Thirtysomething

22 Jun

I remember a line from a book I read a few years ago. “Her thirty-five-year-old body”, it said.

I stopped for a moment and thought, wait a minute, what does she mean by that? I’m nearly thirty-five, but I certainly don’t think of my body as being thirty-five.

I’m sure I don’t look the same as I did fifteen years ago when I was twenty, though to be honest, I can’t see the difference. When I look at pictures from that time, I see only a slightly plump version of me, a girl who put on too much make-up and was in serious need of a plucker. But it’s still me.

I graduated from college the month before I turned twenty-one, but it was really only yesterday. I can remember the faces of the people I ate lunch with every day in the school cafeteria. I remember the day I was tired of being always short of money, and so I borrowed $50 from my credit card to fill up my lunch card. The feeling of relief at being able to order the deluxe burger with fries and not count the pennies was worth the 24% annual interest rate.

The clothes I wore to class are still fresh in my mind, the texture of the ribbed long sleeve jumper that made me feel pretty a palpable sensation on my skin. I still have one of my favorite tee-shirts, the one that says French Country in small blue and white letters. Those were the days when the Express clothing store had a French theme, before Freedom Fries and before they started catering to the clubbing set.

My husband turned thirty-nine a few weeks ago. In the sixteen years since we met, the lines around his mouth have grown deeper, his hair has some white strands and his brow bears the evidence of many cares and worries, but he is tall, strong and manly, and when he smiles, his eyes smile too. And I? I’ve got a new haircut, I’ve lost a few pounds and I slap on the sunscreen.

My thirty-five-year-old body is that, thirty-five. It bears the mark of the surgeon who performed my C-section, it has the stretch marks left by my ten pound baby but in spite of that, I still feel like a girl.

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4 Responses to “Thirtysomething”

  1. charlotteotter June 22, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    Yes, me too. I also feel like a girl, just one able to make better decisions.

  2. lucette June 23, 2007 at 8:47 pm #

    Frankly, I think my 35-yr-old body (now abt 20 years in the past) was glorious (although I too had a caesarean scar). I wonder if it was a man who wrote that book?

  3. lvmg June 26, 2007 at 12:41 am #

    No, Lucette, the author was a woman.

    I actually think I look better now, at thirty-five, than I did when I was twenty. I did look good when I was twenty-five. I was a size 2, but then I ate less than 1000 calories a day, and counted everything, even gum. Not healthy at all, and not my natural weight either.

  4. samaha June 30, 2007 at 4:22 am #

    Loved this post. I turn these days to look at my 15 year old daughter and have no idea where all that time went. I was just 15 yesterday **sigh**

    I too think I am in better shape at 38 than I was in most of my teens (except the year I did gymnastics training). While I definately need to lose some weight after the damage from the last diabetic pregnancy and severe depression after my father passed away, I’m on a roll and I still look better than the anorexic teenager that I had been – which weighed in at 87 pounds until my first pregnancy.

    Cheers to our 30’s!

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