This came in the mail today:
I have been saying the past few months that I’m 45 (except when I feel desperate enough to cling to 44). I do this to prepare myself for the inevitable crest of the iconic Hill that I am supposed to be going Over.
In Virginia, when you’re 45, you have to get your driver’s license renewed. When I turned 40, I was very excited. I still desperately believed in Oprah then. I can’t anymore.
I stopped in 2008, I remember the day, I joined a Facebook page called “I Bet This Goat Can Get More Fans Than Oprah.” I think I’m still a fan of that page. Oprah became a caricature of herself — first it was the meat wagon and the skinny jeans, then it was the car giveaways, then it was the roadtrip with Gayle and then it was for me… the ultra slap in the face of being out of touch with her fans: the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list in which she pimped a $300 Coach leather dog collar. She had 5 dogs at the time. $1500 in collars. She built a school in Africa when Chicago’s are in the crapper… not sayin’ the school in Africa isn’t a good idea, just sayin’ some help in her own backyard woulda been nice too.
But I’m not going to make this about Oprah, she has enough problems and I certainly don’t want her to hear about me bashing her. If she had a Book Club anymore, my book would definitely not be in it, simply because of this stance, nothing else. My point (which completely derailed itself) being that I was still YAY!, naïve and OK with turning 40, because Oprah idealized it by saying turning 40 was one her Favorite Things (but she couldn’t hawk an age so it didn’t make the actual list) because she said all the falseness dies away. Really? Methinks the lady doth protest too much. I still know a few false people in their 40s, Op-RAH.
As I said to one of my beloved sisters-in-law, whose birthday is exactly a week before my own, that “40 is the new 30.” And that was exciting then, but if 40 was the new 30 then that could mean that 45 is the new 35 now and that’s… not really gonna do it for me anymore. I desperately want to go back to 23. CARD ME! I’ll buy booze! Card me! Look at me being irresponsible and immature in the cigarette section… CARD Meeeeeee!
I loved going to the DMV when I hit 40, because of Oprah. I enjoyed having my picture taken then: I was in excellent shape and had treated myself to a new yoga hoodie which I wore in the shot. I know this year, DMV doesn’t take a new pic, but they might have to because I smiled in the last photo and smiles aren’t allowed when you drive in Virginia. I do know they want to take other information from me: such as my pulse and my ability to stay awake and also see things with my eyes open. So I get to get my license renewed by the end of September. These are two months that I am going to savor, desperately.
ps – tomorrow: the follow-up / guest-blogger review of my earlier post about the first page of my novel.