My not-husband is a good looking man. He is tall and slender, with broad shoulders, a cute butt and piercing blue eyes that really do take your breath away. Despite what is now a significant amount of greying around the temples, he still looks very young. From a distance, on a dark night, he could pass for a bloke in his twenties rather than the haggard 37-year-old, father of three that he really is.
At least once every couple of months, I introduce G to someone who has not yet met him and I observe a moment of confusion and shock flash across their face while they process the information that he is my partner and the father of my children. For some reason, we don’t match.
We used to match. Well, sort of. When I met G he was a good lookin’ rebel with nothing to lose and I was a smokin’ hot minx cat looking for fun (at least half of that sentence is true) Fair enough, I was a few years older and he looked like jailbait if he shaved too closely but we worked.
But after about 10 years a few things happened. I hit my mid-thirties, birthed several children in short succession, slept for a total of 20 hours a year, gained 15 kilos and lost my Mojo. G did a Dorian Grey. No beer pouch at thirty. No hair loss. No five-kilo weigh gain. Just a few grey hairs and an annoying ability to fit into the same jeans he wore when we met.
Just is case you think I am being oversensitive let me share these special moments with you:
- A lady at the dry cleaner saw G waiting outside and told me that my son was very handsome. I nearly died.
- A few years later, (while I was pregnant with our third child) we were walking along the street in Bankgok with our 3 and 4-year-old daughters and a street vendor complimented me on my cute grand daughters.
There was a time when I was quite sensitive about the growing ‘appearance’ disparity between us. I worried that people were laughing behind my back. I considered it simply a matter of time before I was traded in for a newer model. Though these paranoid and ridiculous thoughts were fuelled by depression, anxiety and a desperate lack self-esteem the hurt was real.
But over the last year or so I have grown to understand that G loved me when I was young and pretty. He loved me when I was huge and pregnant. He loved me when my bits started to succumb to gravity. He loved me at my heaviest. He loves me now.
I also came to appreciate and embrace the changes that age and life have brought to my face and body.
In repose my cheekbones are no longer prominent and my jaw line fades into my neck but the wrinkles on my face and the creases around my eyes tell my story and when I am animated those same lines define my smile.
I don’t have a bikini body and it takes some heavy duty engineering to get my girls to even resemble pert these days but this body carried and fed my daughters. It is strong and healthy and whole. I am blessed.
I turned 41 on the weekend. Last night, I introduced my partner to someone and the inevitable moment of confusion passed across their face. I wasn’t hurt. Not a bit. In fact, I was a little bit chuffed.
I thought to myself, “Maybe they think I’m a Cougar. How FABULOUS!”
Thanks for reading. Meow!