Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-40s Guide

A few weeks ago, I did something I vowed I would never do, I lied about my age. Well to be accurate, I didn’t so much lie as I stretched the definition of the late 60s to include 1965, the year I was born.

I was submitting a piece to an online publication that caters to women in their 40s, and I didn’t want to advertise the fact that I would be leaving the club in less than four months. The thought then crossed my mind that perhaps I should go through all my essays, take out any reference to my actual age, and replace it with more vague terms such as, “midlife,” “Gen X,” or just start saying I’m in my forties and just forget, at least for the next five years, that October 27th will bring me my official AARP application form.

It’s not my obligation to announce my age, is it? My youngest child just turned 10. So my experiences as a mom are still relevant to women in their 30s and 40s who are also knee deep in homework, play dates, and PTA meetings. Why should I make myself less attractive to that demographic because I’m a few years older?

It’s tempting to turn the clock back a bit whether it’s for one’s career or personal life. I totally understand why some women choose not to reveal their true age. But in the end, I decided to not lie about soon hitting my half-century mark. The fact that my piece was rejected made it a tad easier. Here are my top 10 reasons why I will now always be truthful about my age:

10.) After almost 50 years on this planet, I will be damned if I’m going to deny even one minute of my hard-earned wisdom.

9.) I’m really looking forward to saying to people, I’m 50 years old, I don’t have time for this nonsense.

8.) Thanks to my Italian genes and my distaste for baking in the sun in my teens and twenties, I am frequently taken for much younger than I am. I really like people looking surprised when I tell them how old I am. I don’t think I would enjoy it if I told someone I’m 42 or 45, and they just looked at me like, yeah, what else is new? Or worse, said wow, I thought you were older.

7.) If I start shaving years off my age in order to sound more relevant aren’t I contributing to the problem, not the solution?

6.) My mother has never lied about her age, and she raised me with the idea that getting older is far better than the alternative.

5.) I have friends who never got to see their 40th birthdays, never mind their 50th. I owe it to them to enjoy every year I get on this planet.

4.) I hear those AARP discounts can really add up. I have three kids who want to go to college. With costs for higher education rising every year, I am going to need all the help I can get.

3.) As it is I have a hard enough time remembering the dates of birthdays of my immediate family members, never mind my own. How am I supposed to keep track of my new birthday too?

2.) My children would surely rat me out.

1.) As old as I get, I will still be seven years younger than my husband.

This post was originally featured on Kathy’s blog, My Dishwasher’s Possessed.

There are two types of people who will tell you that ‘Life Begins at 40’ or ’40 is the New 20’ or any of that other nonsense that people feel obligated to console you with as you approach a milestone which optimistically marks the middle of your life.

The first types are people older than you. They have watched 40 come and go and actually miss it, as they have progressed on to an even more withered and decrepit age than you. These are the same types of people who will tell you things like ‘Cherish each moment with your child because they are precious and fleeting’ as they watch you attempting to disentangle your toddler from a rack of scarves whilst having a meltdown in the Accessories aisle of Target or ‘On their deathbeds, nobody ever wishes they had put in more time at their job ’ as you gripe about changing your work schedule each week to accommodate various PTA meetings, play dates and afterschool activities, or even ‘You’ll know what I mean when you get to be MY age’, which is irritating on a number of levels mostly because you give the same advice to people younger than you.

These may also be the types of people who are eager to share horror stories about various medical procedures they’ve endured that begin to become more common after the age of 40. They can’t wait to relate every distasteful detail of their colonoscopies once they learn you’re due for one yourself. ‘It’s not the procedure that’s bad, it’s the 12 hours before!’ they will chuckle, attempting to be mysterious, as if you haven’t already combed through the online annals (pun intended) of Web MD’s colonoscopy message boards.  They are also constantly trying to one-up you – or one-down you – with their medical conditions. “Oh, got high cholesterol?  Not as high as mine, I bet.” If you have a hernia, they’ve had two; if your knee hurts after running, they are walking around with numbness in their leg on a regular basis.  Oddly, they seem to remain energetically argumentative despite the fact that most – per their physicians – are ‘lucky to be alive’.

The second types are people significantly younger than you. They are either in denial that they will ever reach the relatively advanced age that you are now, or they genuinely feel sorry for you that you are so old and want to express their condolences in a politically correct and socially acceptable manner. These are the same types of people who will call you ‘ma’am’ when they are waiting on you in a retail store or restaurant or ask you if you need help carrying your groceries to the car when all you’ve purchased is a pack of sponges and a copy of ‘People’ magazine or suggest you cut your hair in a more ‘age appropriate’ style with bangs and highlights which is code for ‘you probably want to cover those forehead wrinkles.’

These may or may not also be the types of people who, at an annoyingly young age, have discovered their life’s passion or calling or achieved financial, spiritual or emotional success (or all three) while you still ponder whether you should take that continuing education class on poetry or floral arranging. They may say things like ‘I was just in the right place at the right time’ or ‘I’ve always known exactly what I wanted to do with my life’ or ‘my father is well connected’. They will encourage you to continue to pursue your own dreams by reminding you that ‘age is just a number’ or some other factually incorrect statement and give you a signed copy of their latest book or CD or screenplay before they take off for some fabulous destination while you climb back in your mini-van and try to remember to buy coconut milk on the way home.

There are two types of responses that you can have once someone takes it upon themselves to be the merry messenger of your impending middle age.   You can invest in prunes and granola and Sleepytime tea. You can drop your hemline, raise your neckline and buy sensible shoes.  You can Google ‘hairstyles for people over 40’ or ‘age appropriate highlights’ or ‘pants suits with elastic waists’. You can put your dreams – be they writing, painting or learning to waltz – on a shelf and focus on being an adult, no matter how dull, disheartened or dreary it may make you.

Or, you can realize that today is the youngest you will ever be and whether you have 50 more years or 10, every minute worrying about what age you are is one more minute that you could use in a million other ways. The face in your mirror is the least wrinkled it will ever be. The hairs on your head are the least gray. Your legs are the least veiny and your boobs are the perkiest. And whether you say ‘thank you’ or ‘fuck you’, know that 40 is what you make it – so make it count.

This post was originally featured on Rachel’s blog, Maxisms.

Whether you are a man or a woman, there are times in our lives where we feel less capable of pleasing others than before. We have lost our knack for it, our desire. By contrast the older we get, the more we know ourselves and grow in our capacity to reveal our powerful seductive power! That thing we have inside us that makes up our beauty and our charm – it is not always easy to identify. However, as soon as you know how to bring to the surface the traits that make you unique, revealing your seductive power is easy!

1. Impress – while remaining yourself

We’re not saying seduction isn’t tricky, no matter what age you are! To seduce is to liberate all your rough edges that let the other click with our personality.

In love, you cannot seduce the other in any kind of enduring way if you do not offer the other the essence of yourself. That is, if you do not liberate yourself and all that makes you unique, special, charming… You can read about this in more detail in my article on the basics of seduction.

We fail to succeed in seduction when we do not know ourselves, when we do not embrace certain traits we have and we present only certain aspects of ourselves, when we want to control the seductive process… The results? Instead of loving the other and letting them see who we really are, we show them one page – even if it is a perfect page –that doesn’t trigger any emotion in them. Falling in love is to be moved by a personality, because it brings out something authentic about a person.

The older we get, the more we tend to want to present ourselves in what we think is our best light. However, to release our inner seductive self, we should be doing the opposite!

2. What must I liberate for him to love me as I am?

Sure we all know more or less how to create attraction, but if we don’t find love, it’s because there’s something we don’t understand: we have to give the other footholds so that they can love us long term!

Put all your charm on show. It hides as well in your imperfections, your contradictions, in your doubts… so don’t lose time putting together a persona that is only 50% you when it’s the other 50% that make you special and touch the other in the deepest part of himself!

3. Seduction and Age Differences

Women between 18 and 30 years old have the upper hand because men feel less mature and less knowledgeable of ways to seduce than they do.

Women realize little by little that they are goddesses of seduction until 30/35 years of age. From 35 onwards, the first signs of the onset of the aging process appear and, along with them comes the impression that the woman cannot please in the same way she might have done before. Meanwhile, men are finally gaining their full seductive power as they grow in self confidence.

At around 45 or 50, women start to experience a renewal both in their confidence and in their seductive power because they are aware of their charm and have left their midlife crises behind them. They are also more at ease with their sex appeal and opening themselves to another without disguising themselves. They are no longer slaves to the beauty dictums because they understand, thanks to their experience, that seduction is above all a case of revealing your true self and not putting up a show. They therefore can play a deeper game of seduction.

Seduction, then, is all about the seductive being. This means being in a positive state of mind that shows us as nice and attractive. In sum, it is a message of well-being addressed to the world where you reveal all the things that make you unique!

Photo courtesy of blogspot.

I’m delusional. Really, I am. Each day I wake up and try to convince myself that being almost 40 and pregnant isn’t so bad—that I can still rock it like a 20-something preggo mama. After all, I am married to someone 15 years my junior. I have street cred, right?

Screw street cred. Seriously…who am I kidding? This being almost 40 and pregnant “stuff” is like having sex in a 90 degree, non-air-conditioned room. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to be pregnant—very thankful for this little life growing inside of me. I wouldn’t change things for the world! I just wish all the media reports and so-called expert advice told the real story. When you’re almost or over 40, pregnancy does take a toll on your already “aging” body. Take it from me. I’ve been pregnant five times over the span of 23 years. It was MUCH easier when I was in my twenties.

Older and pregnant? Here’s a look at some of the joys that come along with it:

-It’s a well-known fact that as we age, our bladders become weaker. If you’ve already had a baby or two (or four like I have), chances are your bladder is already pretty damn weak. And when you’re pregnant, with the baby and all the gazunk resting squarely on your innards, things are probably as reliable as a swimming pool that has been shot with a nail gun.

-Unless you’re Dolly Parton or blessed with phenomenal genes, everything starts heading south right around age 38. You might be pregnant and filling out in some places, but things are not about to suddenly point north. It’s like holding two water-filled tube socks up to your chest.

-Aches and pains are inevitable as we move toward our twilight years. Add in the cervix kicks, Braxton Hicks, backaches and other reminders that your body is harvesting life and getting ready for labor, and being older and pregnant is about as much fun as being a voodoo doll in a federal prison.

-At 40 we require more sleep than we did when we were 20. Pregnant? Forget it. Aside from the first trimester when you’re practically narcoleptic, sleep is not going to happen. Yes, the second trimester does bring about a sudden rush of energy. But this is the kind that is like adult ADD meets crystal meth. Your body and brain NEVER shut down! The third trimester, you can’t get comfortable. Sleep is still nothing but a memory. Good thing zombies are back in fashion.

-A recent study revealed that pregnancy does indeed cause some memory loss. Great. Old age does, too. Smack ‘em together, and you’re the equivalent of Lucy in 50 First Dates.

-As we get older, hormone levels fluctuate. One day they’re up, the next day they’re down. Throw these fluctuations in with extreme, out-of-control pregnancy hormones, and, holy shoots, you’ve suddenly become a weeping Jack the Ripper.

Okay. Maybe I’m being a little overly dramatic and hyper-sensitive. Blame #6! There are some positives to being an older preggo. For one, you’ve miraculously delayed the onset of menopause for at least another nine months. Woo hoo! And two, that insatiable sexual appetite that many pregnant women experience is still present no matter how “seasoned” and pregnant you are. Hubba bubba mama! Enjoy!

This post was originally published on Crystal’s blog, Mommifried.com.

A dad’s hilarious attempt to lighten the mood while his 6-year-old daughter wigs out for over an hour. Was he successful? You decide!

Parents: ever done something similar during one of your kid’s tantrums? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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