Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Wanted: one slightly used DeLorean complete with zany, wild-eyed scientist.
I'm tired of being forty. Granted I've only been a forty-year-old woman a few months, but already I've discovered it's not for me. I figure I should cut my losses before I'm fifty and I'm too far into this life to fix it. I'm ready to make a change... to do something about my unhappiness.

I'm going back to the eighties.
I liked the eighties a big bunch. Truly I did. I was born to have big hair and shoulder pads. In all His wisdom, God created my DNA so that I crave layers of Max Factor and super hold hair spray like the Colonel craved chicken. Understated I am not.
In the eighties, I could spend an hour teasing and spraying my hair and still not feel as if it were big enough. There was always room for more height and the long, brown hair wings on either side of my head could always be bigger. Basically, If I could get through a doorway without some type of maneuvering, I was under-haired. 
Make-up was the same way. The blackest eye-liner, the longest lashes and the reddest lips were never too much. Before I ever left the house,  I made sure to put on one coat of make-up and then add another one on top and still another one after that. In the event I should find myself stranded in an abandoned mine shaft at some point during the evening thereby being forced to exist without access to make-up for weeks on end, I would be prepared. If I lost one layer of pan cake foundation in any sort of freak fall in a hole accident, there would be at least thirteen more underneath to take it's place. I was no way going to be rescued by handsome rescue type men with a plain face. I'd sooner have set up a home under there and reigned forever as Queen of the mine shaft trolls.
Here in the 2000's (what the heck do we call this anyway??), whomever it is that determines these things decree that I am supposed to have stick straight hair and so little make-up that you can't tell I am even wearing any.  Frankly, that goes against everything I believe.  If I'm going to spend my money on make-up and then take the time to paint it on, I don't want any doubt about whether or not I am wearing it. I mean to get my money's worth. 
I am also going back in time because I am not happy with the music I am forced to listen to at forty. Let's face it. I cannot in good conscience drive around with the windows down in my Ford "singing" along with Dr. Dre about cocking my Glock or being in a two man cell with my homie. 

I'm a forty-year old woman in the mid-west for Heaven's sake.  I know surprisingly little about homies and I can say with some certainty that I haven't cocked a Glock in quite awhile.  There was the one time I came close in the dairy aisle of Food So Cheap when some chick axed me why I was looking at her baby's Daddy like I knew him, but lucky for her I had left my Glock in my other purse.
I am much more comfortable riding around with my windows down singing about dirty deeds and how cheaply they can be done or how we'll keep on fighting 'til the end because we are the champions. I must admit I am still a little unsure what it was we were the champions of, but I do know we had absolutely no time for losers.
At forty, I have to worry about bills, walking the dog, feeding my son healthy foods, and whether Genentech stock is going to go up or down.  I drink coffee every morning just like grown ups are supposed to do, I read the obituaries in the newspaper and I remind everyone that leaves my house to click it or ticket. I complain about taxes and the rising cost of health care, about those darn teenagers that drive too fast by my house thumping their music and whether or not 'I Used To Be a Drunk Dubya' will win over 'Yeah I Did Drugs Now Get Off My Back Kerry' in the race for President.   
These are not fun things.
In the eighties,  my nowhere near forty-something self couldn't care less about stock prices or who made it to the dead people column. I was more concerned about who shot JR, whether I was ever going to learn to love New Coke and if my boyfriend really did want to marry me after our Prom Night horizontal bop in the front seat of a Chevette.

Milli Vanilli was hot... then not, ET was hooked on Reese's Pieces and the Big Wall came a tumbling down. We spent it like we had it and it never crossed our minds that we might be writing a check our grandkids were going to have to make good.

MTV was just a baby then and actually played something known as music videos. That's back when they left the soft porn to Hef and the closest they came to social commentary was when Genesis shaped our young, impressionable political minds with the Land of Confusion video that left us lying awake nights worrying whether Reagan might actually push the giant red button in his sleep.  

Hair was big. Excess was expected. Bras could be worn on the outside of your shirt. Life was good.

I suppose I need to accept the fact that I am forty now and somehow learn to be satisfied with where I am. I should probably stop thinking about the glory days and settle on down to a nice, quiet, middle-aged life. Maybe I should get myself some sensible shoes, throw out my Journey cd's and lay off the mascara a little.

I'm going to do that, too. Right after I finish reading, "Time Travel And You: How To Make Your Own Time Machine Out Of Hubcaps And Used Dryer Sheets."

I'll totally see you in the eighties. It's gonna be bitchin'.

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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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