Category Archives: life at mid-life

I think we are well-advised

…to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be,” Joan Didion wrote. “Otherwise they turn up unannounced.”

Joan Dideon

Joan Didion

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Explain doubt to me

… because at that moment I ceased to understand it.
In return I’ll tell you everything I know about love ~ Ann Patchett on when she knew she was meant to marry the man she had been uncertain about for so long.

A truer expression of love I myself have never read.

Read this book.

Read this book.

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hot in here

BY

IN BE WELL · HEALTH

— 11 NOV, 2014

TN533_HOT_IN_HERE_720x340_Fb

I was at the kind of music festival that draws packs of “festies” — young people who travel from concert to concert in the summertime wearing Indian-print skirts and bikini tops, their skin pierced and tattooed, wafting a fragrance that commingles pot and patchouli, with a base note of humid sleeping bag. More >

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My how you’ve changed

Fascinating discourse spurred by actress Renee Zellweger’s shockingly changed appearance. Not especially younger. Just unrecognizable after surgeries, it’s rumored, to widen her narrow eyes and narrow her wide cheeks. I had to stare hard at this picture to find Renee: Oh there she is around the lips and the jut of her chin.

my how you've changed

my how you’ve changed

Is this self-mutilation, a la Bruce Jenner? A woman exercising her free will, whether it does or doesn’t please the court of public opinion? Or a response to ageism in Hollywood — which is what Frances McDormand posits in a quote I might have surgically embedded into my own furrowed forehead (with LED lights maybe?): “No one is supposed to age past 45 —sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally.”

How much cooler Frances looks, sounds, is than the kind of woman she’s never been: “I was often told that I wasn’t a thing,” she said. “ ‘She’s not pretty enough, she’s not tall enough, she’s not thin enough, she’s not fat enough.’ I thought, ‘O.K., someday you’re going to be looking for someone not, not, not, not, and there I’ll be.’ ”

She is, in my opinion, what 57 should look like and, more important, act like.

what 57 looks like

what 57 looks like

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life

You know what life is NOT like? The Game of Life. God I hated that game. It just made people feel bad. And then everyone died.

not so life-like

not so life-like

This is what 55 looks like

This is what 55 looks like

Me, between gorgeous Lily and movie-star-looking Susie. A good night.

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That Sofa, A Girl and the Vindictive Little Story That Must Be Told

 

The  sofa was a blue velvet Castro Convertible. It had a camel-colored motif that was supposed to look Deco but actually resembled a paperclip. I was into Deco at the time.

My living room was as wide as the sofa. It just barely fit. Overnight guests slept on its thin and uncomfortable pullout mattress. One night a friend of a friend (of a friend, possibly, I’ve forgotten the connection) called me on the landline, which we called, simply “the phone,” stranded at an airport. Could she come to stay, just for a night? There was a static-y story about a delayed flight and then a missed flight and then the prospect of a night spent on the molded plastic chairs in the airport lounge.

I was just barely an adult, just barely affording my rent, but I felt all grownup instructing her to jump in a cab and buzz me when it pulled up to my building so I could run down to pay the fare. No problem, I said. Happy to do it for a friend of this friend (of another friend, quite possibly).

I’ll call her Kristi.

Because that’s  her name (I told you this would be a vindictive story.)

An autumn night, still warm enough to run down in flip-flops, PJ bottoms and my boyfriend’s t-shirt and as I did I liked the picture of me in my head: so comfortable in this city that I could be on the sidewalk in my PJs; so self-sustaining that the giving over of a $20 bill was no big deal (it was a little deal, however, this was the 80s and I was making $14,000 a year).

Kristi wore a denim jacket and shouldered a tatty backpack. She looked collegiate while I, as I believe I mentioned, was a grownup.

My boyfriend joined us.  In a suit, with a briefcase and a six-pack. So handsome, also a grownup.

We drank the beer. Kristi told tales of her semester in Spain. She was pretty in a not-sophisticated way with hair that curled around her face and full lips. She seemed unsure of herself (especially as compared to me). I thought she admired me or at the very least the things I had acquired: the job, the apartment, the handsome boyfriend with the briefcase. They stayed up talking after I went to bed, but not before I left a second $20 bill on the kitchen table with a little note. Safe travels, I wrote. Keep in touch! I wanted to make sure she had a way to pay the fare back to the airport.

Years later I learned that Kristi and my boyfriend had sex that night on the couch with the vaguely Deco motif. While I slept with just a couple of walls and not 10 feet between us. He, so reckless. She, so ungrateful.

Here is a picture of her I pulled from her Facebook page, for all to see. Not really outting her though, as she’s wearing a disguise, a witch/pirate/hot mess costume. Not because it’s Halloween but because she works in a bar, taking full advantage — by the looks of her — of the free-flowing beverages that must be one of the perks of this kind of career, if you can call it a career.

what you might look like if you grow up and work in a bar your whole sad little life

what you might look like if you grow up and work in a bar your whole  life

More intel purloined from her Facebook page:

A post directed to someone called Harvey: “Lubrication may have made the entry easier?”

Another, promoting a “hooter happy hour.”

Another from someone called Clay: “Kristi’s so nasty!”*

*Clay, we think alike! I’m going to friend request you.

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in medias res

This is what I was going to call my new blog. It means “in the midst of things,” which is super-fancy literary term for a story that begins in its middle, a sure sign that it is going to move all around, so just be prepared for that, as best you can be.

In medias res is a nice way of describing mid-life too. Very elegant sounding, perhaps more so than midlife actually looks and feels: sagging spirits with facial skin to match.

Image

Much nicer is this cookie, which also has a middle in which you can start.

This is a lot of copy about a blog title that is, of course, already taken. Thanks a lot, Russell Arben Fox.

On second thought, I’m grabbing it anyway.

On third thought, I’m changing it to The Midway. Who doesn’t love a midway?

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