Turning 40

When I'm Sixty-Four

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine,
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out til quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we could rent a cottage in the Isle of White,
If it's not too dear
Oh, you'll be older too - Ah
And if you say the word, I could stay with you

I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside,
Sunday mornings, go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we could rent a cottage in the Isle of White,
If it's not too dear
We shall skrimp and save, grandchildren at your knees,
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say,
Yours sincerely wasting away
Give me an answer, fill in a form,
Mine forevermore
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

Brian, almost 15, left and Joey
with 40-year-old-me on the right.

In March, I turned 40 and started feeling my mortality.

Though my complexion is still youthful, new lines crease my forehead and eyes.
And the white growth on my temples blends nicely with the monthly touchups
of "Extra Light Ash Blonde."

More despairing are the 40 pounds I've gained the last three years.
An ex-aerobics queen, I blame my sedentary lifestyle,
and the pizza, chips, and icecream I share with my kids.
Of course, there's more...the side effects from the anti-depression pills,
the money stress, the loneliness.

Still, I should know better, at 40, and with a pedigree that includes
Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

The worse part about the weight gain? Things people say:

At a family reunion, my brother greets me with:
"I've never SEEN you this heavy! You used to be so pretty!"

The neighbor who runs a day-care center asks me when I'm "due."

Another neighbor probes, "Why've you put on so much weight!?
Are you eating a lot or do you have some kind of disease?

My boys, Brian and Joey, are both berating and encouraging,
grabbing what they deem to be off-limit snack foods from my reach.
Fourteen-year-old Brian invites me to his workouts
and doesn't laugh when I fail to do a single pushup, knees bent, female-style.

"You've got to start somewhere, Mom," Brian says
and I can't decide if he's embarrassed to be seen with me
or is truly worried about my health.

Eight-year-old Joey is less tactful. As I drag a lawn bag full of garbage to the curb,
he squeals, "That's the biggest, fattest trash bag in the world! It looks like your twin!"


Five years have been devoted to kids, pets, and career.
After being burned TWICE in marriage, I let romance fall by the wayside.

Partly to avoid male attention, I stop working out, styling my hair, and dieting.
So when a 60-something widower compliments my "beauty," I blush like a schoolgirl.
"You are 40!" he feigns surprise, "and look 28!"

In his Italian-accented Spanish, Franchesco invites me to Italy:
"With you at my side, I'd die a happy man. I'd treat you like a queen!"

I'm not attracted to a man old enough to be my Dad,
but Franchesco's flirting awakens the dormant side of me.

When I jokingly mention the flirtation to my kids, teenage Brian is outraged.
"You're NOT considering dating, are you, Mom? You know he'll hurt you."

"He'll get you pregnant!" pipes up Joey, "You'll have to marry him!"

Angrily, Brian shoves his little brother and says, "You don't need to date, Mom.
Do your Art. Or get a hobby.

Joey repeats, "He'll get you pregnant!" Fed up, my eldest smacks his brother
and shouts, "Shut up! You DON'T KNOW what you're saying!"

"I do!" my little one calls gleefuly, "It's called SEX. AND it's unhealthy!"

"Boys, P-L-E-A-S-E!" I plead as I shield them from each other,
"I have no intention of re-marrying! But, there IS NO harm in friendship and dating."

Brian goes pale. "Don't do it, Mom. Don't. He'll only hurt you."

Visibly shaken, he heads toward his room and calls,
"I'll interrogate your dates, you know. I'll have a list of questions."

"Like what?" I laugh.

"Number ONE," he replies before shutting his bedroom door:

"Have you ever been arrested?"



Although I haven't dated since my second divorce, I DID date during the four years
between my marriages.The following stories commemorate those humiliating and
embarassing moments.

Let's just say I should have quit while I was ahead.
I never should have married a second time.

In any case, remembering those dates makes me realize my son, Brian, is correct!
I don't need to date. There are more constructive ways to spend my "copious" spare time.

It Takes a Mighty Good Man by Sapphire


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