I thought I’d settled into “comfortable” middle age until I was unceremoniously flung back into the dating pool at the not-so-tender age of 46.
I’d adopted a style of dressing that would make Maggie Tabberer proud, thrown away most of my heels, loved my utilitarian Bonds undies, went to bed at 9.30pm every night, cooked elaborate evening meals, baked every week, and thought doing the weekly grocery shop was bulk fun.
The clever Mumabulous wrote a blog called “You know you are middle aged when…” that gave me shivers last night with its references to Can’t Stop the Music, WHAM and being oddly attracted to bling.
But, while it was freaky that I could relate to most of her points, something bizarro happens to middle age when your marriage breaks up. Your tired ass gets dragged out of its middle-aged funk and back into the big, bad world.
You find yourself “kissing” strange men on RSVP; drinking mango-infused vodka at 10pm on a Sunday night, bemoaning the hardships of being a single mum and the hell of dating; eating toast for dinner because you can’t be bothered cooking; investing in a vast and colourful array of matching bras and knickers; wishing you hadn’t thrown all your high heels away because you can’t afford to buy new ones and you really like the way they make your calves look with short skirts; and giggling over texts from your boyfriend late at night.
Everyone congratulates you on being so strong and independent. And it’s lovely they’re proud, but being strong and independent is exhausting.
All that solo responsibility is such a burden. But you have no choice, you have to shoulder it. All that life stuff you have to tackle on your own … the bills, booking the car for a service, mowing the lawn, working out how to put the flyscreens back on the windows, paying your tax, bringing the washing in, putting the bins out, fretting you’re going to bleed to death alone in your bed …
Life wasn’t meant to turn out this way. These were meant to be the “easy” years.
But, like the eldest’s new teacher tells her students (and revealed to us on parent information night): life isn’t fair.
Ain’t that the truth.
Song of the day: In honour of Mumabulous … Alanis Morissette “Ironic”