerebral conversation starters, I’m sorry. I lied. Twenty minutes before you got there, I was picking dog hair out of the frosting and hiding dirty pots in the garage. I don’t smell good because I showered, I was too busy hiding my life from you so I had to take a whore’s bath in Jo Malone right before you rang the bell. My bookshelves are filled with trashy paperbacks, dust, and jigsaw puzzles that are missing pieces. My coffee tables are typically covered in laptops, cords, coffee stained wine coated magazines, pencil stubs and empty beer bottles. If you’ve seen adorable pictures of my family, sunny and smiling and clean, I lied there, too. My kids are exactly the same as everyone else’s–differently obnoxious at every phase, but this year, surly and awkward, smelly and embarrassed by me. It takes an act of congress to get a good picture. So, I’m done. If you come for dinner, I’m serving it in a pot. On a chipped plate, as nature intended. We’ll play poker (with tiddly winks, by the way, the chips are just for looks, we don’t like them) or Scattergories–the chess set was a souvenir, it doesn’t make us laugh, so we don’t use it. And in the morning, we’ll eat scrambled eggs and drink coffee on the couch while laughing at my collection of “poo face pictures”–snapshots of my kids being bored, irritated and just plain awful at various locations all over the planet–because that’s how I really roll.

Happy New Year.

About peik

What's to say? I'm a chronic fun seeker and life marrow sucker. I live in an ancient brick house in a darling town with my perfect and tolerant husband, my two amazing teenagers (The Giant and The Ginger) and two blue Danes (Oliver and Periwinkle). A lover of obscure roadside attractions and museums of oddity, I travel, write, laugh, make friends, write letters, sometimes run, eat great food and drink good whiskey. I've never had a bad journey and every single day is my grandest adventure.
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