Yesterday I ran a few errands during Sage's naptime. Nothing unusual. I had been painting all day in direct, full-sun. H.O.T. My Jimmy Buffett Party 2006 tour tee and grey-but-originally-black yoga shorts were splattered with white paint. So were my legs...and arms...and eyebrows, I think? My bra was inadvertently left hanging on the handle of my closet door. I had not bathed or brushed my teeth...let alone washed my hair. Yes, supermodels and Playmates everywhere would have withered in the presence of my awesomeness...or my "fragrance"?
Only one block from home, and relatively certain my little girl would be waking up soon, I quickly pulled over to pick up some adult beverages for the weekend. Yes, paint-splattered, and all. As I entered Stripes, two young women walked in behind me. They headed for the same spot in the store, and were very polite when I excused myself as I reached in front of them for my beverage of choice. There is a sign over every register that reads, in blaring letters: "ID required on all tobacco and alcohol transactions." A young guy (probably in his 20s) was getting a lecture from his older colleague about checking EVERYONE's ID. Period. The colleague -- a woman in her late-40s -- looked down at the counter at my beverage, then up at my smiling but white-flecked face. "What's your birthday?" she asked. Not, "May I see your ID, please?" The bikini babes bounced up to the young man's register. Suddenly, there were several older men waiting in line, too. And everyone was staring at the young women in bathing suits.
I thanked the cashier, smiled at the young women -- they were really nice girls -- and went on my way. A guy walking out in front of me nearly crashed into the door because he was looking back at the girls. He opened the door and for a brief moment I thought he was going to hold it for me. He let it sail! Nearly smacked me in the face! But I was already mid-sentence, saying "Thank you" for holding the door. My voice took him by surprise, I think, because he glared back at me as if I had disturbed his concentration. How dare I?
I guess I have become that woman who has reached "a certain age." That age when nobody needs to see your identification and men no longer hold the door for you. That age when you are completely invisible when bikini babes are present. One might think I am bothered by this. I'm not. I was laughing so hard about what had happened that I called my mom. Maybe I was laughing a bit at myself, too, for not recognizing sooner that I am THAT age now. Those girls are easily half my age, and while I must confess I milked life of all it had to offer when I was their age, I don't want to BE their age again. I'm happy with me just the way I am. Paint-splattered and 40 ain't so bad.