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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Monday
Aug092010

40.

I had a great weekend. How about you? What did you do? Oh, me? Well, I turned 40.

Yes, that's right. Pick your damn jaws up off your keyboards and get over it, I have to.

I've been struggling with whether or not to post about my age. I've been rather sensitive about it over the last few weeks. I talked it over with a few bloggers and friends and of course, The Candyman. Everyone has a different opinion. But let's just get one thing straight - I don't have to change the name of my blog because I am no longer in my thirties. I started this blog as a thirty-something bride (38, to be exact) and I will forever be a thirty-something bride. No comments about the name are needed. T30SB is in tact and always will be.

When I talked about sharing the new decade here on the blog with other wedding-blog-writers, it was mostly because I was afraid. That's right, afraid. I was afraid that the twenty-nothing brides who stumble across my blog might find me irrelevant. Or that the early-thirty-something brides might find me....something unappealing, I'm not sure what. But the fear was nearly palpable. I imagined that scary and mysterious black cloud from Lost would suddenly appear and swallow me whole the moment I turned 40. Yes, it was an irrational fear, but a fear nonetheless. But it's not like I suddenly changed overnight, right? Or that I'm this whole other person, right? I'm not. I know I'm not.

Last week I got a coupon emailed to me from a local car wash place. They send you a 50% off coupon for your birthday. I went in to take advantage of the coupon and I handed it over to the car wash dude. He was setting me up for the wash, taking my money and he wished me a happy birthday. I thanked him and he said, "Do you mind me asking how old you'll be?" I stammered. I sputtered. I choked. He got all red and apologized. And I said, "No, no. It's OK. It's OK. I just...I...I...I'll be 40. Yes, I'm turning 40." I had to say it like I was convincing myself. I tripped because I wasn't prepared for it. The car wash guy said, "Holy cow! Really? You look great! I was going to totally flirt with you, but then I saw your wedding ring. Wow. 40? Really?" So I said, "Um, how old did you think I was?" And he said, "Early 30's, 35 tops." And I'm all "I LOVE YOU." My ego needed that something awful! So maybe 40 isn't all that bad, right?

So this weekend The Candyman and I threw a Sunday Brunch to celebrate the big 4-0. Towards the end of the afternoon, the crowd had thinned out and some stragglers came in to hang out. Krista and her hubby stopped by as well as my friends Hal and Kim. Kim is my hero. She's a bad-ass writer and she speaks Russian and has translated and edited a book and flies airplanes. She's also 40. She is so cool it kills me. Totally want to be Kim when I grow up. Anyway, we were talking about the blog and whether or not to do the "big reveal" with my age and all that. And she said, "Well, you could write about being 40 and how that makes you feel in regards to blogging." And that's exactly what I had always intended to do, if I ever decided to do it (which, I clearly did). And while I had been thinking this through for so long, all it took was for someone to say it out loud for me to know it was the right thing to do, the thing I wanted to do.

I've always written this blog with a hearty dose of honesty, and more than my share of sarcasm. Why would that change just because my age did? I got married later in life having spent ZERO time thinking about weddings or marriage or any of it - and here I am writing a blog about it, going to bridal shows, talking all things bridal all the damn time. THAT has not changed.

But there will be things that change. I'll have to add an extra year to the elliptical machine's age request at the gym. I might have to check a different age box on forms. I have my first mammogram scheduled (Yippee!).  I noticed a few months ago that there is a certain amount of sag happening that didn't used to be there. But don't worry, I'll try not to bore you with the cold hard facts or graphic descriptions of getting older. You'll all get there and find out for yourselves, if you haven't already.

I have never imagined myself this age. I really haven't. When I was in my 20's, I could totally see myself in my 30's, but never my 40's. This all feels like very unchartered territory. Everyone says that 40 is the new 30 (or 30 is the new 20, 50 is the new 40 - whatever). What does that mean?? Does that mean that we go back to the age where you're still not positive about your career moves, or who you are, or who you want to be? Does it mean I get to go back to where I started to struggle with my body image big time and deal with that all over again? No-fucking-thank-you-very-fuckinhg-much. I'm ready for the next thing. And that's the thing. I don't WANT to be younger. Really and truly. Granted, I don't want my forehead to wrinkle or for those sagging things to really sag. I don't want to look older, but I don't want to be younger either. Or does "the new 40" simply mean that because we are living longer as a species that we need to look at life-decades differently? Did you know that in rural America in the 1850's that the average life expectancy was 39? Surviving childhood was a MAJOR accomplishment (mostly due to the lact of immunizations at the time for stuff like measles, diphtheria, scarlet fever - that shit would kill you DEAD back then). So by Pioneer standards, I'm a senior citizen!

Anyway, I see my younger friends struggling with some of the same things that I struggled with at their age and I don't want any part of that at all. And I wouldn't trade perkier tits for the experiences I've had, the places I've been or who I am today. I wonder if other women feel the same way? Or do they want youth at any cost? I don't. I mean, I care about how I look and feel and dress and all that, but I can point to times in my life where those things were the most important things ever. I don't feel that way anymore, THANK GOD. I think in my 20's I might have had a smart-ass retort to that point, something along the lines of, "Well, considering you ARE old and you DON'T look the same, why would you care anymore? Just give it up, ya old bitch." And I know young women today think this. They think that they won't get cellulite, their tits won't sag, they won't get wrinkles. Or maybe they do know and hopefully aren't as brain dead as I was, but they just have no idea how or when it will happen to them. I would want to say to my younger self, "Look inside, Louise. Make the inside pretty and the outside will be what you want it to be." And I believe that. I do. And I want to warn the younger ladies, "Prepare yourself. It will come when you least want it or expect it. And stop being so catty, it uglifies you." Yes, uglify. It is so a word. 

So here we are in the year 2010 - a decade marker. I am a decade older. I can talk about stuff in terms of decades. Weird. I do feel wiser, but not any more than I did the day before yesterday. I do feel blessed, more so than I did the day before yesterday - only because on your birthday people call you and text you and send you really sweet messages on Facebook. They show up on Sunday morning to eat grits and White Trash Casserole and bring you silly things like 40 prunes, 40 pennies, 40 tampons, 40 jelly beans, 40 Kisses and really great bottles of wine - even when the invite explicitly said NO GIFTS! They make you yummy cupcakes and chocolate cheese balls and and tell you how fabulous you look in your tiara. They bring their newborn babies and children when we all know what a hassle it is to load up the kids and babies to get them somewhere. They make last minute runs to the store for the things you forgot to buy, then they go back when you call again and tell them you still need lemons. Your mom and dad and husband and friend got together to get you the most fabulous gift ever that you have been dying and saving your pennies for. So yes, definitely feeling a certain amount more blessed than when I was 39.

So tomorrow I'm guessing that things will go back to normal around here. I will have recovered from my multiple self-induced food hang-overs from the weekend. I'll start figuring out our move to Charlotte (oh yeah, by the way, WE'RE MOVING TO CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA!). I'll keep looking for a new job and posting Unfake Weddings and being my usual snarky-self, just a year older. I think I'm OK with that.

Nah, I know I'm OK with that.

 

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Reader Comments (18)

Happy Birthday and congratulations on the move! :o)

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Happy Birthday! I'm a 33 year old bride and I seriously could not find you more appealing. You are a very welcome breath of fresh air in wedding-blog-land and I hope you keep writing for lots more birthdays to come!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

I turned 40 this year and I'm never looking back! I am a first time bride - wedding is in 61 days - and I have never felt more confident, sexy, happy, or more fabulous than I do RIGHT NOW!

And, yes, when the {uber cute} 27 y.o. in my office told me he thought I was 33 or 34, I did a little happy dance! And vowed at that moment to keep exfoliating, moisturizing, and using sunscreen. Age is totally what you make it and, girlfriend, you make it HOT! ;o)

Here's to another 40 years of being grown a$$ woman! Good luck with the move to Charlotte.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Talk about feeling OLD! I now have two children over 40!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Yay!! You posted it! :) We had SUCH a phenomenal time with you, Candyman and your friends yesterday! Thank you again for letting us share in your special day! Thanks to you, today's lunch was delightfully delicious! :) You're a joy to be around and I'm grateful to call you a friend. Thanks for all you share and contribute to this community. Now I'm off to eat some more of that dang chocolate chip cheeseball...

Happy birthday, and congrats on the Big Reveal!!!

I was one of those 'older' brides, too, and could never figure out what, if anything, to say on my blog that presumably was mostly read by 20- and 30-somethings. The photos I posted probably suggested that I wasn't 25.. but was I 30? 35? I never could bring myself to write about the complexities of getting married for the first time at ~gasp~ 41. Especially when I still felt like a 30-something like most of my friends.

When I started my blog, I searched for blogs about 'older' brides, and came up empty-handed. I was so happy to find yours!

This weekend, a friend commented that I 'looked amazing' for 42. I responded 'this is what 42 looks like.' It's not all grey hairs and wrinkles, especially if you eat healthily, wear sunscreen and exercise. I think it's time to proudly claim this decade! (and check out this article about Formerlies: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/fashion/08dolgoff.html)

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWalking Barefoot

Hell yes, girlfriend - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I don't see why anyone would care about your age when you clearly have the most kick-ass blog out there. If they're that dumb, they're not reading your blog anyway :)

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterveronica

@Barefoot - I had NO IDEA you were 42! Rock on. Totally thought you were early 30's. And thank you for sending me this link. This is what my friend Kim had brought up in the course of our discussion yesterday - this woman and her soon-to-be released book. Of course, I had forgotten the title because yesterday I soaked in mimosas all day long. Thanks for sharing! Count me in amongst the "formerly hot." Love it!

August 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

I wouldn't be 25 again if you paid me. I was an awkward teen and a conflicted 20 something. I am finally starting to feel like I am coming into my own in my 30s, which leads me to believe that 40s are going to be awesome, just like you, Ms. Louise.

Happy Birthday!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkc

Happy Birthday! Hope you had the most fabulous day and good luck with the move!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGaynor

I adore you now, with all your sass and smarts and life experience backing it all up. I want to be like you when I arrive at 40. Seriously. Although I don't want to rush there, I'm also looking forward to it. I'm happy leaving behind so much of the searching 20s. And I'm just starting to work through what I want from the next phase of my life.

If you hadn't hinted at being a late 30-something bride, I never would have known how late. You are gorgeous and it has at least as much to do with your confidence and life as taking care of yourself.

So congrats on your your birthday, on taking it in wise philosophical stride, and on the move to Charlotte. I've heard it's great there, and my fingers are crossed!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Nice job, Friend! I love what you came up with. Well done. And thanks for the kind words.

-K

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Hello from Bali! Happy birthday my dear! We all know you'll still be turning men's heads, making us laugh, and pulling at our heartstrings whether you're 30, 40, or whatever.

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChic 'n Cheap Living

Happy birthday fellow Leo!! And good luck with the move - I know it will be great!

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber V

Louise, I'm so happy to hear that your birthday gathering was a smashing success! I was so sorry to miss it and I was very honored to have been invited. You are truly an inspiration to us "twenty-nothings" and there are days when I want to be YOU when I grow up! So there :P How soon are you and Candyman moving?

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Spoon

Congrats on the birthday..You look boss! And Charlotte is a beautiful city with 4 true seasons..you will enjoy it!

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany In Houston

Happy belated birthday!

This post resonated with me, particularly this part: "I was afraid that the twenty-nothing brides who stumble across my blog might find me irrelevant. Or that the early-thirty-something brides might find me....something unappealing, I'm not sure what." I think it is important that we continue to have different perspectives running throughout our little corner of blogland. As someone who will also be a 38-year-old bride next year (and is divorced and a mom to boot), I'm glad you'll still be around.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

@Sarah - thank you for that! Perspective is awesome and I try to share it, but I lose it sometimes too!

August 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

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