There are a great many things to celebrate about getting older, mainly the fact that you are still here. But another thing I embrace about my advanced middle-aged years (oh and just for the record I will be in my 70’s and still calling myself advanced middle-aged so just roll with it) is the freedom to be your self.
You’re far enough along in your career and parenting duties that you can cuddle up, wallow even, in your uncoolness. (I’m not talking socks and sandals uncool because that’s just showing off.) This is a glorious thing. Yet, I see many women my age, who still seem to be clinging to the coolness doctrine. This is a mistake, to quote the song from Frozen, “Let it Go.” (I know the song is mind numbingly popular with the preschool set but I’m here to tell you it’s an advanced middle-aged anthem.)
Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Earlier in the summer I was at one of those ladies who lunch functions and saw a gaggle of women still clinging to coolness. One in particular I wanted to personally invite to join the uncool club. She had all the signs of a woman who needed to liberate herself from the confines of conformity. In Texas she would be called a “Bless her heart.”
This fellow AMA (advanced middle-aged) woman was on the fringe of a group of cool moms. (And by this I mean the women who have pissing contests disguised as friendship.) You could tell she was trying to get into their circle. She even had the big purse. For those of you (men) uneducated in the language of designer handbags typically the bigger the purse (and by that I mean Prada, Gucci etc – not some “factory inventory” leather tote you got at the pop up Coach store at the Outlet Mall or in my case the Target off label) the more insecure/needy you are. She even went so far as to nudge her purse into the group circle. Not her body, mind you, but her purse.
I saw this as a cry for help. Once you hit the big 45+ it’s time for sweet, sweet freedom. Not junior high the menopausal years. I tried to mind my own business and leave well enough alone but I just couldn’t. So, I went over to Big Purse and attempted to engage her in conversation thus beginning phase one of Operation Uncool.
Try as I might, and (not to brag) I can be pretty engaging, she resisted all my efforts at recruitment. By the end of the very one-sided chitchat I wanted to scream, “Listen up honey, you’re missing out by not joining Team Uncool!”
If only I could have given her our team stats. They’re impressive! By becoming a member of Team Uncool you can, for the most part, say what you think. This alone is worth the price of membership. Because as a uncooler you have the luxury of not catering to other people’s preconceived notions of how you should act. This does not give you permission to be unkind or go full crazy it just allows you the gift of not fitting in.
As a parent it liberates you from caring what your kids or anyone else’s kids (or kid’s parents think). So, for example when your teenager asks if they can go to a boy/girl sleepover (yes, this happens and you betcha I’ll be writing about this very, very soon) you can proudly say, “Not in my lifetime.” Because here’s the deal the cool parents are all about “Well, everyone does it and the kids are all just friends so what’s the problem?” (I’m stopping right here with that lest I go off topic but you all know what I mean.)
Being a uncooler makes all areas of your life more pleasant. It frees you leave the house without a BB cream (aka wrinkle camo), discard your Spanx, and like yourself a whole lot more. It makes your marriage fun again because the less high maintenance a spouse the better the relationship.
Nothing is more boring than a person who talks about how they look all time (or how they played a NCAA division sport and almost went pro). As a uncooler you have better, more interesting things to focus on; and oh, the joy of conversation when you can truly say how you feel.
Have I enticed you yet to become a uncooler? No worries if you’re not ready yet. We’re a patient bunch, that’s another plus about being uncool.
**For more Snarky check out my book Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.
Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.
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