Pop Those Black Balloons is an article I wrote, under the pen name of Laura, for Misadventures with Andi, in celebration of the author’s 40th birthday.
What does it mean to turn 40? 50 or 55? Having reached 55 a few months ago I’ve thought about what that really means. The answer? I haven‘t a clue. An internet search did lead me to numerous sites for the ‘hottest’ women over 40. Great!
Women with hot bodies and gorgeous faces, showing lots of cleavage. It is actually reassuring to see that someone thinks women can still be hot over 40-that is progress, in some fashion. Finding images of mature women, confident and happy in the prime of life requires a bit more searching. You won’t see them represented in popular culture.
Our society doesn’t value age, especially when it comes to women. We’re all about youth. So much of the advertising for women of a certain age is focused on how to ‘reclaim’ that youthful dewy look. How absolutely unrealistic! We can dye our grey hair, get a facelift, a pushup bra, force ourselves into tummy control undergarments and dress like teens-for what?
Over 50 Dating – Sharing Private Information Safely appeared recently on The Ripe Report, a online magazine which celebrates older women.
My email went something like this, “You may have noticed that I haven’t shared my first name yet. It’s very unusual and I like to be a little careful in the early stages. When we talk I will want to call from a blocked number. While I can be spontaneous and like taking a few risks here and there, I do believe in being safe, particularly at the beginning.”
And that was it. He never even bothered to reply. (Why is it that online people seem to think manners don’t matter? ) It was a no-go in many ways from the beginning so I didn’t lose any sleep over it. Just a few moments of irritation. He’s 40, I’m 57. Military, conservative. No way we were really going to have much in common.
It’s Never to Late To Start Freelancing appeared on the Diary of a Mad Freelancer in 2010.
Writer wasn’t on the list of dream jobs when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. I wanted to be a nurse or a teacher, or some other very ‘girly’ type job-like wife and mother. I’ve done the wife and mother—loved being a mother. And, over the years I’ve tried my hand at a number of jobs—not because I’m wishy washy, but due to time and place and a love of new things. I don’t think I could have stayed at one job all my life. So, from driving a transit bus in college to catering, stay at home mom to running a sexual assault crisis center I’ve added a new title to the list: Freelance Writer.
Writing is in my blood. I’ve been playing with words in some form for much of my life. But, only in the last few years did I begin to get the call to write in a more serious vein. It started with writing about dating as a single, older woman. From there I decided the ‘book’ was calling and the writing began in earnest. My day job was getting in the way, so in 2009 I made a monumental, life altering change. I quit my paying job as a Director of a sexual assault crisis center to write the memoir. And, though here are some nights where I wake up in a cold sweat wondering if I’ll ever be able to ‘retire’, I love this life of writing. So, I decided to pursue freelance writing as an alternative to entering the 9 to 5 workforce again.