Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday is this month. Really, that's all I should have to admit. A birthday.

But let's say, just for the sake of argument, that next week is one of those birthday weeks during which a zero is applied to the end of the Important Number. And let's just say that this is not the first zero I've put at the end of the Important Number... in this century. And let's just add that it isn't the same Important Number as my peer at work who is turning 40. Let's just say that.

At what point does 'look like a MILF' become a part of your past due to the fast approach of the sobriquet GILF. Unfortunately, GILF is just creepy. It starts with a G which is never a good sound: goofy, gulp, giggle, gag, gopher, Gertrude. Then it just goes icky, because if parents aren't allowed to get any, grandparent love is simply unthinkable.

Turns out I'm not a GILF -- neither in fact as my daughters are thankfully thus far single non-Moms -- nor aspirationally as I don't have the wardrobe. With this Important Number looming, however, I have to admit that the hot moms with boats approach to life is also a bit of a stretch. I fall into that no man's land where literally there are no men and women disappear. No one looks at us. Between the ages of mid 40s and mid 50s, we just sort of vanish from the landscape. We are neither slim, trim, and hot nor silver, aged, and wise. Neither maiden, mother, nor hag.

I almost look forward to the hag phase. At least I'll have an obvious identity. I really think I'm going to rock the eccentric old lady look. I'll be that outrageous granny who shows up at the pop concert and sings at the top of her lungs while waving a beaded shawl and swirling in her broomstick skirt and bare feet. I will continue to embarrass my children and their children, because that's my job. I'll be the babysitter that my grandbabes love and my own spawn hate, the house with all the incredibly unhealthy food and super bad ass video game room and no bed time and a bath full of soap you can use to draw penis and fart jokes on the wall. I will stand on the bow of the ferry and grin into the wind, and I'll be found tramping all over remote parts of the world wielding my walking sticks and showing up the whipper snappers. I will blow bubbles in my wine.

But that's in the future. Today, I'm done raising children, but I haven't started being a spectacular old woman. I have a decade, maybe 15 years between the cracks where no one is watching and I have to figure out what to do with me. Fifteen some odd years of change and transition, and my god at least one of those years is going to be the worst year of my life. The wild child, the independent young woman, the MILF, they are rooting for me. Those past me's remind fearful birthday girl me that it's all about my choices. I don't have to be invisible, and I sure as hell don't have to be bored or boring.

My Important Number is 100. I am 100 percent certain I can some how some way make the 50s be my best decade yet.

Karen Toast