R.I.P party girl

Hi! It’s been awhile… We’ve had a few holidays here, April 25th (freedom from fascism day) then May 1st (labor day) which basically means long weekends, short weeks, and lots of time off from school… basically no blogging time for mom. Plus the weather has been positively dismal, rainy and gross.

Aren’t I a big round ball of sunshine? Glad I haven’t been bringing you down on this blog with my optimism?

 

 

Anyhoo… we’re just back from a weekend in Milan now, where we had our newest niece’s christening (I am so over packing and unpacking every other day, btw).  And since we had the entire weekend at our disposal, along with free babysitting by grandma, we took this chance to see some of our old friends from our younger, party heydays. We all met at my in-laws’ house Saturday afternoon with kids to celebrate the first rain free Saturday in two months by letting the kids romp around the soggy grass (incidentally, my MIL is a saint, she had 40 people at her house for the baptism on Sunday and yet she let four sets – each composed of two adults and 2 kids under 6 – of our friends come take over her yard), the kids played really well, even though they hadn’t seen each other since last summer. The in-laws have a gigantic property (for Italy), so they got to run around and get muddy and we got some chatting and catching up done and the weather was just perfectly perfect and then that night various and sundry grandparents / babysitters allowed us to go out and enjoy a drinks laden dinner in absolute child-free peace and quiet.

 

Whilst in the middle of the very complicated problem of decided where to spend our first night in the big city in what seems like forever, I got to thinking about when, way back when, we left Milan for the rural haven (or hell, depending on my mood) in which we now reside. I was barely 30, skinny, no children, with lots of money to spend on entertainment and shoes and nary a care in the world (or rather, none of the earth-shattering, life-changing variety) and now I’m about 15 pounds heavier, more wrinkled and most of my money somehow gets sucked into the black hole that is child rearing (I need to stop blaming the children, all of my money is being sucked into the death star of a black hole that is the house renovation). I’m not complaining about this, I’m perfectly happy with where my life is right now (barring the added weight of course), but what got me thinking was that when I go back to Milan, in my head, I’m still that girl that left the city eight years ago.

I was thinking about what to do, of our old clubs and favorite bars, and suddenly I realized that I probably would no longer be let in. I’m too old, I no longer project the right image, I’ve got the mommy aura about me… (and honestly, I no longer own the right mixture of slutty and classy clothes and impossibly high heels, I would probably fall off of now). And that is all fine, I don’t really need or want to be that girl anymore, but when I left here I didn’t realize I was leaving her behind.

So basically, what I’m saying is, we need to be more present, in my opinion, more present in the present (if you’ll allow me the awkward phrasing) because we lose it without even realizing it. But that disconnect between what goes on in my brain and the actual reality is always a bit disconcerting, like my brain still thinks I’m 25 and skinny, but my clothes, unfortunately, wholeheartedly disagree with me, so it’s always a bit of a surprise when I look in the mirror. Or the fact that I’m often shocked at having to make adult decisions, like, shouldn’t someone more grown up than me be here to tell me what to do? And then I realize that someone more grown up than me is geriatric and, quite likely, enjoying the freedom of their retirement, and doesn’t give a crap what I do anymore. How and when did adulthood sneak up on me? And where did the party girl go? Cause she was undeniably stupider than me, yet infinitely more fun. (Also, much, much, better dressed).

Like the mighty salmon. Or possibly something more flattering.

I’ve been noticing certain signs, lately, that I’m getting older; time, it moves inevitably, inexorably, forward whether we agree with it or not. Here, a few examples:

Hair management and the removal thereof – I started laser hair removal a few months ago, this, I believe, is an unmistakable sign of aging. At some relatively recent point in the past shaving transformed from a daily nuisance to an insurmountable obstacle, fraught with anxiety, that basically resulted in me wearing pants, or tights, or very long skirts most of the time cause I simply found no way to fit it into my schedule. Waxing is painful and despite the inevitable comparison with childbirth, has become both unendurable and too easily forgettable since it is only necessary occasionally and requires a certain degree of planning and appointment taking. So, I decided to go the way of a more permanent solution, I realized, in doing so, that though there aren’t many twenty-year olds getting lasered, in my age group pretty much everyone I know has either done it, is doing it, or is seriously considering it.

Another unmistakable sign of aging is Botox. I’ve always been wary of botox, not from a deontological or moral standpoint, I certainly have enough trouble worrying about what I’m doing to worry about what everyone else is doing and why, but rather from an angle of fear and distrust. Who knows what the far-reaching consequences of injecting muscle freezing liquids into our faces could be? Not that I’m a clean-living fanatic, I certainly ingest my fair share of poisons, it just seems to me that the far-reaching consequences of Nutella are quite simply extra fat and higher blood sugar, whereas with Botox I imagine myself twenty years down the line with my eyebrows drooping over my eyes… and yet, everyone is botoxing away all signs of expressiveness from their faces.

And what of our feet? I was with a friend recently talking about varied and sundry girly topics and we noticed we both had dry heels. What’s with that? I never had to pay specific moisturizing attention to my heels, now it seems that if I don’t slather on Vaseline followed by thick socks every night even in the middle of summer, my heels crack like I’m some poor, lost, dehydrated, soul, walking aimlessly in the Arizona desert. And my friend commented that she now looks at her feet and they reminded her of her mother’s, me too! I exclaimed, remembering playing in my mother’s bathroom, as little girls do, unwilling to have her for even an instant out of my sight (which explains why we, as mothers, have collectively lost the ability to be in the bathroom alone) and watching her furiously scrubbing at her feet with a pumice stone, muttering (and, quite likely, swearing) under her breath.

I see a future looming before me wherein I covet, if not outright get, some sort of boob job, a future wherein I worry about broken capillaries and droopy knees. Right now I don’t wear miniskirts because I could stand to lose a few pounds, and they seem… unseemly… but soon enough I won’t wear them because I’ll be too old (though, truth be told, some may opine that thirty-five is already too old).

Surprising, isn’t it, how the encroachment of time becomes suddenly apparent and unforgiving, not by looking at our children growing bigger, stronger, more independent, every hour of every day that goes by, but by stopping to notice the evolving nature of our daily beauty routines. Routines aimed at maintaining, preserving, furiously negating the passage of time… becoming by and by more convoluted and time-consuming as we progressively have less and less time and patience and quite possibly desire to fight what is destined to be an inevitably losing battle.

And yet, despite it all being quite clearly ridiculous, I still cannot resist the siren song of laser hair removal, or of that wonderful anti-wrinkle cream, or the inevitability of just one small shot, for that frown line between my eyes and I cannot simply ignore my heels, so I slather and scrub and make appointments and endure pain and the clock inevitably ticks forward, but though I often wonder why I let myself be taken over by the fickleness of vanity I simply cannot let myself age without an attempt at battle. Aging gracefully is one thing, but giving up and letting go to the passage of time passively is simply unacceptable. The wild salmon, after all, swims upstream.

 

Linking up with Shell today, it’s been awhile!