The other day I shopped in the little Ocean Park Grocery store. I found a purse for sale there. Strange, I thought, for a purse to be for sale in a tiny grocery store that specializes in making subs and frosted cinnamon rolls, and in supplying tourists with sunscreen, coffee and the morning paper.
The purse was covered in a cloth overlay that bore a picture of a mom and puppy bull terrier. The colors in the photo were garish: bright green grass, orange flowers, the puppy nestled inside a watering can that sat by his mother. On one side of the purse the dogs sat pictured in studded collars with actual miniature rhinestones embedded into them. The purse cost $9.99.
I loved it.
Hmmmmm... Did I dare? Who carries a $9.99 dog purse around?
And then I remembered.
I'm over 40. I can carry whatever damn purse I want.
My days of caring whether people think me bizarre (at best) for carrying a cheap purse covered with a cute puppy picture are over. Plaster my bedroom walls in puppy pictures! It just doesn't matter anymore!
One of my favorite movies growing up was Meatballs, starring Bill Murray. You may remember (if you are old enough to even be familiar with the movie) that the ragtag Camp North Star tries to compete with the richer, smoother Camp Mohawk. At one point, after Camp North Star has lost quite tremendously to Camp Mohawk in a basketball game, Murray (aka Tripper) gives a motivational speech to the deflated campers. The speech ends... It Just doesn't Matter!
It just doesn't matter. That's the key, and it's one of the greatest things about being 40. It took me this long to realize it: I've got one spin on this planet, and if I want to carry a fucking dog purse, I can carry a fucking dog purse.
Here are a few other things I realized I could do when I turned 40:
- Wear a skimpy, purple sequined bikini (or the like--I have quite a few outrageous bikinis, actually). Counter-intuitive, I know, but when I was young I felt I couldn't wear the skimpy bikini... I had to be thinner, I had to be more toned, etc. Now that I'm 40--It Just Doesn't Matter... really!
- Read a cheesy novel or listen to a cheesy song on Kiss 108 and readily admit that I loved it
- Kiss my dogs on the lips
- Get a tattoo (or more than one)
- Dye my hair (okay, I admit, I've always had fun with dying my hair...)
- Eat real ice cream with all the fat
- Admit I don't like red wine and just stick with white
- Embrace my nasty feet, complete with their bunions and blood blisters, and not apologize for them or try to hide them
- Ask when I don't know, even if I should know, and not apologize for not knowing.
Those are just a few things--all seemingly insignificant. But they aren't.
Exhibit A: At 40 I feel I can wear a zebra suit and think I'm hot shit because of it, to boot.
Training has been... going. It hasn't been bad or good--it just has BEEN. Kona is in 5 weeks, and I'm now trying again to TAKE off some of that ice cream weight I put on after IMLP. (Yep, I went a little overboard there!) Next weekend I race a 1/2, Pumpkinman, up in my beloved Maine. I've never done this race, so I'm excited about it. Who will be there? Anyone? Anyone? Let me know!