Let me start by making a bold and possibly annoying statement: I am looking prett-ty good these days.
I'm not saying I’m “all that" 24/7, and yeah, it still takes a little work, but my rolls of "sad fat" have melted away, I have truly embraced my perpetually messy hair, and I took the plunge into skinny jeans. Compared to where I have been at certain points in my life, I have definitely hit some relative flashes of "hot" here and there in the past year or so. (More on “where I have been" later)
But the days in which the word “hot” would be an appropriate adjective for a stranger to use to describe me: numbered.
“Oh, J.A, you’re not even that old. When I heard, “Old Single Mom, I certainly wasn’t expecting someone your age. You aren’t old. Stop it!”
For starters, I’m older than I look. I’m an expert at my face, and I can see things that amateur face gazers might not catch. At night, when the smoke clears, and the mirrors shatter, there is a tight grey hairband around my temples. There is a menacing web of new fine lines flanking my neck. It’s all creeping downwards….
I’m aging, and I’m down with that. I KNOW not everyone is lucky enough to see all the years I’ve seen. And I’m sure as hell grateful that most of the demons imbedded in my youth have been exorcised by way of foolish choices and hard knocks. The best is here. The vector of my life is on a jubilant uptick.
And I also know that it is foolish to think that the word “beauty” is reserved for those aged 25 and under. I met a woman in her mid 60’s last week who was really stunning. Ravishing. She had taken care of her body, and her eyes were still alive with the promises of “yet to come.” I felt compelled to tell her I thought she was beautiful.
But I’m not talking about “beautiful,” y’all.
I’m talking about “HOT.”
You feel me. You know what I’m talking about. The Hot that is spelled “H-A-W-T.” The kind that makes you accidentally grunt a little bit, then glance side to side to see if anyone heard you. I’m talkin’ about “The Heat.” Catching others’ quick looks away to cover themselves, and bide more time for their sly, secret peeks. I’m talking about the stuff of quivers.
If my HAWT were a calendar week, I’d be at about Thursday afternoon, right now. (Sunday is day one in this calendar) And that bums me out, because I missed hump day.
My HAWT window was buried in the Wrong Relationship. It doesn’t feel fair.
On the rare occasion that, upon meeting new people, I indulge myself in the immature, 3rd grader game of “Are You My Next Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Lover,” there is a whole segment of the beautiful population that is, frankly, not interested. I’ve aged out.
Sure, I could take the long way around and extend the warranty a little bit with some serious face paint and a few trips to Forever 21, but I would still seriously be the lamest cougar ever:
- Hey, hot pants…want to come over and watch the fourth, no wait, fifth? fourth? I can’t remember but it is one of the latter seasons of Weeds. I have a Roku!
- Let’s go to the beach! I will be wearing a one piece. It’s got polka dots! And a skirty thingie! Wowee..putting lotion on your back makes me giggle!
- Can you drive, tonight? My car smells weird right now and I just can’t find out where it’s coming from. I’ll getcha back next time, I promise.
My late stage HAWT is just not of the caliber that would render those points moot. I’m in the endgame, and I’m a little bummed. And that’s okay.
I’m bummed, not stuck.
I’m bummed, not crushed.
I’m bummed, not obsessed.
I’m bummed, not in despair.
What’s that you say? Yeah, yeah...I know, I know: “Love.”
I’ve seen it. There are a very small handful of couples in my life who clearly run off a perpetual adoration: divine beer goggles. They float along inside a regenerating cloud of dopey gas that doesn’t sting the eyes. That gas has “E” like qualities, but without all the brain killing chemicals. It seems really, really nice.
And I gotta say…I believe in that kind of Love more now than I have in years. I might have even gotten some whiffs of it, like God gave me a free sample from a paper cup off a silver tray in the Mall of Life.
That said, I am determined to languish in my Own Private HAWT-iho while I still have it. I will take lots of pictures, and enjoy the view. I will never again say anything disparaging about my looks. I will unabashedly look at my reflection as I walk past store windows.
I won’t be winking at myself. I do have my limits.
No one wants to hear people say they got it "going on." I don’t care who they are. To make my opening statements a little less cloying, I am going to give my claim to a history of "less than hawtness" some credibility. I am going to do the bravest thing I have perhaps ever done in my life. I’m going to scrape the bowl of my humility, then use my fingers to get every scrap of it off the sides to conjure the courage to show you this high school yearbook photo of, well...me looking not-HAWT.
I have a lot to say about that (ie: those shirts really looked good on some people...I don't know why I'm not wearing socks.. The paint can wasn't my idea...) but I am going to just move on, now. Moooove on..
Thanks for reading, and carry on..
Old Single Mom
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