My mother always used to say, to paraphrase: “There’s 30, and then there’s 30.” In other words, everyone wears that number differently. Increasingly, I find myself having to make that little mental leap, the leap from “40 is old” to “40 is here.” It’s a hard leap to make. Unfortunately, some people don’t make it any easier. Today, while zipping through Publix, picking up a few last minute Fourth of July fixings for tomorrow’s family cookout, I saw a wizened, leathery man with salt and pepper hair and a hefty paunch wearing a t-shirt that proudly proclaimed: “This is what 40 looks like.” Gulp. Is it? I prefer to think that 40 looks like all the beautiful women who proudly own that number (and have added a few onto it), like Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts… I’d like to see Jennifer Lopez show up on American Idol with a shirt boldly stating that 40 is fabulous… Fortunately, I have many examples of fantastic 40-somethings closer to home, like my very glamorous interior designer friend Michele. Inccreasingly, I find myself looking to these women when the weight of that number seems a little more than I can bear.
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