no shelf life

As a 52 year old woman, I am struck by conversations related to friends celebrating or avoiding milestone birthdays, women getting older and how we are perceived as we (and the men around us, obviously) get older. Sadly, it seems to me, the majority regard a woman in her 40s or 50s or even 60s as somehow past the expiration date. Friends absolutely dreading the fact that they are turning 40…or mourning their obvious dotage as they pass “dirty thirty“…and it makes me sad just a little.

Age is definitely a relative thing. I wholeheartedly believe the idea that you are as old as you feel; which means I am basically an adolescent sometimes…an adolescent with a few grey hairs, laugh lines, squint lines, grown children and grandchildren. I’m not always an adolescent, but given my taste in music or the fact that I DO know almost every artist and song featured in the latest American Music Awards Show or Grammy nominations, compared to friends my age or 10 years younger…well… Yet, I wholeheartedly embrace the age that I am…grey hairs, creaky joints, laugh lines and everything else. I take very good of this aging shell of mine…and it shows. I take very good care of it because I have children and grandchildren and I definitely want to be around for a long time to watch them grow older. Added bonus is feeling good, perhaps better than other people my age (or younger).

I don’t take care of myself, or put on makeup, or wear jewelry or wear sometimes fashionable, flattering clothing for attention…except maybe perhaps from my darling husband. I know few women my age who dress for the day hoping for attention from a stranger…just like any other woman or girl dresses hoping for unwanted attention.

Why are there people who STILL think like this?

Honestly?!

So, no, telling me that I look pretty for my age is not a compliment.

Of course there is the reality that when a woman reaches a certain age, she, more often than not, is not getting looked at anymore…usually by the men. Ageism is real and women of a certain age become invisible to pretty much everyone…including men their own age. Men my age (and older) won’t give women my age (or even younger) a second glance unless they’re doing us a favor (in their small mind) because as Stevie Nicks pointed out in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “They wanna go out with somebody that’s 25,… So what am I gonna do, compete with that?”

But have you SEEN 66 year old Stevie Nicks?!

Damn girl!

Then there were the women…not the girls…the women at the Golden Globes this past week.

Hey ladies!

Then there is Julianne Moore who proved that people DO want to see a movie about a 50 year old woman, in the prime of her life, as she faces her own mortality and rapid decline.

If I can’t be Helen Mirren when I grow up, I want to be Julianne Moore. Really.

Shelf life?

Invisible?

No way.

Let’s re-think this because we all are getting older. We all are as sexy and smart and empowered and as visible as we chose to be and no one should ever diminish that for us because of the number of candles on our birthday cake this year…or the number of grey hairs, or laugh lines we might have.

 

 

Santa nails it

Yes, it’s true that my nearly thirteen year old son believes still. It’s a fact that everyone, LOVES because…isn’t that the sweetest thing? Of course everyone hasn’t seen his letter and wish list to Santa.

Y’all are lucky!

Just focus on the sweetness of his innocent belief in Christmas magic. I’ll stress about that wish list…of which I had to tell him to STOP adding to. So to distract him, we visit the Big Guy in Red at Dell Osso Farms. Pro tip: this is THE BEST Santa in the Central Valley…no bells and whistles and spaceships and light sabers, no massive line with an endless wait time. Of course, today is Christmas Eve so it is too late for you all this year. But next year…

This guy, he’s the real deal with the twinkling eyes and the merry, rosy cheeks. He’s very photogenic too. He LOVES to talk to the kids and he has the time too because there isn’t the massively long lines with endless wait times. After Daniel carefully explained everything on his wish list, including where to buy and retail price, Santa made that observation that Daniel’s wish list is a very impressive wish list.

Indeed.

Do you like surprises, Daniel?

Sometimes.

Well, Daniel, I think that I want to surprise you this year. I am certain that you will love it come Christmas morning.

And with that, Daniel smiled his biggest, happiest brace-faced smile and warmly hugged his jolly friend in red.

That will do Santa.

That will do.

date night at the museum

Wear something with sparkles, he asks. So I did; because he asked me and it’s date night.

Anything for him because it is date night!

Date Night at the Museum!

It was a perfect date night too. We held hands. Shared pretzels and cheese because popcorn is a no with braces. There was much laughter and whispered conversation about ancient Egyptian burial practice, helping to scatter his great grandmother’s ashes at a place she loved, Christianity, Judaism, Hanukkah, Jesus and Pompeii. We also talked about the fact that this was Robin Williams‘ last onscreen feature film performance and I mentioned that it was also Mickey Rooney’s too. Yes, he asked, Who? I’ll try to rectify that. The best part, besides the sweet good night kiss? My date insisted that we sit through and watch the credits because I love to do that. A first because he usually wants to leave as soon as the story fades to black and in the past has been quite vocal about being forced to sit as the closing credits roll.

It would seem that my date is growing up.

From my date and me, two thumbs up. It’s a fun finale to the Night At The Museum series with a lot of laughs, a little bit of history and definitely some poignant moments.

As for our date night, I can’t wait for the next time. Watching the previews before the movie, we have a list prepared.

still

Most of the presents are wrapped and stacked up under the tree. My darling husband has finally hung the lights outside which is good because no one else on our street has. Slowly, but surely, The Big Top is getting Christmas-ier and Christmas-ier and it is good. It is very good.

Daniel comes to me the other day and says, “So I wrote a letter to Santa. I hope that it’s okay.

First thought: He still believes!

Second thought: Crap! None of these things were on any wish list that he gave me.

Third thought: Crap! I’m already done shopping for him!

Fourth thought: Aw! The first thing he wants to to know is how is Mrs. Claus and if Santa is treating her right. That’s my boy!

Fifth thought: He STILL believes!!

I ignored the spelling error in the letter because he asked about Mrs. Claus and he still believes.

So you want to give this letter to Santa?

Yes. Do you think he’ll like it?

I am absolutely certain that Santa will love it…so will Mrs. Claus.

He blushes.

So much for the letter he received last year, with a nod to Aimee for the great idea. That letter STILL sits on his bedside table and, yes, he re-reads it often.

He believes.

Still.

You know Mom, a lot of my friends at school don’t believe Santa is real.

Yeah?

Yeah. I feel sad for them.

Because they don’t receive gifts anymore?

No. They will always get presents. I’m just sad for them. The magic is gone.

And so he believes. Still.

He is turning thirteen in less than one month…let that sink in those of you following this adventure that I have shared since 2004. He’s turning thirteen…next month.

I’m kind of glad that he believes…still.

I won’t grow up…

There has to be a reason, in spite of my dotage, my knees that loudly crunch as I run up and down the stairs of The Big Top, the lines on my face and the gray that Hollie so artfully covers for me, why I seem to know the music and lyrics of practically every popular (and not so mainstream) artists these days. I could say that it is because I LOVE music, almost all music. It’s true. But, truth be told I blame the kids.

I do.

These dang kids!

Then again, I wouldn’t trade the chance to go to the Triple Ho Show with this girl.

Or stand for a few hours in the rain at the back stage door with the hopes of catching a glimpse of someone.

Or someone’s dog, out for a quick walk and pee, accompanied by a member of someone’s entourage.

Cute dog though.

Okay, truth be told, I didn’t get the standing in the rain backstage fan-girl/fan-boy experience but she invited me and introduced me to her friends and fan-girl/fan-boy community.

Then there were moments like this.

And the music.

Charli XCX

Um, me. Tweeting #TripleHoShow.. During the show. Quite a few of my tweets and pictures ended up on the big screen for everyone in the SAP Center to see.

Jessie J

Nick Jonas

Pete Wentz

Demi Lovato

And the latest and greatest, exciting “new” boy band, 5 Seconds of Summer…5SOS to the fans. Except they aren’t necessarily the wholesome, boy band some might think they are. I imagined some parents attending the show with their young 5SOS fans realized that for the first time last night.

Parents, listen to the lyrics…check them out on social media…just saying.

Me, I like the boys from Down Under. I hear their music here under The Big Top a lot. They remind me of a young Green Day band off their ADHD meds. I’m kind of partial to their Mrs. All-American but I also love their covers of the Romantics’ What I Like About You and Green Day’s American Idiot.

Honestly, I can’t imagine a better way to spend a rainy day and evening in December with one of my kids.

Priceless!