In a few days I will turn 51. It is not a momentous birthday like my last one (and I’m not in KL to celebrate it sadly), but I have come to a significant understanding — I am not cut out to be a Midlife Lady — at least not the type I sometimes encounter online.
Here are seven reasons why I am handing back my Midlife membership card:
1 • I don’t have kids or grandkids – my nest has always been empty
Midlife women talk about their kids going off to college, their kids having babies, their kids doing all manner of things. Mostly it’s under the guise of handing out sage advice — stuff I would think is common sense (like wash your sheets and eat your vegetables) but apparently young people need this reminder.
I have limited experience with children so my only advice for people younger than me is don’t get married and have your own bank account.
2 • I’m not in a long-term relationship
Midlife women talk about the lessons they have learned from being married to the same guy for a bazillion years. It’s usually stuff about compromise with a dash of self-sacrifice.
The only lesson I learned from my moderately long marriage of fifteen years is leave sooner rather than later, or don’t get married at all (see above).
3 • I’m not obsessed with food and/or exercise
Midlife women like to remind each other that eating healthy and going to the gym are the secret to warding off illness and wrinkles. Having dedicated more than five years to strict dieting and punishing exercise, I feel as though I’ve already done enough of that shit.
I take the opposite view – life is too short to NOT eat the cheesecake and I’d rather stay in bed and have sex than go for a run. If giving up caffeine, chocolate, wine and carbohydrates is truly the secret to longevity, I’m afraid my future will be short but full of decadent delights.
4 • I don’t care
Midlife women are easily fired up over the latest scandal which usually involves plagiarism or the inappropriate use of swear words. As I believe that anything you put on the internet is fair game and I say fuck all the time, I find it hard to feign outrage.
I don’t even get angry about the horrible things that happen in the world, I just get sad. I often think it is more productive to celebrate what we do have, and be thankful for our good fortune rather than go into battle against an invincible enemy.
5 • I’m not ashamed of my body
Midlife women have all sorts of rules about what one should wear in order to be considered ‘respectable’ and ‘classy’. This involves covering most of our aging, broadening, slightly distasteful bodies and pretending we’re not sexual beings anymore.
I don’t give a shit about these rules. I wear whatever the hell I please and take my top off at the beach. I don’t think modesty is the moral high ground it is cracked up to be and I believe all bodies are beautiful. I’m having more sex now than ever before. Seriously.
6 • I can’t cook or craft
Midlife women enjoy sharing their meatloaf recipes and the best way to make a Christmas wreath out of recycled teabags. When my boyfriend isn’t here to cook I live on toast and the last thing I made was an ashtray out of a seashell (but I felt guilty after two days and took it back to the beach). I missed out on homemaker skills.
7 • I’m not buying it
Midlife women like to tell each other how successful they are with their beautiful houses, their brand new cars, their stunning diamond rings, and their latest bestselling book or speaking engagement. Not only do I narrow my eyes with suspicion and assume they are exaggerating, but I also don’t want or need any of those things (well maybe a book deal would be okay). Material possessions don’t interest me at all.
The only reason I would enjoy more money would be to go more places. I’m happy living in my rented cottage, driving a banged up old jeep and selling my services in $5 increments. I’ve never had a designer handbag in my life and I’m not going to start now.
When you read this list it is obvious I don’t qualify as a mature, midlife woman. I don’t belong in the Midlife ladies club so I’m handing back my membership card today.
Do you identify with the ‘Midlife’ label? Can you think of a better name for women like me?