Sunday, June 18, 2006

On being 41

In a few days I'll be 41. The 30s were bad.

You change your color, shape and size. All the clothes you try out in the mall, look absurd on you. Your daughter learns to back answer you, and her idea of being nice to you, is to ask you to exercise. Your husband looks at you as if you were sour curds, which he has to eat nonetheless, because there's nothing else at home. Or he is thinking of how to get a bowl of fresh cream, on the side. When you go for a body wax at the local beauty parlor, your beautician tells you, you need a disaster management plan. Not only little kids, but people with little kids of their own, start calling you "Aunty". Your old friends live in different continents. Your new friends are mostly your daughter's friends' mothers, and they talk mostly of kids and kitchens. You haven't become a film star, or a famous film director, or been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature, and you haven't even become rich. You are cranky, irritable and weepy most of the time, and hysterical in spare moments.

Then, you hit 40. You decide to like your new color, shape and size. You learn to buy clothes that flatter you, even if they displace your milk-and-eggs budget at home. You put the local beautician in her place, by not tipping her every time she mentions a face-lift or Botox. When the moron next door calls you "Aunty", you reply warmly, "Hello, beta" and promptly forget about him. You dance with your new friends in the middle of the night, while your daughters look on at you amused, and think, what the heck, you are having fun, even if you did spend hours earlier in the evening talking of potatoes. You decide you are above material success and the rat-race. You don't feel guilty any more about your parents, your spouse, your kid, your country, poverty, injustice, etc, etc. You take hormonal replacements, Vitamin D and calcium, and don't swing moods anymore. You learn to ignore and neglect your daughter and husband and spend most of the time blogging.

9 comments:

Space Bar said...

hey...new decade, new look for the blog! how come?

you know, sometimes it doesn't need a specific age marker to give you the middle-age blues. i can SO empathise with so much of your post...

sigh...

Monique said...

I would become mad if, in France anyone would call me aunty. It does not exist, any kind man will even call you "Mademoiselle" when obviously you are not.
I hate being called aunty in Asia, although that I know that if it is friendly but not impolite.
The age is not important if you still have projects you'll feel young inside. But I have to admitt, in my case that the worst of the worst happened at 45 and lasted until being 50. Since it has been great. No complain for white hair.... with a little help of dye.....and plan of estetic surgery for the future....when it is needed....one day...the lastest as possible.
Happy birthday Batul

Twisted Humor Inc. said...

i know what you are talking about here.. but i like the writing.. Fantastic piece.. factually humorous

surabhi said...

happy birthday batul- and three cheers to your turning forty and learning to ignore the ones who say aunty- neglecting yr daughter and husband to spend time blogging- and not tipping the beauty parlour people! i keep thinking of dropping by everytime i pass your buidlintg- shall surely do that soon. and waiting to see your film!

Indeterminacy said...

I enjoyed this piece very much. No sour curds here, but a fresh and witty perspective.

Parul Gahlot said...

hey Happy birthday! When exactly is it? Mine was on 23rd! I totally relate to what you're saying! so there's hope in the forties!

wooster said...

'appy birthday :)

here's to younger years ahead!

Anonymous said...

Today U R 41! Wow... Happy Birthday.
U right well!
manoharnair at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Batool, Happy Birthday!!! Here's wishing that the 40's bring you loads of love, prosperity and peace. May you enjoy good health, happiness and whatever your 'young' heart desires.
Sheroo Mukhtiar