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!
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.