5 Things Your Mom Didn’t Tell You About the 40s

Weight gain. It’s terribly painful to experience superhuman metabolism for most of your life, only to be bitch-slapped after 40 with cellulite that makes the moon look smooth. It doesn’t happen right away either…it’s sort of a gradual, sneaking up kind of phenomenon where one day spring day you can pull your summer shorts out of the closet but not up over your thighs. And then, to actually tear your jeans in the seat. TWICE. Extra points for not realizing it while you were walking around the bowling alley for 2 hours.
Vision Changes. My mom always wore glasses, so I’ll give her a pass on this one. However, not even my dad (who wears readers) told me I’d be damn near blind in my forties. Can’t read a book, can’t read the computer screen, can’t read medicine bottles, or nutrition labels on all the foods I need to count carbs for. And no more staring romantically into Todd’s eyes, unless he’s standing on the other side of the room. Any closer than two feet and he could be a gorilla and I wouldn’t know the difference. Well, except for all the hair, but…
Libido. Seriously, WTF??! Why, oh why did NO ONE ever mention the forty-something libido that goes to light speed and is as relentless as a mosquito bite?? Who has time for this but a 14-year-old boy with a lock on his door?? If this gets any worse, my husband will stop coming home. Well, maybe not.
Whose body IS this? Mom failed to mention all the aches and pains, especially the unforgiving ones like back pain and sciatica. She didn’t tell me that the mere act of trying to get out of bed would be an Oscar worthy performance. At the very least, it’s a feat of magic on some mornings worthy of a Facebook mention… if only nearly all my friends with the same problem actually gave a damn. The body used to be able to do all sorts of things, which are now nearly impossible without the musical accompaniment of pops, creaks, shrieks, and grinding noises. Pinched nerves, shoulder pain, sore knees, carpal tunnel… I don’t have time to list it all.  And while we’re on the subject of foreign bodies – who in the barnacle invented hemorrhoids?! Dear God – wasn’t natural childbirth punishment enough?
Memory Loss. Walking into a room and forgetting what you went in there for? Used to be funny – maybe somewhat annoying – but now? As an everyday occurrence I now understand why Alzheimer patients get so freakin angry. Looking at my medication bottle trying to remember whether I really took it, just moments after I’ve thought of it. Trying to remember the name of that person, the date of an appointment, what year we went to Greece, how old I was when mom got remarried, what I ate for breakfast, and especially remembering all those bodily symptoms when the doctor asks and – ready for this? – the date of my last period. Because – we’re not quite old enough to discount pregnancy, which they can and will ask before every Goddamn diagnostic test. (And, while it’s not relevant to this post, I just have to mention how much it pisses me off when any chance of pregnancy? answered with a firm “no” is then followed up with, how do you know?)

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