Thursday, March 4, 2010

Give me an "F"

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No, this is not me singing "Fish Cheer," or flipping someone off, this is an honest look at what it’s like to be Fifty.  See how I try to lure you in.  I'm tricky that way.  Don't worry, the first thing I did was increase the font size.  You shouldn't have to "strain" to read.


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My hair stylist, a crazy styleless, 60 something German women, suggested I try honey as a night time facial moisturizer. I woke the next morning to the cat, licking the side of my face. The other side was stuck to my pillow case.

I should know better than to own a cat. I've seen Gray Gardens - the musical, the documentary AND the HBO special. Gray Gardens shows you just how easy it is to go from a sought after socialite, to a crazy ass cat lady. A cat will suck away your need for human interaction. A dog would never do that.  If it weren’t for my ying-yang balance of cat and dog, I might never leave the house.

I go for weekly manicures because I love the free massage. If I’m lucky, my masseuse will wear deodorant and his fingers will be long enough so that they almost touch the rise of my breasts.

I tried Botox for the furrows above and between my eyes. The result - my eyes drooped, I looked exhausted, and my 2 skin cancer forehead scars became more pronounced.  Botox instantly transforming me into a tired, expressionless, beaten up, old woman – I’ll be damned if I’ll pay money for that!

My ass used to be my no#1 physical asset.  Now it’s my ankles, or more appropriately, my lack of cankles.

My love of spanx has replaced my longing for thongs.

Forget about finding jeans that make my ass look good. Finding jeans that don’t create “muffin top” is now my top priority.

The thought of wearing elastic waist jeans is repulsive yet I have no problem wearing sweat pants.

I have not walked away from my husband, naked, for almost 7 years. I now do this adorable, back stepping glide – my dark side version of a moon walk.

I took my car in for servicing the other day. Even with the seat warmer set on “0” the temperature was way too hot. The technician explained that my fuse had blown and the seat warmer no longer worked.  I told him that was impossible. He told me to ask my gynecologist for a second opinion.

My daughter will whip out the “M” word anytime our conversations turn heated. “You’re so emotional now that you’re menopausal” she’ll tell me.  My reply, “hey, I’m still fertile and I’ll prove it if I have to.” The visual alone is enough to silence her.

I long for the days when strangers referred to me as “MISS.” Being called “Maam” makes me want to start slapping people.

To celebrate my 50th birthday I did a wine induced cartwheel. Half way through, I felt a snap – apparently this is the sound discs make when they snap out of place. Sadly, my cartwheel days are over.

My oasis of a bedroom was instantly transformed into a hospital room when my zero gravity, relax the back, chair arrived.

I am being hounded, bullied and pressured into joining this sick, twisted, frail gang called "AARP." 
I developed a brief crush on my chiropractor when he convinced me I’d be able to run pain free. He lied. We broke up. I walked away.

Sipping wine in bed has replaced bar hoping.

I go to more funerals than weddings.

I have a friend who has a trampoline. I can no longer jump on her trampoline without wetting myself.

I keep my elbow glued to my waist when I wave and if anyone needs some extra skin, I’ve got 6 folds on the back of each elbow.

My vision decline is synced perfectly with the growth of my ears. I'm told I look better, now that I'm older, with short hair.  I now try to keep my hair short enough so that I look "better" but long enough to cover my monkey ears.

I recently took my 86 year old father to see the movie “Avatar.” In an attempt to get as close to the theater entrance as possible, I outmaneuvered a twenty year old for a pristine parking space.  Not only was she not sympathetic to the sight of my father hobbling - one hand on his cane the other hooked onto my arm - she called me an “old cow.”  Afterwards, I asked my father if he liked the movie.   “It was okay” he answered.   “What was your favorite part?” I questioned.  His reply, “Hearing that girl call you an Old Cow!”

I’ve figured out a solution to my fifty year old woes (and no, it doesn’t involve Preparation H).  I’ve decided to have fun with it -  to flaunt it, to laugh out loud - especially at myself.



CLICK ON "OKAY, this time I mean it..."GIVE ME AN F"  
For all of you 50 something's - remember when we were too young to go to Woodstock? 


  1. Love it!!!! As a fellow 50 year-old, I can relate!

  2. sadly enough, i totally related to all of it. too funny shannon. love your writing, the funny way you look at things, and your sass.
    keep it up shannon.
    mary mcadam

  3. Thank you Mary and thank you Bossy! I printed out a copy for my Dad to read. His comment was..."I'm not 86!" I asked him how old he thought he was. "I don't know but I know I'm not 86!" (he's 86 :)

  4. Oh, Shannon, I needed that SO much today!!!

    George brought his Woodstock album that he bought on the black market while he was still in Vietnam home with him and cherished it so much! I surprised him with the updated set of CDs just six short years ago! :(

    Today is our anniversary, and I still think that Country Joe said it BEST!!!

    F! F! F! F! F! F! F! F! F! F! F!

    (But, YOU deserve an A, my sweet and intuitive friend!)

    XOXOXO Marilyn

  5. oh my Marilyn..... I'm covered in goosebumps! George made me do it! I love that we are connected :) big hug to you and so much love! xoxo

    NOW GIVE ME AN F!!!!

  6. I'm not there yet (50) but approaching fast. And yet I can still relate.

  7. I love it, even though i've passed that dreaded milestone....aren't milestones supposed to be good??? But wanted to share that as a junior in school, I was "too young to go to woodstock" but knew my senior aged brother would not truly appreciate.

    It still grates.

  8. your writing is like you: getting better with age. (you're like a fine wine) Or at this age is it a fine whine? Keep it up.

  9. Shannon, I remember going to the Pocono Raceway with Mark 20 years ago. I had a video camera at the time, one of those big ones that sat on your shoulder. As we were watching back some of the shots that we had taken, I made the comment: "Wow, we really do look 30." I no longer video tape me.

    Now, pass along the honey. I want a lickin'.

  10. Jeff - I forgot how young you are! :)
    Jack - whine/wine...such a fine line!
    gsd - I get it! :)
    Sam - this is exactly why I hold the camera

    Thank you for commenting, it makes my day! Mark now asks if I've gotten any comments today. I'm that addicted.

  11. Another great story!
    I am 49; I’ll turn 50 in December. My forties have been the best years of my life. I expect that my fifties will completely eclipse my forties as being the next best years of my life. My goals include graduation from Clown College, getting a tattoo, and parading around naked as often as possible without getting arrested. Perfection is not possible, but shocking is still on the table.

  12. Hilarious, Shannon! Keep writing.

  13. My almost 20 year old son and I were HOWLING! You are a SCREAM and I think we need to connect!

    As much as THIS post made us laugh (I coaxed my son, Brendan, to stop what he was doing to read your blog with me -- from one Irish clan to another), five minutes ago we were both in TEARS as we just came back from your other blog reading all about Kerry.

    Damn me and my pea-sized intellect for not having the proper words to convey my heartfelt sorrow for you.

    However, after nearly eight years you've no doubt heard it all.

    All I can really convey is how incredibly strong you must be -- to fight through your grief and to share your open wounds with us while simultaneously fending off hot flashes and night sweats with a brand of humor you can call your own.

    You are a gem and I am so pleased you stopped by to see me this morning.

    I'm a new follower and am going back to read more.

    Wishing you siochan and saimhe ('peace and serenity' in Irish Gaelic),
    ~Jo (and Brendan, too)
    'The End Of The Rainbow: Life After Bankruptcy'

  14. Honey... I've always had 6 folds of skin on my elbows. I too wet myself a little, not only on trampolines, but just jumping in general... and sometimes when I laugh too hard... Or when jesse scares me and I scream. People don't card me like they used to, and I wonder if it's becuase my hair is too short... 50 is just a number. You don't look it, and you never will! I love you just the way you are! P.S. Your dad is awesome! *huge grin*

  15. I don't handle catstir well, so I will try to make you laugh, unless you ask me not to. That is why my wife hates my sense of humor. Here are some excerpts from my "It all hurts articles" about guys getting older.

    I will be a major playa if shoulder length ear hair ever comes into style.
    If I don't trim my eyebrows With a little styling gel I can make a visor.

    As you age you collect poltergeists. Poltergeists often open kitchen cabinet doors I am standing under. Ha ha. It’s all in fun and the stitches are usually removed with in a week. They hide things, usually keys, coffee cups or glasses. I know it has to do with the supernatural because things reappear where you looked ten minutes ago. I would bless the place but they stole my bible. I can walk to the restroom with a book in my hand not stopping once, and amazingly lose the book by the time I’m seated. I have connived a way to occasionally out-smart them. I have several of everything. My house looks like an optical store.

  16. hahaha--

    Shannon this was TOO FUNNY!!!


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison