Not from kids or my full time job or my husband or any of the things that we hear complaints about on any given day. Although all those things are exhausting. I am exhausted from just KEEPING MYSELF UP! I am working ridiculously hard and paying ridiculous amounts of money to look...OK.
Honestly, if I had put this kind of time and devotion in to myself in my 20's, I think I could have been a super model. At the very least had some kind of B level existence on reality TV or local beauty pageants. Certainly Miss Lodi Grape could have been within my reach if I had only put the time and energy and money into keeping myself up. But, I didn't. I washed my face, I guess. I worked out once in awhile, I guess. I lost weight when necessary to step up my dating game, or fit into my clothes post pregnancy. But, compared to what needs to happen now, at 48, I did nothing!
My hair is colored. I can't complain about this because there was a time in my life when I had no hair, so it seems wrong to now complain about the time and money needed to keep up the hair I am now lucky to have. I have to buy expensive shampoo and conditioner for the hair I now am lucky to have and upkeep. Now that I am older the regular shampoos aren't good for my hair, they strip away the expensive color I work so hard to drag myself in for every six weeks.
I wear contacts. Because it turns out middle age, with a little extra push from chemo, left me blind. I pretended I wasn't blind for a few years and just wore over the counter reader glasses for when I really "needed" them. The problem being I really "needed" them every minute I was awake. And because I was exhausted from keeping myself up, and because I had a fear of touching my eyeballs, I was just going to continue wearing the glasses and ignore that I didn't care for how they looked on me. So I wore them in my school picture one year. For those of you adults who do not go through the torture of taking the school photo after 18...it is awful. A terribly mean spirited torture involving cameras that left no one looking good at age ten, let alone in your 40's. It was a terrible shock to have the school picture delivered back to me that year. I left school at 2:15 and went straight to the eye doctor. Contacts ordered by 4:15.
The latest in my long list of middle age fuckery are my teeth. One tooth is a story of come uppance told in another blog post. The gist of which, after a long winded humorous retell of karma is, I am currently toothless. At first I wore the flipper with a fake tooth out of vanity. Now, I just go toothless until the permanent tooth is installed (a year long process of ridiculousness that I am almost done with). Nothing says, "I am trying to keep up with middle age fuckery" like walking around town looking like a meth addict.The remaining teeth now stain more. Age, coffee drinking and my recently added intake of red wine were working together to make this happen. My hygienist pointed this out to me at our last visit. I promptly told her, "I hear what you are saying about the wine. I will switch to Vodka."
Clothing is complicated as I refuse to get rid of the ten pounds needed to make clothing less complicated. So there is the need to purchase just the right size, in just the right style, that hits me in just the right spots. I have committed recently to working out. However, work out clothes...exhausting, for all the reasons listed above, but with the added fun of large hand and leg movements.
I have to get my eyebrows waxed, yes, HAVE to...otherwise wiry short gray hairs will pop in and my brows will start to take on the look of Santa. When I go to my waxing place the lady is always disappointed in me. Often I do not make it in for waxing in a timely manner. I wait too long. This leads to muttering under the breath as she says things like, "Why are we waiting so long?" "This is lots to wax off." She also wants me to wax my whole face. I don't have time for that, so I will say no. She will then question me, "You do not want to be beautiful?" Yes, yes I want to be beautiful!! But I am out of time! And I am broke from my hair care needs and special clothing constraints!
I am only touching the surface. there is so much more. Pedicures used to just be for pretty toes, now there is a dry skin situation. Lotion for my face and eye creams, mandatory not a fun purchase of frivolity. And the list goes on and on and on and....