43 and Botox Free…

It’s a + 40 world.

OK, not really.  At least not if you watch TV and read magazines, which of course, I do.

According to our media culture you can be an over 4o woman but should look 28 with dewy skin and just the right amount of upper arm muscles.  I want both. This means I am both delusional and optimistic. As a peri-menopausal married woman who has undergone 2 c-sections and suffers collateral stress from fighting for the remote for 18 years,  I am Prime Beef to advertisers.  They want to sell me Retin-A and Thigh-Masters.  So far I have resisted both but only because Retin-A sounds toxic and Suzanne Somers is a nut.  Therefore I have a collection of re-usable water bottles and a subscription to Shape magazine.  The water bottles languish in the cabinet and I have a pile of back-issues with dog-eared  exercises that will give me upper arms somewhere between Michelle Obama and Madonna. In honor of Kelly Ripa’s amazing arms I purchased a fancy purple water bottle with a pop-up straw.

Today is my birthday. I have been 43 years old for exactly 16 hours, 8 minutes and I am here to tell you that when the Botox coupon came in the mail last week I saved it.  I didn’t want to.  I wanted to throw it in the trash and say, “Oh that must have been meant for the person next door!”  Recently I had dinner with one of my best friends.  We’ve known each other since we were 20 and could sunbathe with baby oil and were able to lose 5 pounds over a weekend.  By the second glass of wine we were scrutinizing each others faces and applying pressure to our foreheads “Maybe a mini-facelift” I said about myself, she said “I don’t want to wear eyeshadow anymore”  We realized we were being ridiculous and said to each other Billy Crystal- like “You look mah-velous!”

Maybe it was the wine.

I actually feel pretty good.  Much to the advertiser’s chagrin.  Since it isn’t likely I will be doing anything about gravity, it’s only practical to focus on something else. At 30 I entered a phase called “What Am I Doing With My Life?”  That lead me to read more self-help books than I can count including one for people who read too many self-help books.  At the end of a decade of introspection I realized the key to happiness was being happy with what I already had.  So, I may never have razor-cut upper arms or Elasta-Girl skin, I’ll just have to live with that.

When my twins were in  Kindergarten they learned the phrase “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

Excellent advice. No needles required.