Cindy Reed is a wife, mom, educator, blogger, and part-time grownup who has been writing at The Reedster Speaks since she refused to name her 2012 resolutions on December 31, 2011. She writes about such Pulitzer-worthy topics as getting her ass kicked in old people yoga, burning her neck during laser hair removal, failing to become a juicing fanatic, and why one should not repeatedly discuss vagina cookies in business meetings with new people. She wears actual pants as little as possible, Cindy has been chosen crowd favorite, Editor’s Choice, and Lurker’s Choice in the Yeah, Write blogging challenge. She lives with her long-suffering husband Matt, their girls, adopted from China and Ethiopia, and two ill-trained dogs in Asheville, North Carolina.
This guy I used to date woke up once and said to me, “Man, I had the weirdest dream last night.” And I immediately thought: How can I flee? Or feign sleep? Or gnaw my arm off to escape because, seriously? Listening to people talk animatedly about their dreams is right up there with having my third grader explain the ever-shifting “rules” to the Harry Potter game they play at recess. I occasionally flick my eyes in her direction while I power through the morning lunch-making assembly line, uttering affirmative noises from time to time to mask my inattention, and I am always busted by failing to answer some question that would have required me to listen. So I say, “Oh, I thought that was rhetorical.” Which used to work, but now she knows what a rhetorical question is. I lose.
Anyway, this boyfriend is all “Yeah, I was sitting on the steps out front, by the sidewalk, and I was peeling an orange.”
And THAT’S IT. That was the dream.
So of course I broke up with him immediately because clearly he had no inner life. Or else I dated him for another year until he obviously no longer had any interest in me but still I kept clinging to him because my life would otherwise have no meaning and then he broke my heart. It escapes me now exactly how that all played out.
And then, this week, I realized that I HAVE BECOME THAT DUDE. My dreams are so pedestrian that I don’t even deserve REM sleep anymore. Actual dreams I have recently had:
• Stephen Colbert becomes my friend and can’t believe I am the same age as him because I look so youthful.
• Variation No. 1: I am in the studio audience of The Colbert Report when he points this out.
• Variation No. 2: Jon Stewart is on the show that night and also expresses his surprise at my age because I look so youthful.
I know. I can’t imagine what these dreams mean either. I need some serious Jungian analysis to sort this shit out. It couldn’t possibly mean that I’m (gasp) . . . SHALLOW?
Certainly I’m not obsessed with famous people. Me? I never daydream about sitting down on the talk show couches for my big book tour. I never plan out my light banter with the hosts and imagine how I will charm the audience with my off-the-cuff witty stories. That would be so junior high. I mean, it’s not like I’m a teen girl screaming for David Cassidy or whoever’s all the rage these days. (Is it Leif Garrett now? I lose track.)
Nor, clearly, am I preoccupied with my looming 47th birthday. I’m totally comfortable with the “eleven”-shaped vertical creases between my brows that no longer only appear when I’m pissed. I never surf the web and price out Botox injections, then wonder which of my kids’ after-school activities I could throw in the crapper in order to afford them. And the self-facelift? Where you painfully yank your skin back into your hairline with your index fingers? Nope. I’m not familiar with that.
Oh, no. I’m embracing this next stage of life. I’m all an-old-woman-wearing-purple and telling it like it is. I’m down with this aging thing.
But that Porcelana cream to lighten age spots that they used to advertise during All My Children? Suddenly that shit looks like the bomb.
I mean, I know growing older is a privilege, the 40s are the new 30s, it’s never too late, blah, blah, blah. I just always thought I would be so much cooler about it, all “I earned these motherfucking wrinkles!” and “These gray hairs tell stories of hardship and woe, people!”
Instead, I’m dreaming about famous people validating my youthfulness, like a desperate housewife, but lacking in the funds to do any “maintenance.”
So here’s my plan. I keep acting like I’m twelve forever. Because God knows, I’ve got that down pat. That’s staring age in the face and laughing at it, right? Certainly it’s not just immature, is it? Nah. Plus, I’m pretty sure a juvenile-acting pushing-50 lady is just the sort person to fill the BFF-shaped hole in Stephen Colbert’s life.
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