I think the first time I was around maybe 34ish.
Newly divorced. And swore I just could never see myself being in my 40’s.
Then I did it again when I was maybe 39ish? Maybe? I just know I was not 40.
(Thank you, Jesus.)
Then I did it again yesterday. And I’m now 43.
(OK. I said it. It wasn’t that hard after all.)
What I did was…I read that letter that Andy Rooney supposedly wrote but now I find out supposedly didn’t.
But I don’t really care who wrote it. It makes all the sense in the world to me now.
It’s called “In Praise of Older Women.”
(There’s no way “I” can be considered an “older woman.” No fucking way.)
I will never claim to know much. I’m a bumbling idiot most of the time, I’ll admit.
Usually don’t know which way is up.
Have been guilty of not knowing my ass from a hole in the ground.
Have even thought if I could do “it” over again…my, my. Oh, what I’d do different.
(Very little, if I’m to be honest.)
(Actually, I don’t even know what “it” is.)
(But there ARE big chunks in my life I would like a do-over on.)
But there are things that I wish I could say to the younger versions of me out in the world.
Things that I have learned. Discovered. Stumbled over.
(Thank you, Jesus.)
Now that I’m an “older woman” according to Rooney or whoever wrote that letter, I’d say stuff like:
Wear sunscreen. Always. You don’t want to look like a leather glove when you’re 45. And never go to bed with makeup on.
Stay in touch with the folks. They’ll save you when you don’t even realize you need saving. And they’re fucking brilliant no matter what you think now.
Get to know you’re siblings. There might come a day they are all the family you have.
Have your own money. He might make more and he might not want you to work. But have your own anyway. It’ll either come in handy for you later or be a nice little goldmine for ya’ll later.
Don’t eat cheese on everything. That shit hangs on to your thighs for life.
When people show you who they are the first time, believe them.
(Thank you, Oprah.)
Be proud of your feminine shape. You’re a woman. Curves are good. Don’t hide it and don’t be ashamed of it. Work it, baby.
Regardless of how perfect he might seem, that line he uses? Odds are he’s used that same line on 14 other women. Face it, it’s your 3rd date. At this point, he’s not THAT positive you’re the most amazing woman he’s met.
Enjoy what you do for a living. But more importantly, enjoy who you do it with. The ones you spend 8-10 hours a day with are really an extension of your life. And you. You gotta pretty much love those asses.
Learn how to be alone. If you can’t enjoy time with you…no one else can.
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Forgive. Always forgive. For you.
Love. Hard. With everything you’ve got. Even if it’s not appreciated at the time, it comes back in ways you can’t begin to imagine.
Here’s the letter that supposedly Rooney wrote. But I find out supposedly didn’t.
Anyway. It finally makes sense. To me, anyway.
As I grow in age, I value older women.
An older woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.
An older woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a damn what you might think about her.
An older single woman usually has had her fill of “meaningful relationships” and “commitment.” The last thing she needs in her life is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover!
Older women are dignified. They will never have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.
Most older women are generous with praise. They know how it feels to be unappreciated.
An older woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Older women couldn’t care less.
Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an older woman. They always know.
An older woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.
Once you get past a wrinkle or two, an older woman is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Her libido’s stronger, her fear of pregnancy gone. Her experience of lovemaking is honed and reciprocal and she’s lived long enough to know how to please a man in ways her daughter could never dream of.
Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off you are a jerk if you are acting like one.
Yes, we praise older women for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed older single babe, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22 year-old waitress.
Ladies, I apologize for all of us.
That men are genetically inferior is no secret. Count your blessings that we die off at a far younger age, leaving you the best part of your lives to appreciate the exquisite woman you’ve become, without the distraction of some demanding old man clinging and whining his way into your serenity.”
(Thank you, Andy.)
(Or whatever brilliant man that finally came to his senses.)
(And had the balls to say it.)