Envy

I see you sizing me up in the grocery store, you sweet young thing.

You may not be able to place this feeling quite yet, but I’ll give it a name for you.

Envy.

I didn’t get this way overnight you know. Turning into a late-40’s goddess takes time and dedication.

A willingness to forgo exercise for vanilla scones and a Venti mocha.

To leave the lip gloss at home when grocery shopping.

To skip the nail salon/spa facial/tooth whitening in favor of buying a yearbook for your kid.

Time to accept reality and finally be comfortable in my own skin.

Skin that’s not only soft, but supple. Actually the dimply fat accumulating underneath is what’s supple. I feel soft and squishy when you hug me. And this nice little curve of belly that the lady hormones have created is going to be the next big thing.

An accessory coveted by the younger crowd. Not available in stores.

And while my legs and butt may be somewhat thin, there’s a certain softness that descends upon middle-aged women that you might not see when you look at me in the grocery store checkout line.

But it allows me to sit for hours on end without pain. To double-check algebra homework, play Monopoly on a rainy day, comfort a sick child, drive the carpool, or just be plain old lazy do some writing.

You pay big money every month for those highlights to accent the colors in your hair. Or bring in new colors not found in nature.

My highlights are silver and shiny, quite possibly the color of angel’s wings. They grow in a neatly-organized rows at my roots without fail every four to six weeks.

Little soldiers in the war that age is waging on my scalp.

When I’m not too lazy (or too cheap), I call in the troops and temporarily render my natural highlights a brownish-red.

But I see you eyeing them now, wishing they were yours.

Someday, young one.

And these wrinkles? Each and every one earned with a laugh or a funny story; countless sleepless nights with a sick baby; crying over a loved one lost.

You may want them, but they’re mine. You will earn your own in time.

I may not be on Gossip Girl or the cover of People Style Watch, but when I walk through my own front door?

I’m a Super Model.

People fall at my feet, begging for autographs. Or maybe they’re begging for a home-cooked meal and a signature on their homework packet.

No matter; I am beautiful as I glide effortlessly through my home tending to the masses and changing lives as I adjust my tiara.

Hubs treats me like I’m Cindy Crawford. He can’t see the spider veins, wrinkles, gray hair, or floppy arms. So I soak up the attention and give it right back.

Because it’s like I’m the star in my own reality show.

I’m finally comfortable in my own skin.

Sure, it doesn’t stretch quite the way it used to. It dimples, sags, and puckers.

But I’ve found that my life’s purpose goes way beyond skin deep. Beyond the clothes I wear or the flash of my whiter-than-white teeth.

Deeper still, inside my heart, where maybe only my family can see the real me.

And I’m beautiful.

Dirty Magazines

I have a confession to make: I LOVE magazines.  I love magazines with recipes and beauty tips, with pictures of the stars shopping for groceries, decorating tidbits, vacation ideas, beauty tips, parenting advice, fitness information, beauty tips, and all that garbage.

Nothing that will change my life.

Sometimes, I even notice that the same information is repeated in several different magazines, with only a slightly different twist.  It took me a while to realize this, because even when I’ve seen it before, it somehow seems like a fresh new idea when the font has been changed and a new picture added.

I suppose that makes me the Perfect Magazine Consumer.  Or the Perfect Sucker.

If you know me in real life, you know that I am NOT high maintenance or really that into my clothes.  I don’t watch a lot of TV so I don’t know who many of the up-and-coming stars are.  I try new recipes now and then, and I pretend to enjoy fitness and exercise.

My favorite magazines are usually those that I can’t keep on the coffee table.

Redbook and Glamour.

This started a long time ago, about 14 years or so.  My son learned to read almost by osmosis (not from anything I did, that’s for sure) when he was little, and it wasn’t long before I had to start explaining words.  Lots of words.  Words that you don’t want to explain to a little guy.

My favorite was when he noticed the sign outside the local elementary school and asked, “Why does it say this is a Drug Free Zone?”

So my favorite magazines were no longer allowed on the coffee table.  Banished to a drawer, only to come out at naptime or after he went to bed.

When the cover boasts titles like “What your Man Really Wants” or “Sexy Foods to Serve Tonight!” you really don’t want to have to explain them.  I didn’t even WANT to hear the word sexy come out of my little guy’s mouth.

But now that my kids are both older, my favorite magazines are still in my drawer.  In my room.  Not on the coffee table. 

I thought about this the other day, when my Redbook magazine (favorite!) came in the mail.  And I promptly took it to my room and deposited it in the Safe Magazine Place.  My son couldn’t possibly care less about a women’s magazine.  He could use it for a placemat and not even notice it.

I hide them because of my daughter.

I let her read In Style, which we borrow from the library.  People magazine?  Sometimes…it depends on the articles.  Seventeen magazine is WAY more grown-up than when I was reading it, and I can no longer find Teen.  She’s not into pop stars or Teen Beat stuff.  Teen Vogue is sometimes OK, with an occasional article about stuff a 7th grader doesn’t need to read about.  Redbook and Glamour?  Not a chance.

So I guess my secret stash will remain under wraps for now.  At least until I feel like she really needs to read an article about “Sexy Jeans for your Sexy Backside!” or “Sensuous Scents for Summer”.

I’m thinking maybe in about 10 years.