All Hail My Erma Bom-Bust

by Shari on March 18, 2014

Well, it’s that time again, folks! The time when I publish my non-winning Erma Bombeck essay and congratulate all the winners. Enjoy this and if you have time, hop over to my friend Ann’s hilarious also-non-winning essay on Ann’s Rants. Booyah!

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50 is the new 50

I just heard of a study that says women outlive men by an average of seven years. This is terrific news because my husband is seven years younger than me and now I can plan on us kicking off right around the same time.

Our age difference has never been much of an issue, even though my husband is so ridiculously fresh-faced that when he leaves for work sporting glasses, suit, and briefcase, he looks like a near-sighted Catholic school student who’s hiding his Avengers lunch box. If you think I’m exaggerating, consider the fact that upon their first meeting, my mother spontaneously yelped, “Good God, could you lose some hair or black out a couple of teeth? You look like her nephew!”

His dewiness notwithstanding, I never had a problem with my child groom until recently, when a milestone birthday put us in different decades.

I’d cleverly skipped having to deal with this emotional funkiness twice before; once, when I put off our wedding until a week after his 30th birthday so the extra nudge of maturity would convince him to wear a tux instead of his frat hoodie; and on my 40th, when my gloriously bulging belly shouted to the world, “I’m just as young and fertile as this teenager who impregnated me!”

But now I am 50. And my husband is still in his 40s. His early 40s. And suddenly that gap between us has stretched out like the nightmare hallway in “Poltergeist” and I’m JoBeth Williams getting sucked into the freakin’ light.

How did this happen?! How did my blasé “what’s seven years?” turn into a full-fledged “I’m-the-only-one-past-midlife” crisis? Victor Hugo wasn’t thinking of my marriage specifically when he said, “40 is the old age of youth; 50 the youth of old age”, but let me tell you, a geezer child and beginner biddy can make for strange bedfellows.

I recently confessed my anxious thoughts to my manboy and he looked perplexed. “We’ve always been seven years apart”, he said slowly, as if speaking to the Geriatric Village Idiot. “I know, but is it weirder now that we’re in different decades?” He thought for a moment. “I think it’s sexy. Like, Nancy Miller sexy.”

Ah, Nancy Miller. The famous 16-year old babysitter of a 9-year old, fresh-faced boy with an Avengers lunchbox and a dream of boinking on the family’s barcalounger. And somehow, just like that, I went from Silver Sneakers to Saucy Governess.

I may have married down in years, but in everything else, I married up.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann March 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Well now you practically owe us a Mary Kay Letourneau sketch. SO funny, Shari.

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Shari March 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Ha! MKL sketch forthcoming, Ann. Love you.

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anna whiston-donaldson March 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I look like I could be my husband’s mother. And we are the same age.

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Shari March 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Should I feel guilty that this makes me feel better, Anna?

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Barb Best March 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Anna, that is strikingly hilarious! LOL!

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Arnebya March 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I am snickering but in an OH MY GOD YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, HE IS LUCKY kind of way. Seven shmeven.

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Shari March 18, 2014 at 7:44 pm

“Seven shmeven” is now my new catchphrase, Arnebya. xxoo

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Barb Best March 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Do the math. 50 in Women years = 40 in Men years = 7 in Dog years. The numbers work for me. You’re not too old for your dog, are you?

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Shari March 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Oh, Barb, if only everyone worshiped me as much as my dog does. Old, wrinkly, no makeup, smelly, he doesn’t care. It’s a beautiful relationship.

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Nancy Davis Kho March 18, 2014 at 11:26 pm

I’ve never quite gotten over the illicit thrill of knowing I married someone older than my older brother. I bet your Manboy gets just the same buzz whenever you have a birthday. And let’s be honest, you have the face of a 30 year old. (But we love you anyway.)

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Shari March 19, 2014 at 1:30 am

Lordy, how I love my Nancy.

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Astra March 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Great post! I’m a “beginner biddy” too – but will never admit to it in public – unless you ask me for ID :)

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Shari March 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I will never do that, Astra–your secret is safe with me.

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This Old Guy March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm

While I’m no longer married I would have the exact opposite problem. My ex has aged gracefully. Me…. not so much

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Shari March 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm

But I’ll bet you’re a child at heart, Old Guy. :-)

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Darrin March 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Not sure if the following will Help…But here we go:

Age is just another statistic! And as with stats and numbers they can be manipulated to say what we humans want.

So maybe you can compare your age using a logarithm scale?

or maybe compare using fractions 50 is 8/16 of 100 and 43 is 7/16 of 100.

8/16 and 7/16 looks better than 50 and 43!!!

let me know if you need more examples!

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Shari March 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm

I can always count on you, Darrin, for a new (and scientific) perspective. Now if anyone asks my age, I’m saying 8/16.

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alexandra March 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Too saucy for ERMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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alexandra March 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

You hint at el sexo.

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Shari March 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Dear me, dear me, I guess I do. Saucy…

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Annette March 20, 2014 at 1:39 am

First of all, I’m under the impression that Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables &, if that is the case, his comment sounds Very modern! Segundo, you are the hottest 50 year old on the planet and I ain’t talkin’ flashes. Finally, you funny.

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Shari March 20, 2014 at 1:40 am

“And I ain’t talkin’ flashes”. How much do I love this?

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Carlito Manboy March 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

Hey Sexy 50! Show me what you got!
- 7yrs in Tibet (nirvahna)

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dusty earth mother March 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Dat’s my manboy.

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