About Me

Hi, I'm Debbie. Sometimes, people like ask me what I do. Good question. I'm not always sure how to answer it myself! I'm hoping this blog helps me answer that question, or is at least fun to read along the way.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thank you's (and other balls-y things)

Now here's that awkward blog I write where I freak out that I actually shared this with a few folks.  Well, thank you.  Thank you if you read, and thank you if you commented.  Even if the comments weren't very nice.  Although they were.  Even if the comments were things like "I won't read this unless for some reason I know you've posted," (err...annoying self promotion on facebook? Some sort of subscription button somewhere?) or "I'd comment, but it's frickin' confusing...it tells me I need a freaky Google profile or PhD or something."  Yes, I know.  My technical skills right now are waaaay lacking...probably worse than my proofreading.  (Dan Draper?  It's Don Draper.)  However, I did dork around a bit with the comments section, so maybe it's easier for lay people.  Or spammers.  We'll see.

Yep, now that I think someone might actually read this, I'm wondering if it's worth writing several paragraphs about how cake pops are the killjoy of cake balls.  I'm thinking not.  It's obvious: anything with the word "balls" in it is funny, especially if Alec Baldwin is doing the talking.  Pop a stick in it, and you've just turned it into some sort of suburban mommy birthday project.  And trust me, I now know a little bit about this.  And no, I am not the neighborhood vasectomy go-to gal.

But as we're talking about birthdays, mine is coming.  It's the big 4-0.  Yeah me.  And now I will steal a little trick from Pam at Starbucks and post a bit from an essay I wrote recently that was once published, well, nowhere.  So I'm giving it to you for free!  Yes, free!  You can thank me later.

Reflections as 40 Approaches...

 I remember my mom turning 40, and I remember her acting like it was some big deal, and me finding this rather random.  Why was 40 so important?  Hmm.  Why not 25?  Or 30?  Or 50—that’s a nice round half a century, after all. 

 But she seemed set on 40 being important, and my dad played along.  He bought her a TV for her bedroom.  It had a remote, so Mom could watch shows right from bed without having to get out!  Woot woot!

 Although one might suppose increased life-expectancies would adjust how we feel about alleged “milestone” birthdays, 40 seems to have stuck.  It still seems random.  At 18, we can vote.  At 21, we can legally drink.  At 35, we get more testing if we become pregnant.  We might get an AARP card or something when we turn 50—not there yet--and it’s still a nice half-a-century number. 

 I’m not sure what you get at 40.  A mammogram? 

 Not only does it still seem to be some “big deal” of an age, it actually seems to be a bigger deal.  A generation ago, you got to chill out in bed with a remote; now I have to be “fabulous.”  I know that sounds like a good thing, but it also sounds like a lot of effort.  What’s fabulous enough?  My husband takes me to dinner?  A few friends at the bar?  A backyard extravaganza replete with hothouse flowers and twinkly lights?  Taking a pole dancing class in heels and posting this photo on Facebook?

  Am I supposed to have a “midlife crisis,” or am I supposed to have achieved a bunch of brag-worthy feathers in my cap, like having a book on a best-seller list, or being a founder of something-or-other?  I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to have my living room furnished by now, but it’s still a toy-strewn warzone with a desk that used to be my grandma’s.

 Am I supposed to be “mentoring” someone?  When I was 20, I had this fantasy that a successful, warm, loving 40 year old would take me “under her wing” and “show me the ropes.”  Actually, I think I just wanted somebody to hand me some fantasy job with a smile.  But 40 year old women—oh, hell, even successful 30 year olds if they were tall with shiny bobs and wore black pantsuits—scared the hell out of me.  When they passed me in the hall, they rarely smiled, and if they were “successful”, they had a reputation for being bitchy and snappy and never stopping to chat.  They were probably actually just really, really busy, but I didn’t have children at the time, so I had a minimal understanding of what “busy” meant.  I had lots of time to mull over situations.  I was Taylor Swift, wondering why they weren’t helping me, and they were Tina Fey, passing me briskly and thinking “Um, why are you bothering me? I’m just doing my job, and now I need to call my nanny and figure out if my child is stranded someplace, or has a ride back from daycare.  Will I miss taking little Phoebe to her swim lesson and have to send her with the neighbor again—oh God, I’m such an awful mom!” 

Ultimately, I had kids, and didn’t go the working mom route—no thanks to you, non-helping, non-existent 40 year old mentor lady!—so this has saved me the guilt route.  This does seem to put some pressure on me to somehow be an extraordinary stay-at-home mom and homemaker, thereby forcing me to channel “success” through my children, and, worse yet, even use the word “homemaker” in this sentence.  I feel like I fell asleep during some feminist movement.  Sorry about that, bra burning ladies; babies make you tired!

 I hear 40 actually is the new 20—or something like that.  Does this make 60 the new 40?  Will I have to be sexy at 60, or something?  Do I need to find a successful, warm, loving 60 year old to take me under her wing?  Am I supposed to take a 20 year old under mine?  What am I supposed to show her?  And if 40 is the new 20, what does that make 20?  And who is inventing this crazy new math, anyhow?

 No wonder my mom just wanted a TV.

 Pass me the remote.

What do you think about this fabulous and 40 business?  Or, alternately, cake pops and balls?


  1. I loved that essay, Deb. I still plan to do a little blog post on your blog. Just haven't yet. BUT I WILL!!

  2. Pam,
    Thanks again for the comment love:) I'll look forward to the blog within a blog...a blogblog?

  3. I found your blog from Pam over at Soul Searching at Starbucks. Great post!! I really like your writing style. I'm also a Michigan writer. It's nice to know another Michigan blogger. :)

  4. Thanks, Wendy! Pam is a generous and sharing blogger, so I'm happy she pointed you my way. Took a quick peek at your site--will have to check it out more. I'm not in real estate, persay, but I've on-and-off helped out a writer who (at least started) in the real estate (writing) field. I'm responding pre-coffee, so I hope I'm coherent!

  5. I'm smiling ... I will be 60 in two years, and am hoping 60 is the new 50. :-)

  6. Cindy, thanks for "stopping by" and the comment! I've read your work here and there, so I'm flattered:) It's probably entirely cliché to say "age is only a number," but it does seem that as long as we all take care of ourselves and stay true to ourselves, it's all good. Of course, some days, even that's tough!