“I don’t give a shit what you think.  You can either start being nice to me, or you can leave.”

Dewd = Guy who sucks

Man = Guy who doesn’t

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

I do not enjoy Pantera.

For most of my life, were I to admit this type of opinion out loud, it would have meant that I would be relentlessly ridiculed by any dewdz in the room.  In order to avoid the ridicule, I would have to pretend that I liked Pantera.  Even though I can’t stand Pantera.

The closest thing I like to Pantera is Panera.  The “You Pick 2” Turkey Chili and Classic Half Grilled Cheese is my jam, and I’m not afraid to admit it.  You wanted to see me be brave, Sara Bareilles, so there you go.

Plus Panera has an online ordering app.  If you have an app that allows me to order food and pay for it without interacting with a live human, you are my friend for life.

I’ve gotten off-topic here.

So!  Not liking Pantera isn’t about getting older and not liking loud music or guitar wankery.  I adore guitar wankery, despite my opinion that guitar players are the worst kind of scum.  I will listen to Van Halen on 10 any day of the week, and I consider that particular environment to be my natural habitat, actually.

It’s that I’m old enough to stop pretending to like things that dewdz like in order to be accepted by dewdz.

Back when CDs were a thing, that was always the worst part about having a dewd come over to your house for the first time:  the scathing review of your CD collection.  That’s where the dewd sits in front of your CD tower, scans all of the titles from top to bottom, and makes fun of you for anything in there that they find unacceptable – and by “unacceptable”, I mean anything that is even remotely feminine.  Even if you did a preemptive scan and removed anything he might find to make fun of, there’s always something in there that he’ll zero in on and take you to task over.  “What is this?  A Hole record?  Hole sucks!”

Yeah, that’s true.  Girl bands are terrible.  Luckily there have been so many really great dewd bands out there, you know, like Limp Bizkit and Creed, and Godsmack and Staind, to make up for how terrible girl bands are.

What galls me the most when I look back on all the times these situations that happened to me, is not just that these dewdz thought it was their business to inform me of what my own opinions should be about music, but that I never felt I had the agency to say to them, “I don’t give a shit what you think.  You can either start being nice to me, or you can leave.”  But there was no way I was going to do that.

I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.

For insulting me.

I didn’t want to hurt their feelings for insulting me. 

Women are shown from a very young age that it’s our lot in life to be accommodating and agreeable.  To go along.  To not make a scene.  That is someone is being a total jerk to you, you should just stand there and take it rather than risk hurting their feelings by pointing out what a jerk they are.  After all, maybe you’re being over-sensitive, you woman-person?  Boooooooooooooo.

Now, I don’t have children (and I never will because I don’t have the temperament for it, and believe me, that’s doing a kid a favor), but if there is one thing I wish my friends with kids will someday do, it’s to teach their daughters that it doesn’t fucking matter what dewdz think.  Like, it could not matter LESS.

Go ahead – like Sarah MacLachlan.  Like The Notebook.  Like stuffed animals that are cartoon cats dressed as mermaids.  Like “traditionally” girly things with reckless abandon.  If you want to drink pink wine with ice in it, wear a Twilight t-shirt, listen to Destiny’s Child, and watch a Julia Roberts marathon, then do it.  If a dewd has a problem with it, tell him you don’t fucking care what he thinks, and that he can either be nice to you or he can fucking leave.

Under no circumstances should you apologize for liking the things you like.

Because I can assure you he is not even remotely apologetic about all the dewd things he likes, like drinking cheap shit beer and building a fart collage on the couch cushions, wearing a stained Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt and crusty-crotched basketball shorts in public and pretending it’s not their dirty pajamas, listening to the aforementioned Pantera, and watching a stupid Fast and Furious Part 12 movie for the tenth time with his asshole friends who spend more money on their personal sword collections than they do on paying their grandma the rent they’ve owed her for the past ten years*.

And if you’re a woman who just happens to like Pantera, that’s cool, too.  Like what you like, and never apologize.

 

*This is a hypothetical dewd.  It’s certainly not about twenty dewds I used to know.**

**Yes, it is.  It is not actually hypothetical.

The Eyes Are The Window To How Damn Old You Look

I know a lot of women in their 40s think that their ever-deflating jawline is due to the laws of gravity, but I thoroughly disagree.  The bottom of my face seems to be somehow defying the laws of gravity by emptying upwards into my eye sockets.

This is most evident to me when I wake up in the morning and my eye area is so swollen it looks like I slept on a pillow made of bee stings and salt rocks, while the lower half of my face looks like an empty McGruff The Crime Dog mask.

Waking up in the morning in your 40s means you can actually feel how much heavier your top eyelids are as you struggle to open them, and they make a door-slamming sound every time you blink.  It’s like waking up blindfolded until you can get up and get that circulation going in the morning – and by “circulation” I mean “don’t look in the mirror”.  I’ve made a habit of not looking in the mirror at all until I’ve been up and awake for at least an hour.  Any accidental glances prior to that just set the wrong tone for the rest of the day, and I inevitably end up spending the whole day googling cosmetic surgery procedures and figuring out whether I can reasonably contribute less to my Roth IRA in order to pay for them.

On a side note, I used to worry about seeming too shallow for being interested in cosmetic surgery, and then I woke up one day and looked like Wilma Fucking Flintstone and got over the “oh no, what if people think I’m shallow” thing.  I used to be the first person who would tell Wilma Flintstone to love herself and embrace her face, and now I’m like, “How did she ever see out of those pinhole eye-dots?  Jesus Christ, Wilma, get those eye-hangs tacked up!”

And feel free to use eye roller gels, cucumber slices, and frozen spoons to reduce the puffiness.  They do make the swelling go down pretty decently.  The great part is when the swelling goes away, it is replaced by raisiny-creased purple undereye caverns that binge-eat expensive concealer ten minutes after you put it on.  The concealer patch-job looks halfway decent from about twenty feet away or so, but any closer and you’ll notice people’s looks of confusion when they see a map of the Balkans appears to have been sketched under your eyes.

I know, the potions, creams, and rollers that you use totally work!  I should try them!  This is most often shared by someone who has never actually experienced 40-something morning eyes.  If you’re 25 and you tell me your eye cream really works, you can just go jump off a building right now because you are (a) useless, and (b) nobody cares what you have to say.

I am so bothered by how my eyes look in the morning that a few months ago, when my optometrist sent me to an ophthalmologist because she thought I might have the early signs of glaucoma, the first thing I thought was, “Well, at least if I go blind I can cover my eye bags with sunglasses twenty-four hours a day and claim it’s for a medical reason.  If someone at work tries to call me out for just trying to look cool, I will make them feel SO BAD when I drop that glaucoma bomb on them.”  It was one of only a handful of times in my life that I had a “glass half full” reaction to news.

As it turns out, the chances that I have glaucoma are less than one percent, according to my test results.  Regardless, I have to see the ophthalmologist once a year now to make sure my eye innards haven’t deviated from the “baseline” they made in my chart.

I will be addressing “baselines” in a later blog, but spoiler alert, after you turn 40, every doctor finds a reason to establish a “baseline” for almost everything on your body.  It’s like when you’re a kid and they make you stand against the door frame so that they mark off how much you’ve grown, only instead of charting the speed at which you’re growing, they’re charting the speed at which you’re snowboarding downhill towards your eventual coffin, or as I prefer to call it “Shreddin’ To The Grave”.  It sounds metal as fuck that way, and makes you think I am the sporty, outdoor type.

On Hot Young Bodies

The hot bodies of twenty year olds.  Who doesn’t like them?  They’re young, they’re firm, they only have the whispery beginnings of stretch marks where they foolishly think, “What is that?  Is that a scratch on the back of my thigh?  It’s probably just a scratch, I’m sure it’ll go away.”  I mean, these bodies weren’t even around when the original Full House began and ended, and were therefore not subjected to DJ’s asshole boyfriend Steve who totally drove a wedge between DJ’s and Kimmy Gibbler’s friendship like an asshole who gets in the middle of girls’ friendships and is like, “Whut?  Whut?  I didn’t do anything!”  We all know what you did, Steve.  We all know.  God, I hate that guy.

Yeah, so I used to be a twenty year old with a hot body.  I can say that and you can’t call me a conceited asshole for it, because it was twenty-two years ago and, seriously, I was quite the package.  You know who was into me the most, though?  Men twice my age.  I used to think it was because I had that twenty year old body, but as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve come to realize that forty year old men like twenty year old women for two reasons: One, being the aforementioned hot body, but far, far higher on the list than that is that twenty year old women are so, so, so, so, so, so, so stupid.

I should clarify the above statement by fine-tuning the word “stupid” to “naïve”.  When I think back to the buuuuuullshit that I put up with from men when I was twenty, it’s enough to make me literally weep.  I’m sure plenty of women are familiar with the game where they do something super shitty to you, and then convince you that it was either your fault, or not a big deal, or this is just the way men are so you had better get used to it.

Case in point:  When I was eighteen, I dated a guy who was thirty-two.  I was the epitome of emo teenager and he was a “man” with a “PhD”, so I believed everything he told me.  After we had been dating for several months, and he had moved in with me in my bedroom at my mother’s house (because he was homeless), we were driving around downtown Delray (because he had no job) in a car he borrowed from someone (because he had no car) when he casually – and I mean sooo fucking casually – dropped this one on me:

“I was hoping my girlfriend might be able to get a stopover in Miami when she flies from Rome to New York, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, so that’s too bad.  You two would probably get along great!”

Uhhh.  Girlfriend?  You mean, besides me?

I’m sure this is the part of the story where you’re like, “Oh hayulll no!  I know you kicked him in the jimmies until they were strawberry jam!”

And you should think that, because that is quite literally what I would do if this story had happened when I was forty.  That motherfucker would be hog-tied in an alleyway right now with his dirty underwear stuffed in his mouth as a gag and the many footprints of my sensible shoes permanently imprinted on his scrotum.  He would wake up in a haze and shake his head to try to read the sign I’d put in front of him that says “Welcome to Mag-ghanistan, you punk ass motherfucker” and then pass back out into a pool of his own vomit.

But let’s stay focused here.

So as it turned out, this asshole had a girlfriend in Italy, where he had spent the last few months being a roving musical vagabond (bum), but he and the girlfriend had an “understanding”.  I assume they had the same “understanding” that I had with him, where I paid for everything all the time and he secretly banged anything that moved.

What did I do, you ask?  Nothing.  I did nothing.  I offered no objections.

I sat in the car, mostly in silence except to pretend to agree with him about how uptight Americans are about monogamy (he was American, btw).  Then he dropped me off at home, and I split my knuckle when I punched my metal closet door and spent the rest of the night crying on the bathroom floor.  Not because I was mad at him, but because I felt I had failed as a woman.  Why wasn’t I enough for him?  I was already giving him literally anything he wanted.  The next day, our relationship went on as if none of this had ever happened.  He made me believe I was wrong if I had a problem – as his girlfriend – with the other girlfriend that he had failed to tell me about.  And I believed him.  I believed that if I were “cool” enough to not be rattled by the bullshit he pulled, that I would be worthy of his love.  His unemployed, homeless, carless, cheating love.

And I’ll tell you what – that shit was not an anomaly.  One hundred percent of the older guys I dated when I was a hot young stupid thing were unemployed, homeless, and carless – because I didn’t know any better.  I thought that it was normal for me to have to pay for everything.  I thought it was normal to have someone ask to move in with me on the second date.  I thought it was because they loved me, not because they were homeless.  Hell, when I was sixteen and my boyfriend was twenty-five, I thought it was normal that he complained about the lack of breakfast options that I provided him when he spent the night.  I remember his face, incredulously asking me how he was supposed to make it through the day if all I was going to make for him were blueberry muffins.  He said, “A man can’t be sustained on muffins alone, honey.”  And I didn’t laugh.  Or punch him.  I apologized and made him eggs.  Forty year old me?  That fucker would wish he were only getting a one-way trip to Mag-ghanistan.

Here’s the deal, dewdz.  I’m not saying don’t date twenty year old women.  Twenty year old women are awesome, at least I know I was.  I could stay out all night dancing, dress strictly 70s from the thrift store and look cool as hell and not at all insane, and I was so willing to love and accept.  Too willing for the men who showed up to take me up on it.

I guess what I’m saying is feel free to date twenty year old women, but you better fucking be nice to them.  You better not take advantage of their naivete.  You better never, and I mean ever, roll your eyes at the seemingly immature stuff they say, because they’re not immature.  They’re just being the age that they are.  They’re saying exactly the kind of stuff they should say, because they’re still practically kids, for crying out loud.  Don’t ruin being young for them.  And you better not fucking make them feel like any of the stupid shit you pull on them is their fault, because you know damn well it isn’t.

Oh yeah, and don’t try to put it in twenty year olds’ butts.  They don’t like it.