I had been trying to brainstorm a good blog post idea for today when I came across this article on my Facebook feed. It’s an open letter from a 33-year-old mother of five to a group of younger assholes who felt it necessary to laugh about her stretch marks while she was sunbathing at the beach.
While I’ve never had that kind of experience, I think it’s fair to say that once you reach a certain point in life, you start becoming more and more aware not only of the generation gap between yourself and those younger than you, but also of that younger generation’s complete obliviousness to the fact that THEY’RE NEXT.
That’s right, kids. That woman you laughed at for having stretchmarks? What the fuck do you think you or your wife is going to look like after bearing children?
In my case, I’ll never forget buying Pepto Bismol at a Kmart once. I was in my thirties at the time, probably around 33, like the mother in the aforementioned article. And the teeny-bopped cashier turned to grin at the teeny-bopper bagger as she scanned my Pepto Bismol — or rather, the generic version. “Pink bismuth,” she said, having a hard time wrapping her 11th-grade vocabulary around the multi-syllabic second word. She and the bagger started laughing. I bristled inwardly, but didn’t say anything. What I wanted to say — what I wish to this day I’d said, even though the words would’ve been wasted on two so obviously oblivious to their own forthcoming aging processes — was “Yeah, ha ha. Har-dee-fucking har har. GET A MORTGAGE, bitch, then come and laugh about gastrointestinal woes.”
Because I’d once laughed about shit like that, too. About bran flakes and Pepto Bismol and life insurance. I laughed about 401k’s, about college savings plans for kids, about watching my cholesterol, my sugar intake, my salt intake, my trans fat intake. I laughed about it all, but that was when I was in my twenties, and then when I was in my thirties, reality hit. Like a big old brick. My boobs started to sag, and my ass started what I have since come to affectionately call its Great Westward Expansion. Hanes Her Way panties — the full brief shit, not these “boy briefs” or bikini cuts — were my underpants of choice instead of Victoria’s Secret butt-floss varieties. I started drinking coffee. And eating bran. Watching my fiber. Worrying about my blood pressure. Was that a grey hair? Why the fuck is a hair growing out of THERE all of a sudden?
Now that I’m in my forties, it’s pretty much the same. I don’t find Harry Stiles hot because he looks like a kid to me. Jeremy Renner, however, I’d throw down and molest in a hot minute. I don’t want to watch the “Twilight” kids and their messed up excuse for romance on the big screen, and I remember when they made “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the movie, the first time around — and got the BDSM right — in “Secretary” with James Spader and Maggie Gylenhall.
I go to the grocery without make up on; my legs are pale; I have crow’s feet and an extra chin; plus cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles, spider veins and and if it’s more comfortable to wear socks with my sandals, then by Christ, that’s what I’m doing, because you know what? I don’t give a fuck what you think about me. Chances are, if you’re under age 25, I think you look pretty fucking ridiculous, too.
I may not be turning into Walter Matthau, a “grumpy old man” as I age, but you kids sure as hell better stay off my lawn anyway.