The other day I was asking some mom-friends who are in their late 30’s and early 40’s if they thought they had already “peaked.” Without asking me what I meant, they all immediately replied “No!” Then they proceeded to tell me that they felt as if they were just coming into their own, and their best living was still ahead of them.
Shocked by this answer, it was clear that these women had no idea what I was talking about when I said “peak.” When I say “peak,” I don’t mean THAT at all! No! No! No! I am not talking about all that stuff we hear about “getting older is better, because you really know yourself.” “Or, when you’ve hit 40 you are no longer insecure about what others think.” Blah, blah, blah.
No, when I say “peak,” I mean do you think you are hotter than other women/girls your age, than you have ever been in your life? Or, do you think you still have not reached your ultimate “peakness?” Specifically, the kind of “peakness” I mean is the kind that has more men in your social circle than not turning their heads as you pass them by. Like the eye contact you make with that hot guy in the car next to you (or, in my case, the creepy old dude on the Honda moped), and the universal smile that the hot (creepy) man gives you that if it had words would say “Aren’t you a pretty thing?” And, your natural response, sometimes out loud, “Yes. Yes, I am a pretty thing!”
So, based on that, I again asked my friends if they had yet peaked in their lives. Of course this time, their tune and tone had changed dramatically. Faces glanced back at one another. The air of fun and lightness had quickly disappeared. It was as if I had just shared some horrible news with them. Apparently, I had! No longer gleaming with enthusiasm, giggling or just being all around happy for their more mature thoughts of themselves, they all unanimously responded that, yes, indeed, they had reached their peakness.
Even their husbands no longer stopped and turned their heads to have a second look at them, even when they were “trying” for that universal smile from their husbands. And, when I mean trying, I don’t mean just doing their hair, putting on some make-up and/or wearing non-stained, non-spit-up-on clothes! No. I mean lying stark naked on the couch strategically covered in non-dairy whip cream (Good, vegan!) in that come-hither sort of look. When that happened to me, err . . . I mean my friend . . . all she got was a “Is there anything good on TV tonight?” Note: No children were harmed by witnessing such a scene. They were already in bed. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the husband!
“So, at what age do you think you peaked?” I ask my friends. The answers varied. One friend told me she peaked at 17. Really? What were you – Homecoming and/or Prom Queen? Yes, yes she was. Wow! That was SO NOT my high school experience!
Another friend said she peaked “just a few years ago.” “How many is a few?” I ask. “Last year,” was her answer. Again, really? Wow! Last year, when you were 39 and had 3 kids under the age of 5? You peaked then? “Yes.” What makes you think that? “Men turned their heads at me in the Target parking lot.” Really? How many men? “Two.” Two?! And they were only asking you to contribute $1 for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for veterans? That doesn’t count!
Naturally, the conversation turned to me – my favorite place in a conversation (if you haven’t already figured that one out)! All my friends wanted to know if I thought I had peaked, and if so, when. I had to think about that, for say 30 seconds, before I knew my answer. No, ladies. No, I have not yet peaked. I venture to say that I will peak in my 80’s, when according to my mom, I will not look a day older than 70.
“80?” you ask. Yes, 80. Since I can remember (See, Do I Really Look THAT Old?), I have always looked older than I really am. And, when I complain about it to my mother, she always reassures me that eventually I will look younger than I really am. When, mom? What day might that be, because neither I nor my sagging skin are getting any younger over here?! To which my mom always says “Sweety, you have your grandmother’s skin. Look at how beautiful she is! She may be 99, but she doesn’t look a day past 85!”
Hooray! My days of peakness are still WAY ahead of me! So, watch out, ladies! If I am in your assisted living home, then I WILL BE a force to be reckoned with. Men will finally stop (even if it is as they push their walkers with tennis balls attached to them) and turn their heads at me. And, they won’t be asking me for directions for the bathroom (they will have diapers). Nor will they be asking me where and when dinner will be served (we will have a schedule and a cafeteria for that). No. They will be giving me that universal (probably toothless) smile that if it had words would say “Aren’t you a pretty thing?” And, through my dentured (definitely not toothless) mouth, I will be saying out loud “Yes. Yes, I am a pretty thing. Now, if you would please let me sit in the big club chair and give me the remote for the TV, MAYBE I will sit next to you at dinner.” And then I will give him my million dollar smile, and for the first time in my life, a man will actually do what I want him to do! Now, if only I can make it through motherhood alive, I cannot wait until I am an old lady!
So, here is my question to you, dear readers: Have you peaked, yet?